AMC theaters were toying with the notion of allowing texting in theaters. The response was overwhelmingly negative, and so they ditched the idea pretty quickly.

Which I actually think might be a shame.

To be clear, I completely understand why people don’t want other people texting or fiddling with their phones during movies. I can definitely understand the visceral reaction that a lot of people had. Further, I myself have no particular desire to text in theaters. I wouldn’t mind, however, being able to get on IMDB and finding out who that actress is who looks so familiar. Three minutes on the smartphone can get me undistracted from the rest of the movie!

It’s not that, when I first heard the idea, that I had my heart set on it. I can also pretty easily imagine a constant beeping and buzzing being a distraction from the film. So i’m not entirely sure whether it’s an option that I would take advantage of or not. It is something I might want to try.

The original plan was not to roll it out in every theater, so consumers would have the option of going to a texting showing or a non-texting showing. Enforcement may be a problem, but the theater was willing to take that on. So why not give it a try and see what develops?

A lot of bad publicity is why not, apparently.

Category: Theater

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9 Responses to In Favor of Texting In Theaters!

  1. fillyjonk says:

    My reaction was one of the negative ones. I think it’s because I’ve been at scientific conferences, at sessions where I had to sit in the back of the room (because I came in from another session) and lots and lots of people were on their laptops during the session.

    And even though it was a talk I really wanted to hear, it was very hard to concentrate, because of the light and the blinks and such from the screens, while people checked their FB pages, or looked at the weather, whatever.

    I actually haven’t been to an in-theater movie in a decade; my assumption, from hearing friends talk, was that people just sat and texted and dinked on their cell phones and talked and did all the other “living room at home” behaviors you see people doing out in public today.

    I might be more inclined to go if there was a “no cell phones” specific showing. or even if they said, “You can use your phone silently, but the front half of the theater is reserved seating for people who won’t use their phones.”

    • trumwill says:

      I thought about different sections but that wouldn’t cure the buzzing problem. So different theaters it should be.

    • Michael Cain says:

      The lights and the blinks…

      This. Someone sitting next to you in the darkened theater turning a wide-beam flashlight on and off. Many someones sitting around you turning wide-beam flashlights on and off. Phones can be silenced, but there’s nothing to be done about the light. The theaters have largely run me out by turning the audio up to 11 (I wear sound limiters on the occasions when I go). Let people play with their flashlights and I’m gone for good.

      • fillyjonk says:

        Actually, the “sound on 11” thing is another reason I haven’t been in a theater recently; I totally forgot about that. I have sensitive hearing and I’d like to keep it that way.

        (If I do ever go again, I’ll have to remember to take earplugs with me in case)

  2. I wouldn’t mind, however, being able to get on IMDB and finding out who that actress is who looks so familiar.

    Along those lines, while I probably wouldn’t want to text or look up things on my smart phone (if I had one), I can see “needing” to know certain information. I figure I can usually look up who that actor is after the fact. But sometimes, when watching a movie, I don’t know or don’t catch the characters’ names and I can get a little lost. (I guess I’m a slow learner 🙂 )

    On almost completely different lines, I would personally like movies to come with closed captioning. I don’t expect that to happen. Most audience members would probably find it annoying or inconvenient, and it would probably not be too good for things like comedies or suspense thrillers, where the timing of what is said is important. But it’s something I personally would like. It’s not that I’m hard of hearing, but I find it easier to follow things when I can read as I watch. At home, I use closed captioning for most things when it’s available, except for newscasts or other “live” shows, because the captioners usually can’t seem to keep up with the speakers and it gets kind of frustrating to watch.

  3. Jaybird says:

    This strikes me as a spectacular way to irritate the people giving you money while risking those people for the sake of people who may or may not show up to give you money.

    If four olds who still are in the habit of going to movies say “hell with it, Redbox it is!” and they are only replaced by three young, hip, vibrant screen-toting millennials… well, maybe they’re hastening the inevitable.

    Hey! Did you hear that Punisher is getting his own Netflix series? I can’t wait!

    • trumwill says:

      But everyone would get their own showing! Go to the right showing and don’t be irritated!

      I haven’t seen Daredevil Season 2 yet, I’m afraid…

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