Movie Theatre Desperation: Will the Tweens Show Up if We Allow Texting?
According to a report from the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas by Deadline New York, Regal Entertainment Chief Executive Amy Miles said at a panel discussion that her theater chain had considered allowing some cellphone use during showings of "21 Jump Street." At the same panel, Deadline reported, Greg Foster, chairman and president of filmed entertainment for IMAX, endorsed the idea at the same panel, saying teens may "feel a little handcuffed" by the ban on phone use.
This is a tough one for me. On one hand, I don't like rude people in theaters (so much so that I once was the catalyst for a fist fight at the midnight showing of Star Wars Clone Wars where someone was nearly stabbed in the jugular with a broken beer bottle. Sweet home, Chicago!) On the other hand, I hardly ever go to theaters anymore so rude people frequenting the movies have no effect on me. I stopped going shortly after the melee at Star Wars but it wasn't the fat lip.
It irks me that I have to miss part of the movie if I have to go to the bathroom after a giant Big Gulp. Whatever happened to intermission? The sticky floors aren't my favorite experience either. I much prefer the comfort of my own couch, the warmth of my dog Moose snuggled at my feet, the pause button, and the ability to text whoever I want without getting yelled at.
There may be something to the distraction angle. Most of us are so used to doing so many things at once it almost feels strange to sit and stare at one screen for two hours. A few months ago Mr. Fox and I tried out one of those theaters that serve dinner and drinks. I loved that. Yes, there is some chatting with waiters but the sound is so loud it's not that bad and there's beer, so...duh. If I have to sit in a room with a bunch of strangers, wings and beer makes it a heck of a lot more pleasant.
Perhaps we should encourage the young people to keep that texting addiction going simply for the weight loss benefits. Michelle Obama could add it to her list of demands on children. As reported by CBS News,
And with excessive texting come a number of problems, including lack of eating, isolation and sleep deprivation, experts say.
If that's true, childhood obesity may become a thing of the past, although carpal tunnel could take over the planet.
Is movie-going declining for reasons of technology or just personal preference and convenience or is it something else?