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Encouraging Texting in Movie Theaters? Am I Gonna Have to Cut a B*tch?

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 26, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 26, 2012 |

People have been complaining about texting and phone use in theaters for years now. There’s little more annoying than some dipsh*t sitting next to you in a theater diligently texting away with his bright-ass screen in a movie theater while I’m trying to enjoy The Hunger Games. Is it so important to this little fuck-tit that he let all his friends know that a tribute just got his life snuffed out? What’s so fucking important to a teenager that he can’t wait an hour and a half to tell his pimply-little friends about it? Is it really worth pissing off everyone around you so that you can let Twitter know you got a goddamn popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth. Close your fucking phone, asshole.

But guess what? It looks like certain theater chains are leaning toward allowing it for certain movies, which will naturally lead to allowing it in all movies, which will lead to ultimate destruction of movie theater chains. The conversation at Cinemacon turned to this very subject, and a few chain owners offered this:

Regal Entertainment CEO Amy Miles says that her chain currently discourages cell phone use “but if we had a movie that appealed to a younger demographic, we could test some of these concepts.” For example, she says that the chain talked about being more flexible about cell phone use at some screens that showed 21 Jump Street. “You’re trying to figure out if there’s something you can offer in the theater that I would not find appealing but my 18 year old son” might.

Come on, movie theater chains. I thought you had our back on this? No?

IMAX’s Greg Foster seemed to like the idea of relaxing the absolute ban on phone use in theaters. His 17 year old son “constantly has his phone with him,” he says. “We want them to pay $12 to $14 to come into an auditorium and watch a movie. But they’ve become accustomed to controlling their own existence.” Banning cell phone use may make them “feel a little handcuffed.”

Hey! But what about the rest of us who pay $12 to $14 TO WATCH A MOVIE and not be annoyed by this guy’s 17-year-old, self-obsessed kid?

At least someone has our backs. Tim League, he of the best theater chain in the nation, The Alamo Drafthouse, offered this riposte.

“Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater,” [League] says. “I love the idea of playing around with a new concept. But that is the scourge of our industry… It’s our job to understand that this is a sacred space and we have to teach manners.” He says it should be “magical” to come to the cinema.

Yeah, I’d like to see those assholes relax the ban on cell phone use, and then answer to a Congressional Committee about the surge in movie theater violence. You think there’s an iPhone app that sprays bullets? It’s the only two hours in my life that I don’t get crying babies and Twitter alerts and email and life’s general fucknuttery. If you text your girlfriend while you’re sitting next to me in a theater, I WILL ERASE YOU.

(Via Movieline)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.