Cinema chains in the United States are considering allowing the use of new and old cell phones in movie theatres in a desperate bid to appeal to the teenage crowd who cannot bear to go for more than five minutes without texting someone. At CinemaCon in Las Vegas, which was held last week, a panel on industry issues saw names such as Jeff Blake from Sony Pictures Entertainment and Regal Entertainment CEO Amy Miles seriously discussing the possibility of allowing youngsters to get their cell phone fix in the cinema, even at the expense of everyone else in the theater.
IMAX head honcho Greg Foster appeared to be likewise jumping on the idiocy bandwagon of an industry apparently desperate to bend over backwards to youth. “We want them to pay $12 to $14 to come into an auditorium and watch a movie,” he noted, “but they’ve become accustomed to controlling their own existence.”
Fortunately perhaps, it was not just film buffs and moviegoers over the age of 25 who were the only ones appalled by the jaw-dropping idiocy of the suggestion. Tim League, the chief executive officer of small chain Alamo Drafthouse, was disgusted by the idea, unsurprising for a chain of cinemas that actually ejects anyone caught using the devices during a film. “Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater,” he declared. “It’s our job to understand that this is a sacred space and we have to teach manners.”