back to article Cinema boss gives up making kids turn off phones: 'That's not how they live their life'

The CEO of AMC Theaters says his company will consider allowing people to text during movies. In an interview with showbiz mag Variety, Adam Aron said that it wasn't tablets and streaming video services that were keeping millennials out of movie theaters (or for our younger readers, "the place where your parents go to watch …

  1. ckdizz

    Yeah, that's exactly the kind of thing that will get people back into the cinema. 150 tiny glowing lights across the cinema with socially inept cretins jabbing at them with a fat finger. I can't see how that would be an annoying distraction from the movie you just paid $15 to see.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      The Shining (4 Chkdizz)

      That is the major factor currently keeping me out of the cinema. At close to twenty bux a pop now, having the little oblong searchlights shining back at me is intolerable.

      Actually, it would be intolerable at any price.

      So I rarely go to a movie and never in the opening week. I wait until the fucktards are bored with whatever it is, and then go if I can be arsed.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: The Shining (4 Chkdizz)

        $20 a pop for a movie is bad enough. Try remaining tolerant when you've paid north of $300 for an opera or ballet performance and the hall is peppered with little white spotlights as people take selfies of 'Hey mum, I'm in the Opera House!' variety, text their mates to say 'Hey, guess where I am?' and make pointless attempts to record the performance on video.

        Hell, I've even seen someone playing Angry Birds during Madam Butterfly!

        And theatre goers don't even have the option of torrenting!

    2. DougS Silver badge

      So have a cell phone section

      It won't bother me, and it will be better than the current situation where there is almost always a few screens lighting up here and there in front of me during a movie and distracting my eye. If it is all taking place out of my field of view I'm fine with it.

      Bonus points for theaters with a balcony - make that the cell phone section and it would be impossible to see from the regular seats even if you try.

      At least it won't be like the smoking section on planes I remember from when I was a little kid, where everyone is breathing the poisoned air no matter how far away they were or where they looked.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        @ DougS Re: So have a cell phone section

        "At least it won't be like the smoking section on planes I remember from when I was a little kid, where everyone is breathing the poisoned air "

        Do you really believe air quality has got BETTER since they removed the smoking sections? DVT was almost unheard of back then, and this was in main due to the fact that the cabin air was refreshed at least 10 times as often as it is now. Reduced oxygen, greatly increased CO2 and the increased chance of pathogens both remaining in the cabin air and being given an undisturbed collection of aircon vents in which to breed.

        But at least it doesn't smell of smoke anymore.

        1. Sinick

          Re: @ DougS So have a cell phone section

          You're drawing a mighty long bow there, William Tell, er, DiViDeD

          Of course "DVT was almost unheard of back then." That doesn't mean the incidence is necessarily any higher now. They'd only just started to officially recognise some of the many medical risks of smoking by the time the ban came in. In the decades since smoking was banned on flights, awareness of the medical consequences of long periods of inactivity has also increased.

          And even IF the base number of cases of DVT has gone up since then, that doesn't mean the proportion of cases has risen. The sheer number of flights, and the average length of flights (and therefore the overall number of person-hours in the air) have all gone up tremendously in the decades since smoking was banned.

          And even IF the proportion of DVT has gone up since then, how the hell is air quality THE key causal factor in thrombosis, as you claim? A far more likely causal factor would be the way that average legroom/seat width/aisle room/overall cabin space per person has also decreased, making it harder to stretch/move.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      Not to mention the fun it will be with all those Siri/Cortana-enabled phones waking up at various times because some sound in the film triggered a response.

      Because obviously nobody is going to think to put them on mute any better than they do today.

      I used to be a cinema-goer. I had a subscription at my local multiplex, and wife and I would go almost every week. Before the mobile phone swamped the world, when the film started you could expect the most excited blabbermouths to calm down and actually watch the film after a few minutes. Nowadays ? Hopeless.

      So I've abandoned going to the cinema. I prefer waiting for the DVD, even if it means I'm four months behind. Don't care about that - that is how much I hate the "cinema experience" today. This move has zero impact on that decision.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Same for me, Pascal

        Used to go so often people would laugh at me / us.

        Most definitely started noticing attention spans dropping around the dawn of the smartphone era - the talking got noticably worse as the 'culture of me' came in with social media and then it became totally egregious disruption of films, then socially acceptable and now look - officially acceptable.

        And if you even dare to challenge people for talking / using phones / putting their stinking hooves up around your ears on the seat - then you get lynched. Accused of challenging the 'human rights' (yes this was put to me) of someone who simply has no situational or environmental awareness. Oh, yeah, and MANNERS - remember those?

        Remember when people went to the cinema to see films? Now it's just another place to check Facebook. Which is why I can cancelled my cinema loyalty card, bought a cracking LED telly and surround sound system, and invested the money I was spending in the cinema on Blu-rays, Netflix, Amazon et al.

        OK, I'm behind and have to wait (I work in the peripheries of the industry and don't pirate so don't even start there).

        But you know what? My living room has its own official policy. It's 'no morons admitted' and it works very nicely indeed. I would say my enjoyment and anticipation of movies coming has increased because I know I am guaranteed a stress-free screening.

        This news is ridiculous - phone friendly screenings are the antithesis of cinema. They are / will kill the theatre experience. The very polar opposite is what is required to get me back to the cinema - phone hostile screenings, like they do in the Alamo Drafthouse in the US.

        This seems like being complicit with a rising tide of cluelessness and reduced attention span. In giving up in expecting manners from people, cinema chains risk killing their ostensible raison d'etre. Will it kill takings? No. They're losing cinephiles in favour of swill-munching halfwits that just want some bright colours and sounds for two hours - but who cares, right?

        Every time the tills ring on another round of stinky food another piece of what going to movies used to be dies.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Same for me, Pascal

          I went and watched Star Wars and did not notice any of that, mind you I was in a different country maybe it's also a bit cultural.

      2. Jagged

        "Not to mention the fun it will be with all those Siri/Cortana-enabled phones waking up at various times because some sound in the film triggered a response."

        - That's an idea. Could the trailers announce "Siri Mute" just before the movie starts?

      3. NP-HARD
        Stop

        I'm happy to wait for VCR release for most movies...

        A night out at the cinema costing upwards of £20 p/p, where's the incentive not to stream it and pop your own corn?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      +1 libation to you

      This.

      THIS.

    5. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I can't be bothered to go to the cinema when I can quite happily watch at home sooner or later, but when I do go I never notice other people using their phones. Perhaps it's because I'm under forty or perhaps I'm just too busy watching the film I spent money to see.

    6. Bluto Nash

      ...and let us not forget

      the original and relevant ringtones that they bring with them.

  2. Adam 52 Silver badge

    So his cunning plan is to annoy all the affluent 30, 40 and 50 year olds, as well as all the genuine film buffs, in order to attract some 20 year olds. I wonder how that will work out.

    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      How about us 60 year olds?

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        How about us 60 year olds?

        Sorted,

        (Sounds perfect to me...)

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Windows

          Nice that cinema owners have realised that dementia sufferers don't like their ears bleeding by the end of the film. What about the rest of us?

          Bah, humbug.

  3. Paul J Turner

    Something's not right

    If there's a bunch of people who pay to go in to not watch the movie, either the movies have too much time with nothing much happening to hold their attention continuously, or they are just a**holes there to annoy people. So make movies that cater to the ADD crowd and/or get some big blokes to throw the nuisances out.

    1. Tromos
      Joke

      Re: Something's not right

      "...make movies that cater to the ADD crowd..."

      They already do. Normal people call them 'trailers'.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Something's not right

        I guess artsy europeanfurreign movies being shown in the small crumbling building that the city planning council forgot can be viewed without the "always on" distraction. These are for "old people" anyway.

  4. Montreal Sean

    Phone bans may not be the problem.

    Maybe a lack of movies worth paying $12-$25 for is the problem.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Phone bans may not be the problem.

      Then don't go... simples really.

  5. gecho

    Piracy Ok Too?

    Paying for movies and music isn't how many live their lives either.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Piracy Ok Too?

      Paying for movies and music isn't how many live their lives either.

      Paying for movies and music isn't how 22 year olds live their lives either. That generation simply is not willing to pay. They have accepted as a norm not to own anything and to have their dirty underwear exposed to all and sundry. They however expect everything for "free" in return.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Until they start working, that is, and the heavy cluebat of reality hits them in face with rent, taxes and debt. That's when they start down the path of understanding that nothing is actually free in this life and all work deserves remuneration.

      2. DaddyHoggy

        Re: Piracy Ok Too?

        Perhaps there's hope for the generation coming in behind the current 22yos then?

        My 14yo daughter - Spotify, Netflix, ebooks have been her 'norm' for the last 3yrs (since she got her first smartphone for her move to Secondary school) - this year she started buying actual physical books, bought a retro record player and has started to buy vinyl (old from charity shops and new from artists she likes who are releasing their music on vinyl). She likes going to the cinema and doesn't take her phone with her (and gets annoyed by people who use theirs in the dark), but she's picked this up from us - it's phones off and away when the lights go down.

        Perhaps she's unique - perhaps we've brought her up with an appreciation for joy of books and art and that there can be an emotional attachment to physical objects that does not come with transient streaming of content...

        There's already too much phone use spoiling the cinematic experience at the moment and they're not allowed, if this becomes the acceptable then I won't be going to the cinema any more...

  6. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don't ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow," Aron said.

    Works for me. Issue all the other (non-texting) patrons hacksaws: problem solved.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      problem solved

      Except for all the screaming. Although if it's a horror film, maybe that would add to the atmosphere.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Alert

        Saw VII, at a cinema near you.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    How they live their lives.... that's important I guess since obviously the parents never taught the youngsters common courtesy and respect for other's rights. I'm also believing that they're texting such important stuff as "Hey.. I'm here at the movies." or "the popcorn is stale".

    It's been a long time since I've been to a movie theater because actually watching a movie in a building full of out of control kids was impossible. With this mentality on the part of the theater chains, it'll be an even longer time before I return. Now, Mr. Aron, get a clue on why your receipts are down.

    1. Andy Non
      Childcatcher

      "building full of out of control kids".

      This. We've long since given up going to the cinema due to noisy kids spoiling the movies for us.

      Now get off my lawn.

  8. MrDamage

    What's the harm?

    Please don't play with your phone while I'm trying to enjoy the movie, as a punch in the face often offends.

  9. Herby Silver badge

    Maybe...

    They can charge more to allow the use of texting devices. Then add a soundtrack of ringers and silly ringtones throughout the movie "just to make it interesting".

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe...

      Or a technical solution in the form of an app, iBeacon transmitter, and whatever Google's version of an iBeacon transmitter is called. When the app realises it's in the cinema it mutes the phone.

      To inspire millennials to download the app just say that they are entered into a draw for a free ticket once every 100 years and make it clear that it shares all their personal information with the cinema and trusted third parties.

  10. Jimbo in Thailand
    Facepalm

    Of course the movie studios/theatre chains ignore the obvious fixes...

    1. LOWER THE FREAKIN' EXORBITANT TICKET PRICES!

    2. LOWER THE FREAKIN' EXORBITANT POPCORN, DRINKS, & CONCESSIONS PRICES!

    3. BUILD THEATRES WITH LARGE SCREENS AGAIN!

    4. TURN DOWN THE FREAKIN' VOLUME LEVEL!

    5. MAKE IT AN ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE FOR THE MOVIEGOER!

    Just went to see Batman vs Superman in 3D the day it opened here in Thailand at a new cineplex at a mall that opened about a year ago. I only bring this up so you know it's not an old theatre. Disregarding the fact that B vs S was complete sh1te, the whole experience was disappointing because:

    1. For the very 1st time we had to buy the damn 3D glasses!

    2. The popcorn was typically ripoff priced... but this time it was half the size to make up for it.

    3. The screen size was so small it was like watching the movie on TV at home.

    4. The 3D effect was minimal even sitting only about 8 rows back from the screen.

    5. The audio was SOOOOO LOUD I had to stuff tissue in my ears. This is nothing new, but each year they seem to increase the volume level. It's now cranked up to 11!

    i had a similar experience watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens a few months ago and also Gods of Egypt in Bangkok not long ago.

    And these jackasses wonder why people, more and more, choose to stay home and watch pirated versions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Of course the movie studios/theatre chains ignore the obvious fixes...

      But to some degree that is just Thailand.... in my experience everything in Thailand is too loud.

      Not far away in Vietnam i have watched lots of movies at the theatres because for $10 (US) i can buy 2 tickets and popcorn and drinks (for 2 people). The cinemas are the same standard and size as i have been to in the UK and Singapore. The air-con, (dolby) sound, seats and screen are all excellent.

      They even have couple seats with no arm rest, which is quaint.

      People use their phones in films but i go to English movies that have Viet subtitles, so losing interest is more understandable if the film is not in your first language.

      The main reason i don't go to the cinema is the lack of films. I don't even torrent most of the trash that is released these days.

      1. Jimbo in Thailand

        Re: Of course the movie studios/theatre chains ignore the obvious fixes...

        "But to some degree that is just Thailand.... in my experience everything in Thailand is too loud."

        LOL, that's certainly true but the last time I was in the US I went to see a couple of movies with my brother and the volume levels were also up a bit. Of course my other moviegoer complaints also apply, except that in US theaters, ticket and concessions prices are even more unbelievably outrageous.

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: Of course the movie studios/theatre chains ignore the obvious fixes... @AC

        Funninly enough that was where I watched Starw Wars, the cinema audience seemed pretty well behaved to me.

        The cinames were excellent value for money, enough legroom to slump in the seat.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Of course the movie studios/theatre chains ignore the obvious fixes...

      No, food and drinks should cost 10x or be banned altogether. How could you watch a movie when everybody around you munch popcorn or other bad food loudly? Also, that's maybe why volume has to be increased...

      And what about the disaster they leave around their seats? If the main reason someone geso to the theatre is to satisfy his or her stomach, well, maybe there's a reason also why many others stay away from theatres, nowadays... even when there is one of the rare movie worth to watch (and listen to).

    3. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: Of course the movie studios/theatre chains ignore the obvious fixes...

      BUILD THEATRES WITH LARGE SCREENS AGAIN

      Amen to this. Luckily I live quite close to an imax (Bradford, which seems to be studio non gratis - not showing Jungle Book, doesn't always get the latest releases), but watching Interstellar there in imax format took me back to my childhood cinema days, utterly mindblowing.

      The Odeon is closer but only has one (fairly) large screen (with nice sound) and that's showing the 2D version, the 3D one is in one of the smaller screens which I won't pay for, they're barely better than a decent home cinema.

      Millennials are quite a large percentage of the audience, and whilst they will play with their phones up to film start, it's rare anyone will continue after the film starts, and the few that do get so much abuse from people behind them they soon turn it off...

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        BUILD THEATRES WITH LARGE SCREENS AGAIN

        But iMax theatres are popping up everywhere and the 4DX is also starting to spread out.

        Some theatres (Cambridge Vue in the Grafton screen 8 for example) have lay-flat seats similar to first class airline seats.

        I can't say I notice glowing phone screens unless I look for them, same with people eating generally not intrusive. People chatting loudly during the actual film and kids kicking your seats is annoying though (although with 4DX people pay to get kicked in the back).

        My local Cineworld is always busy and there are queues for the expensive popcorn, nachos, dirty dogs and sugary drinks, so they are not going to lower any prices. They do allow people to bring in their own food and drink though, so picnics hampers it is!

        First world problems etc.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about segmented sessions?

    - Mums and Bubs matinee (got that now, best avoided)

    - Scrotes and Phones (go for it)

    - Talkers and Walkers (how many times can they need a pee?)

    - Film buffs who actually want to see ALL of the film.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about segmented sessions?

      I'd actually pay for a 'film buff' only card scheme - happy that my fees were used to police screenings and chuck out thickies that talk, use phones, etc.

  12. Mark Simon

    That should work …

    I don’t go to the cinema any more because the movies are boring, the food is over-priced, the seats are uncomfortable, the advertising is painful, I’m surrounded by jerks who can’t enjoy am movie in peace and I’m being charged a fortune for the experience.

    Now what could entice me to change my mind … ? That’s it! Allow twerps with the attention span of an epileptic rabbit on heat and the intellectual capacity of a sandwich to light up the place with phones on TwitFace or some other loser network. That should round of the experience nicely.

  13. Andrew Jones 2

    Oh no! The 22 year olds don't like the rules, maybe we should change them so they are better suited.

    Oh no! The 22 year olds don't like ANY rules, maybe we should exempt them from all rules to better suit them.

    Oh no! The 22 year olds don't like being in prison for breaking the law, maybe we should just them release and wipe their criminal records clean.

    DO NOT start down this path, it's bad enough that a worrying amount of the younger generation (god I can't believe I have reached the age where I am using words like that now) have this "the world owes me " attitude!

    Otherwise, feel free to go ahead but don't start complaining when your cinemas are barely filled with ONLY teens and young adults sat texting, while anyone who actually wanted to watch the film, have started frequenting other cinemas where if someone turns on their phone screen in the middle of a film, they get thrown out. I've actually seem some news sites' comments sections filled with people who claim it is not distracting when someone turns on their phone screen - in an otherwise relatively dark room.

    1. DrM
      Happy

      Whats the matter with kids?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wCXr_6wgns

  14. DrM
    FAIL

    Why stop here?

    Let's make it socially acceptable to talk too, it's just a bit more annoying? Or sitting down -- what if you and your friends can't talk as a group sitting down? Walk around and talk to other people.

    Then all we need are remote controls for the majority of the older, male patrons that will let them endlessly flip through all the different movies playing.

    A positive suggestion -- adding a "L2" warning to movies that require an attention span of longer than two minutes.

  15. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    Reserve the last 5 rows for phone-a-holics

    That's where all the (ahem) action has always been anyway.

  16. Whistlerspa

    I don't go to the cinema anymore because:

    * the tickets are too expensive.

    * the confectinary and drinks sold are too noisy.

    * too many patrons have no consideration for others and talk or indulge in other distractive behaviours.

    * cellphone activity is common and really annoying.

    * people are allowed to enter the theatre after the film has started.

    Oh and in the last five years or so the standard of the films themselves has left a lot to be desired because I'm really over superheroes, remakes and sequels / prequels!!!

  17. Haku

    Someone hurry up and make a pocket sized directional EMP device please.

    1. h4rm0ny

      EMPs are fiddly to create and require explosives to properly generate a pulse which is both noisy and requires a fairly unwieldy length of coil that you'd have to lug around and into the cinema.

      Bullets are superior in every way.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        And the Dolby sound system isn't going to like it much.

      2. Andy Non

        h4rm0ny said "Bullets are superior in every way."

        That would be obnoxious! Unless of course you use a silencer. :P

  18. Public Citizen

    If that sort of annoyance is going to be condoned then they are going to have to pay ~me~ to go to their theaters [note; American Spelling].

    What is needed are Faraday Cage screening rooms where it isn't possible for the terminally distracted and boorishly rude to engage in their digital addiction.

    1. Havin_it
      Joke

      No, that's how we spell "me" here too. We don't use the tildes though; is that because it's an especially important word over there? ;P

      And the Faraday cage won't stop them playing Crunchy Birds with the sound up :(

  19. Lith

    On my very first date to the cinema with my wife, on the way in I casually mentioned "if you talk during the film I will walk out you will never see me again".

    The same rule applies today, bit she has to have the seat closer to the aisle as she is the "must get up and pee 45 times during the film" person.

  20. Suricou Raven

    I have another theory on this one.

    The 'boomers' grew up with a television in the corner. It was a somewhat fuzzy image on a small screen with one or two internal speakers. They went to the cinema for the full immersive experience - a screen as big as they can see, detail enough to see the pores in the actor's skin, sound that'll make your body resonate.

    The 'millenials' grew up with a 1080p 42-inch surround-sound home cinema system. They see the cinema as just like watching a movie at home - except you have to travel, and it costs more, and there are noisy people everywhere, and the seats are less comfortable than sprawling on the sofa. The only reason they would even consider going to the cinema is that the latest film is super-hyped and not yet viewable by any other means.

    Video killed the radio star, and big screen blu-ray... I wish I could say it was to the detriment of cinema. But look at the numbers - the box office takings are higher than ever. Despite the dire claims that piracy is destroying the industry, they are still managing to rake in record net income (though this being hollywood, they always lose money on paper).

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Matthew Taylor

    The triumph of the free market

    This is one of the most insidious problems of the free market. Its only solution to a problem is to try to try to work out how to make the malcontents happy. Clearly there are times when this works well, but there are other times when a swift boot in the behind is indicated. The free market can never provide this boot, because it is not a figure of authority, it is a simpering beggar, willing to do anything for your cash.

    Net result is a gradual lowering of the general standards, as all outrageous behaviour is merely "the reality we live in" and can never be fought against. There is a form of capital that can't quite be measured on a balance sheet. It consists of good manners, and consideration in society at large. That capital is being used up for free by people like this Cinema owner.

    1. SundogUK

      Re: The triumph of the free market

      Pillock. The free market will solve this problem easily. People will stop going to the cinema and cinema's will go bust. Then someone will think of opening a cinema where mobiles are banned. Simple.

      1. Matthew Taylor

        Re: The triumph of the free market

        Pillock yourself. That's a nice abstract model you're using, but that's not what necessarily happens at all, as this very article shows. Cinema's aren't happy to go bust, so they will do their best to attract customers, for example by allowing them to do what the hell they want (use mobile phones during the film). This relaxation of standards allows the Cinema to struggle along, and sooner or later using your mobile phone throughout a film becomes the new normal.

        Societal norms change, (for example, your first word in reply to a perfectly civil comment was an insult, which would not me normal pre-internet). However the only force of change that the free market is able to bring to bear on a problem is pleasing the customer. Even when the customer is a slob.

  22. eJ2095

    The Cinema Could just

    Buy a mobile phone jammer for in the cinema it self?

    No signal means no data etc

    They soon get bored then and turn them off

    (It works i had one bought from dealextreme a few years ago 50m range on a battery powered one)

    All you heard for 10 mins have you got a signal conversation....

    1. DaddyHoggy

      Re: The Cinema Could just

      Phone jamming (by an individual or organisation) is illegal (unless appropriate licensing conditions are met).

      http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforcement/spectrum-enforcement/jammers/

  23. Medixstiff

    So will they have someone walk around making sure it's just phones being used and not camera's filming the movie?

    I'm sure the movie studios and distributors won't be happy with a cinema chain that "promotes" - after all if it's not in the studios best interests, you are obviously helping piracy - movie piracy?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have you ever watched

      a film, filmed on a mobile, in a cinema??

      My god, if you thought Batman vs Superman was bad to start with, watch some of the pirate copies floating about.

      Any self respecting pirate waits for at least a DVD screener.

  24. LHGFLICOD

    this problem has already been solved.

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/movie_theater_layout

  25. Jeff Lewis

    "What's the harm in obnoxious people tapping at their phones in a crowded theater?"

    Losing customers like me. And apparently a lot of other people based on the comments I've read in quite a few forums discussing this decision and its rationale.

    It's kind of the last straw for me. Between the talking, uncontrolled children (of all ages), the cell phone users, the people who have to put their feet up on the chair next to mine, the people who kick the back of my seat and the price of a ticket just to endure all this, I've all but given up seeing movies in theatres.

    I can almost always wait for the movie to come out on disk or Netflix and watch it in the comfort of my home with my projector in the dark with my own cheap popcorn.

  26. Anne-Lise Pasch

    Embracing change

    I would actually welcome cell phones in the cinema, IF (and only if) they have cell-free showings which are actively 'policed'. that way the self-important millennial with the phone can legitimately be told to turn it off, and not get aggravation in response.

  27. David M

    Independent cinemas

    I gave up on multiplexes years ago. I now go to my local independent cinema. Nice big screen, decent sound, they know how to focus a projector, the food isn't over-priced, and the audience is always well-behaved. And many showings sell out, so they must be doing something right.

    1. Matthew Taylor

      Re: Independent cinemas

      That's very true - independent cinemas are usually a joy in comparison to the big chains. They often show a more interesting, varied programme of films too.

  28. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Not all of them

    For the record, my 23yo daughter turns her phone off and watches the damn movie.

  29. Known Hero
    Facepalm

    Well if thats the case

    Suppose we better let them text and drive as well.

  30. MrRimmerSIR!

    Projectors

    Providing you have enough space to hang a screen. I haven't been to the cinema for years and no intention of stepping through the door in the near future. Would rather wait few months for a fil to show up on NowTV/Netflix/BT.

  31. Rob Daglish

    Less 3D please

    I've been to the cinema, but not paid to go and see a film on quite a number of occasions now - having planned to go and see a 2D film with friends, it's sold out when we arrive, so they go and see something else in 3D, which I refuse to pay for as I can't see it due to really bad vision in one eye (I end up not seeing 3D and having a really bad head afterwards, so I avoid it now). There is also a tendency in our local cinema to only show some films in 3D, so I just wait for a DVD to come out. YMMV.

  32. MAF

    Inconsistent Cinema owners

    I find this bunch to be a bit 'have your cake & eat it'

    There's invariably a message about turn off your mobile phones & we use IR technology to detect illegal recording slap bang next to interactive 'trivia games' about current/forthcoming movies.

    It is annoying that people can't decide between seeing the movie or posting cat videos though...

    Perhaps the solution is a big Faraday cage?

  33. D@v3

    Anecdote alert

    I recently signed up for my local CinePlex all you can eat cinema pass. Works out at the price of less than two films a month. With the added convenience that said Moving Picture Emporium is only minutes walk from my house, I have been 10 times since the beginning of March, seen some good stuff, seen some bad stuff. I was actually there last night to see Hardcore Henry (really enjoyed it, absolutely relentless, no masterpiece though). Thing is, while I was there, I got a text message, I was able to see without disrupting anyone else that it was from a friend, about to board their plane at the airport, for obvious reasons waiting till the end of the film to reply was not practical. So, again, making sure not to distract any other patrons, I fired off a quick reply.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I do not (generally) condone this type of behaviour, and would never normally commit this most heinous of crimes, and have indeed been very annoyed by it from others in the past, and before you rightly heckle me with shouts of hypocrite, bare this in mind, I know, 100% that I did not interfere with anyone else's enjoyment of the film. How can I be so sure? Did I go and ask everyone after the film? No, there was no need. I was the ONLY person in the screening.

    This is the second time (in afore mentioned 10 visits) that I have been the only person in a screening. It's great, but also a sad state of affairs. I blame, fully, the (usually) extortionate price of tickets.

    1. Known Hero

      Re: Anecdote alert

      God !!! could you imagine if they flew on a plane without your express wishes !!

      I can imagine they might even leave their phone on at take off endangering the lives of everybody in the vicinity. or maybe even got it when they landed.

      There was no Need for you to text them, it was a self serving convenience.

      People need to experience life without phones for at least 1 month per year, Its a unbelievably free'ing experience, When I finally found my phone again (stopped looking really) I didn't bother using it for another few weeks.

  34. enormous c word

    Faraday Cage?

    If I ruled the world:

    1) Build a Faraday Cage into the fabric of any new cinema

    2) Provide WIFI where every page was redirected to a "Switch you f*cking* phone off* message

    1. Ryan Kendall

      Re: Faraday Cage?

      I agree,

      its not hard to plaster in earthed chicken wire into the walls, instant no signal.

      Its hella annoying seeing brightly lit phone screens in the corner of your eye waving about.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Faraday Cage?

      I agree wholeheartely in principle, but I still don't think the Faraday cage idea would make a fundamental change.

      They'd just start playing their games, showing each other photos, etc. The problem isn't the phones per se, it's goldfish attention span.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AR glasses and a keypad

    Let the desperate 'see' their phone display on the big screen along with the film.

    They can type away all they want while it's overlaid.

  36. Banksy

    Online streaming of new releases

    Movie distributors should really make new films available to stream but maybe at a 'premium' price of £10 - £20 rather than the £4ish in the normal home rental window. I would rather do that than go to the cinema at peak times.

    Luckily I'm off work on some days in the week so can go when the cinema is relatively quiet. Glowing screens are still annoying though.

  37. Ben Boyle

    Update from AMC

    AMC just sent out an email saying that “… there will be NO TEXTING ALLOWED in any of auditoriums at AMC Theaters. Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future.”

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Update from AMC

      I wonder who got to them... besides us mere commentards? So someone overruled the CEO with some common sense. Most excellent.

  38. Nixinkome

    Some 'films' are good but..

    Amongst all their other complaints, cinemas have always been illness and flatulence swapping emporia and, even growing up with the immunities my family built up, were to be avoided. The alternative options were debilitating beyond the occasional day off school/college/work.

    D@v3 seems to have the perfect answer to this.

    I'm curious how the sheltered ones with allergies not immunities and low attention thresholds find the time and money to witter away at these places. I should also like to know how the increasing height of youth reconciles with still too small seats.

    Despite AMC's Update I look forward to augmented/virtual reality shows for the sake of viewing without distraction and also to true human interplay in fresh air.

  39. G7mzh

    Don't bother telling them, they'll ignore you. Just line the walls with chicken wire and earth it. If they don't get a signal, they can't play!

  40. Pseudonymous Diehard

    I can think of many ways

    To get me back in the cinema.

    1. Ban hot dogs and nachos. They fucking stink.

    2. Reduce the price and while you're at it make 3D movies the same price as 2D movies.

    I last went to the cinema in cape town. It cost less than a fiver. Here in blighty its £12+

    3. Clean the cinemas more often. Once a year isnt enough.

    4. Tier the seats. Again in CT the seats were properly tiered so nobody blocked your view.

    5. Offer free parking. Again in CT the cinema validated your parking.

    6. Serve cold beer in full size glass bottles at the same price as a pub. Im a cinemagoer not a football hooligan. Im also not a mug.

    7. Ban romcoms.

    8. Allow me to see how heavily a film is booked *before* I start the booking process.

    9. Tell me in advance when the screen opens so I dont have to queue like a dole scrounger.

    10. Let me take my own snacks in without being looked at sideways. Your prices are a rip off...im not paying a tenner for 150g of pick and mix when the newsagent next door does the same for a fraction of the price.

  41. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    AMC has already backed down

    Story in the newspaper this morning - AMC PR saying that "they've heard a clear message from their customers" that they should not allow mobile-phone use during showings.

  42. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Pint

    If any cinema wants to attract "millenials"

    ...just get rid of the screen, arrange the seating around small tables and broadcast the film over WiFi while they all gather in their little groups with somewhere to put their 2 litre fizzy drink cups and dustbin sized popcorn buckets and hunch over their little glowing screens in comfort.

    The rest of us can go to proper cinemas :-)

  43. Martin H Watson

    Most of this applies to restaurants as well

  44. MattP1821

    Capital idea

    As others have said - here is a capitalist idea. Create auditoriums where mobiles can be used a bit like having 2d and 3d versions of the same movie showing. And charge an even more premium price for the privilege. Those not wanting to pay the higher price who continue to infringe in regular auditoriums get removed & surcharged to cover the extra cost of policing the auditorium.

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