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The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

timothy posted 1 year,28 days | from the this-is-why-there-are-tasers dept.

Cellphones 924

theodp writes "The "average" movie theater reportedly has a capacity of 200-300 people. Which, thanks to the wonder of mobile devices, means that it also has hundreds of screens. And — thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and texting — hundreds of potential annoyances. Which prompts NY film critic David Edelstein to ask: How Should We Treat Texters and Talkers at Movie Theaters? 'Has our culture become so private that no one knows how to behave anymore in public?' Edelstein wonders. 'Is selfishness the rule rather than exception? Are people who say, "Shut up and turn off your phone" today's version of "You kids get off my lawn"?' Jason Bailey argues that the only way to solve movie theaters' talking and texting problem is to give in to it, perhaps with anything-goes phone-friendly talk-amongst-yourselves screenings in the seven and eight o'clock hours coupled with no-tolerance shows later in the evening. Any other ideas?" You could always throw it.

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924 comments

Too Bright (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149415)

No, because phone screens are way too bright and blind the people behind them.

Re:Too Bright (5, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149437)

Two words...Faraday Cage

Re:Too Bright (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149529)

I'm happy to (voluntarily) not use my phone in a cinema. But if you put in a faraday cage? Fuck you, I'm playing sudoku on my phone.

Re:Too Bright (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149651)

Stay at home NEET. Your not welcomed in public.

Re:Too Bright (3, Interesting)

breaddoughrising (310165) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149637)

Two words...Faraday Cage

Exactly! Or just line the inside of the theater with dental blankets. No signal, no phone... at least communication. Your still going to have asshats playing apps that don't require signal.

Re:Too Bright (-1, Troll)

AxemRed (755470) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149643)

No no no. People still need the ability to call 911.

Re:Too Bright (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149703)

No no no. People still need the ability to call 911.

Pretty sure we there was a time, not long ago where we were able to go out without constant ability to dial 911. If there is an emergency then you can easily go to the counter and have the staff call.

Re:Too Bright (4, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149645)

I would support this. Just have the mesh around the theater rooms, rather than the whole building, and let people go out into the hallway if they need to make a call. If they to be available to receive a call, in case of an emergency or for work, then maybe they should go rent a movie instead.

Re:Too Bright (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149705)

I would support this. Just have the mesh around the theater rooms, rather than the whole building, and let people go out into the hallway if they need to make a call.

Ditto for airplanes: just line the cabin, and let people step outside if they need to make a call.

Re:Too Bright (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149735)

EMP Pulse.

Warn people before the come in of course, but radiate the place just before the movie starts. Problem solved.

Re:Too Bright (2)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149441)

I haven't had that issue when people have taken out their phones to text or check the time.

Re:Too Bright (4, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149555)

>"I haven't had that issue when people have taken out their phones to text or check the time."

It greatly depends on a variety of factors:

* How long it was used
* How bright the screen is
* How far away other people are
* How dark the theater is
* How dark the movie screen is at the time it was used
* How sensitive the people are around you
* How the phone is being held (this is a big one)

Generally, it is rude to use a phone at all in a theater because it has the great *potential* to annoy others around the user, just like talking does. I speculate 95% of the texting seen in theaters is totally unnecessary-it is not urgent or something that can't wait until after the movie. But to check the time or for an urgent text, the impact can be greatly reduced by:

* Doing it as quickly as possible
* Turning down the brightness
* Holding the device close to you and never facing in a way someone can see the screen

Re:Too Bright (0)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149569)

Like I said, it hasn't bothered me when people do it, and I've seen people texting through an entire movie. They were a few rows away though

Re:Too Bright (4, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149619)

>"Like I said, it hasn't bothered me when people do it"

I don't doubt it doesn't bother you (nor perhaps many other people), but not everyone is the same. Things that bother one person might not bother someone else at all (and in reverse). As a society, we have to understand that people are different and make a reasonable effort to prevent annoying others, even when it is not something that annoys ourselves.

Re:Too Bright (2)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149673)

The movie theaters already do this by warning people not to use their phone during a movie. They are perfectly capable of ejecting people who violate the rules. Given that they generally do not, I guess whether or not it's annoying or reasonable to accomodate has largely been decided. I'm guessing the management doesn't really want the bad press around ejecting people and the small chance that what would normally be a quiet occurrence could become a much louder altercation that ruins the movie for *more* people.

if someone threw my phone... (5, Funny)

jwinterm (2740003) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149417)

I'd probably just sit there and be quiet.

I go to a fair amount of movies (2, Interesting)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149419)

I have never, ever noticed this, not in a single movie. Talking on the phone would definitely be a problem, but I've never seen this either. Frankly I don't really give a shit if people are texting or surfing on their phone during the movie. I'm looking ahead at the screen. I find it hard to believe that it should really bother someone that much.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (5, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149447)

I've never seen it either, in 50+ years of life in three states. The theater I normally go to has a warning at the beginning that they will throw you out. Given that I have never seen anyone with a phone screen on there, I can only presume they mean it.

This is a trivial problem to deal with - for the theater management. They will quickly get a reputation of not tolerating that kind of idiocy, and as they do, for every texting asshole they lose as a customer, they'll pick up two or three who will drive the extra distance to get to a theater that enforces their rules. If it's a problem in the first place.

So is some dickhead is bothering your movie experience, complain to the manager. Immediately. Demand they either enforce their rules (and they have them) or give you your money back. And if they don't, make it clear they've lost a customer, and anybody else who you can tell about it.

If it's a problem in the first place. I've never seen it.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149453)

I am surprised. I go to a fair amount of movies and do you have any idea how bright an iphone screen is, when it is facing you from either the front or sides in a dark theater?

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (-1, Flamebait)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149463)

Yes because I am not blind and own a smartphone. If someone is bothered by a phone screen's brightness during a movie, it sounds like they aren't paying attention to the right screen.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149499)

you should be euthanized.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149513)

>"If someone is bothered by a phone screen's brightness during a movie, it sounds like they aren't paying attention to the right screen."

And that is just a typical "everyone is like me" attitude. Just because it doesn't bother YOU doesn't mean it doesn't bother anyone else. This is one of the biggest issues with society- many people are simply unable to imagine that other people are more or less sensitive/annoyed by things. Even worse are the people who simply don't care that what they do annoys others because the world revolves around their own selfishness.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (-1)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149519)

I don't look at my phone during movies. I watch the movie. It's not my fault you have a crappy attention span and are easily distracted by shiny things.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149591)

No, but there are consequences for your rudeness.
Expect a punch to the face for being a dick.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0, Troll)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149655)

For watching the movie, leaving my phone in my pocket, and not talking to anyone? Someone is going to punch me in the face for that? Man I really need to recalibrate my views on rudeness and societal expectations.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149609)

yes, but what about people that are distracted by dull things like you?

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149649)

That's what the movie is for.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149581)

I hope I see you using your phone the next time I go to a movie.

You will be shopping for a new phone soon afterward.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149611)

I don't use my phone during the movie .... because I am watching a movie and giving my full attention. If I'm going to pay $12 to sit in a room for two hours, it makes sense to get my money's worth.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (1)

tibbetts (7769) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149491)

It's annoying when it's someone sitting next to or in front of you; otherwise, it's not noticeable. Oh, and clicky sounds when typing are a big distraction.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (2, Insightful)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149507)

I've found I rarely hear anything because the sounds of the movie generally drown out any ambient noise. The volume for movie theaters is usually far louder than necessary in my experience, but that is a different conversation entirely.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149535)

Considering your other comments on the subject, go fuck yourself with a rusty chainsaw.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149537)

I do not have access to a chainsaw, rusty or otherwise, so I will have to miss out on that experience.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149727)

It's annoying when it's someone sitting next to or in front of you; otherwise, it's not noticeable.

I usually wait until a movie has been out for 2+ weeks, to have a good choice of seats. I find the handheld screens *very* distracting in the darkened theater before the movie starts. However, I've never noticed one during the movie itself. I don't know whether that's because people are polite enough not to use them, because I'm absorbed in the movie, or simply because I don't get out enough.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (2)

markdavis (642305) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149495)

>"I have never, ever noticed this, not in a single movie."

Well good for you. I have in several movies and it was EXTREMELY annoying and distracting to have someone in front of me light up their damn phone every 5 to 10 minutes. And the people I was with were also annoyed.

And now there are no less than THREE separate sequences before each movie telling people to turn off and/or not use phones during the movie. Added to the previews and such, it takes 20+ minutes for the movie to start.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (-1)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149501)

I've had people near me use their cells during a movie. It's only a big distraction if you focus on their phone instead of the movie. My advice would be to watch the movie.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0, Flamebait)

Rockoon (1252108) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149553)

What movie theater do you frequent? I'll make sure to shine a flashlight in your eyes and tell you your attention span sucks and that maybe instead of complaining like a little girl that you should just go back to watching the movie.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (2)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149563)

Any of the theaters in downtown Chicago. I regularly attend all screenings of every movie, so feel free to walk into every show and look for me.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (3, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149573)

>"What movie theater do you frequent? I'll make sure to shine a flashlight in your eyes and tell you your attention span sucks"

You are either an uncooked teenager or just don't give a damn about anyone around you. Perhaps karma will catch up with you one day.... one can only hope.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149667)

Why should I care about the people around me>? Listen to this pro-cell-phone-in-movies fucks right here in slashdot.. if they dont need to care, then i dont either.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149695)

I don't think anyone who's posted has actually expressed a "pro cell phone in movies" sentiment. There seem to be a large chunk of people, myself included, who either don't think it's a problem or are ambivalent about it.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0, Flamebait)

Rockoon (1252108) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149731)

I don't think anyone who's posted has actually expressed a "pro cell phone in movies" sentiment.

You did about 9 times now in 9 different posts on the subject, in the span of about 9 minutes.

What are you trying to cover for there chief? So many posts, telling people they must have a shitty attention span, telling people to just watch the movie regardless of how you behave right in front of them, and so forth... what gives chief?

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149659)

I'm often on call. Even when I'm not on call, I'm always a "call me if you need help" resource for various projects. So I'm afraid that I do have to leave my phone on, but I get up and step outside the theater precisely to avoid bothering others with the sound, or lights.

It's actually a much worse problem with modern cell phones than it used to be with small pagers, because of the larger screen.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (1)

wickerprints (1094741) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149531)

I have gotten my phone out of my pocket during a movie in two situations: (1) when the movie is supremely boring or it's dragging on, and I want to check the time--which I do as stealthily as possible so as not to let the illumination of the screen be obtrusive to others around me; and (2) the exceedingly rare situation where someone has dropped something important on the floor or it fell out of a pocket (like a wallet) and we have to find it. This is usually done only at the end of a film, though.

I have seen others text/tweet/facebook etc. during a movie, however. It does happen, and it generally affects you if you're sitting in the row immediately behind the offender, and it's not stadium seating. On one occasion I have seen someone use a laser pointer on the screen--that is really annoying and completely unacceptable.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149547)

Yeah a laser pointer would be really unacceptable.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149579)

Texting/surfing is just as annoying if not more so, today's super bright screens are a glaring annoyance when people use them in the cinema, I actually find it more annoying than making a call as at least people are suitably embarrassed when that happens and usually get up and leave to talk.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149621)

What's annoying is when you're watching the screen in front of you, only to have some idiot blind everyone around him (including you) with his phone as he checks for messages or something.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149677)

I've had that happen. Didn't bother me as I had my eyes on the movie screen after the briefest of glances at the person.

Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149671)

Well, I'm annoyed at your failure to be annoyed.

Why do people go to movie theaters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149425)

I like my living room a whole lot better than some movie theater. The popcorn is a lot cheaper, too.

Re:Why do people go to movie theaters? (1)

Deadstick (535032) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149465)

And your feet don't stick to the floor...

Re:Why do people go to movie theaters? (4, Funny)

oobayly (1056050) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149599)

I put double sided sticky tape on my carpet for that authentic cinema feel.

Re:Why do people go to movie theaters? (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149559)

And you can go to the bathroom without missing that crucial plot twist...

Re:Why do people go to movie theaters? (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149571)

I have no idea. I much prefer watching at home and I don't even have a great setup. It costs so much and you get so little extra.

People still go to theaters? (0)

singingjim1 (1070652) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149427)

The answer is don't go if you are bothered by it. Just spend a few bucks on a good home entertainment system and then Pay Per View on VUDU or whatever in HD when it's available.

Re:People still go to theaters? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149631)

Exactly. I still only have a 30 inch tube TV, but still enjoy watching movies at home way more than going to the theatre. I'll go 3 or 4 times a year at most. It's just really not worth the cost of going. When I do go, I make sure I pay a couple bucks extra for AVX [cineplex.com] , primarily because you can reserve specific seats, but also because everybody is paying a little bit extra, so you tend to keep out the people who are going to ruin the experience anyway. That may sound a little "classist" but places that charge a little more tend to have less people who are just there because they have nothing else to do, and not because they really want to see the movie.

Faraday cage (4, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149429)

I've always liked the notion of enclosing the theatres in a faraday cage. In any new construction, it should be relatively cheap to include a mesh around the theatre itself -- and then you don't have to worry about people's manners. At least not as far as cell phones are concerned.

Re:Faraday cage (1)

jwinterm (2740003) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149467)

I don't think this would really work. People could still check the time. People could still play angry birds. Etc.

Re:Faraday cage (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149477)

No need for mesh. Just a new paint job with the right paint.

But then the FCC would probably have a problem with this.

Re:Faraday cage (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149505)

But then the FCC would probably have a problem with this.

The FCC gets no say in what building materials you use. They can (and do) prohibit jammers, but they don't have anything to say about building a faraday cage.

Re:Faraday cage (2)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149691)

Such materials are commercially available as wallpaper for years. (See http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2012/05/25/wallpaper-that-blocks-wi-fi/ [wsj.com] )

But I'm afraid the FCC will become upset because it can _block_ signals outside the movie theater. The shadow of the cage itself is a noticeable dead zone. And I'm afraid that it will only take one litigious parent whose baby sitter is trying to reach them, or one doctor who can't be paged, to create a dangerous lawsuit for for any theater that tries this.

I have seen it done for certain conference rooms, that were clearly marked this this way, and even then people became quite upset at not having their cell phones work.

Re:Faraday cage (-1)

neurogeneticist (1631367) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149597)

Great. With your vision, doctors (or anyone else who needs to be pageable 24/7, like a sysadmin) can never go to a movie.

Easy. (1)

Dj Stingray (178766) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149431)

Most people won't use their devices if there is no connectivity. Just start building theaters with built-in Faraday Cage technology.

Get off my lawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149433)

I have never once understood going out with a group and sitting silently in a straight line. Seems silly to me.

Re:Get off my lawn (3, Insightful)

Deadstick (535032) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149479)

An acquired taste that we no longer have much reason to acquire.

Stop going to theatres. (3, Insightful)

Elgonn (921934) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149435)

Just stop going entirely. It is expensive and isn't even as nice as watching at home or with friends. There's certainly no chance that social conventions will make it palatable again within our lifetimes.

the "god bless america" solution? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149439)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb7XlUoEKtE [youtube.com]

2nd amendment for the win?

Re:the "god bless america" solution? (1)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149647)

But please, silence your firearms during the performance. And pick up your brass and dispose of it in the proper receptacle.

Thank you. The management.

Regional/cultural issue? (2)

Etcetera (14711) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149443)

Leaving aside racial stereotypes, is this more of a regional or cultural problem? In San Diego, I virtually never see people texting /during/ a movie, and I don't think I've heard a cell phone go off (eg, ring) during a showing any time in the last five years. About the worst thing that happens is people (myself included, occasionally) leaving a phone on but silent (no vibrate).... A flicker of a bright screen might show up if they have their phone facing outwards in a thin pocket or something, but that's it. Anyone who actually talked during a show would be told to stfu by the movie-goers, no doubt...

FWIW, I'm normally just going to the local AMC20 or 18; nothing fancy or unusual, so I have to assume my observations are typical for this area.

Is San Diego just a nice town, or are other places like this too?

Re:Regional/cultural issue? (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149469)

It's like this in Chicago at most of the movie theaters I have gone to

Re:Regional/cultural issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149503)

I've had good experiences in both San Diego (the Edwards off the 15 in mira mesa especially) and Denver (I think its a united artists theatre?). My local "at the mall theatre" in Michigan is full of trashy people who do talk on the phone and throw shit at the screen. However when I go to our discount movie theatre everyone is well behaved. So I used to think it had to do with the quality of the place, but since our discount place smells slightly like urine it miust just be a clientel thing.

Re:Regional/cultural issue? (1)

mlts (1038732) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149589)

Here in Austin, the Alamo Drafthouse gets rid of the texters posthaste. This isn't a typical theater, but one with tables so one can get decent food as well as decent beers. Text, and the ushers will be coming by to give the offender one warning, the second, they are escorted out, no refunds given.

easy solution (1)

marcle (1575627) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149451)

Just don't bother to go to movies. They're expensive, dumb, and annoying, with or without the foibles of your fellow movie fans.

The sound is louder, the previews are more irritating, and the movies are more mindless. This is fun? The occasional good flick can be viewed in comfort and privacy in your home theater (or other device) on your own terms.

Zero tolerance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149457)

If you can't be without your phone for the length of the movie, don't go to the movie. We don't need to change society for pretentious self-absorbed assholes that can't part with their phone. You aren't that important that you need a phone 24/7.

Theaters should collect the phones at the door, and you get it back when you leave.

I never found it a REAL problem (0)

DadLeopard (1290796) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149459)

I have never found it to be a REAL problem, and even if it might annoy some people, you can not make a blanket prohibition, there are people that just might need to take that emergency call, Doctor, EMS, Volunteer firemen, Parents with a sitter and a hurt kid! So the selfish and self absorbed get to skate by! So all that on top of the fact that a theater that deployed a cell blocker, just might be on the wrong end of a whopping law suit, all I can say is suck it up and cope!

Rude? Yes (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149475)

>"'Has our culture become so private that no one knows how to behave anymore in public?"

Yes it has. A large percent of the population are very rude regarding phones. And the younger the generation, the more rude.

Re:Rude? Yes (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149601)

And the younger the generation, the more rude.

Speaking as a 52-year-old...

My personal experience has been that the most egregious offenders in this regard are middle-aged women. Followed by men in the 25-40 demographic.

The young'uns are mostly texting. It's annoying if you're attempting to converse with one of them, but otherwise it's not a big deal.

We need more screens (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149489)

I'm surprised the idea of the miniplex hasn't caught on. Instead on one big room with 300 morons, have 30 rooms that seat 10 each. Most people want to watch a movie by themselves or with friends; they don't care about sitting in a room full of strangers. With digital distribution, each room could show any movie, and showtime is whenever a room is available. Yes, in the end it's just a fancy home theater, but many people don't have the money or the room for a decent home setup.

Re:We need more screens (1)

markdavis (642305) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149675)

>"I'm surprised the idea of the miniplex hasn't caught on. Instead on one big room with 300 morons, have 30 rooms that seat 10 each"

That is a lot less economical for the theater. Plus it is likely to sacrifice screen size. That said, when I want to see a movie in the theater, I intentionally wait until it has been out quite a while and then try to pick times/days/theaters in which attendance will be low. Generally that seems to work out pretty well.

I have a good home theater, but I still like to go out to see them on the "even bigger screen", especially if it is 3D and shot in good quality. Probably my biggest complaint about theaters (other than annoying people and endless previews) is that most are simply WAY too loud. Jacking the sound volume up is not a replacement for quality sound, and louder is not better.

Not at all a novel problem (4, Insightful)

William Ager (1157031) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149493)

This is hardly a novel problem. All manners of talking, noisemaking, and other disturbances have been problems in theaters for centuries; phones are simply another type of potential disturbance.

Yes, it is to some extent a cultural problem. I also think it tends to be a problem of lack of any enforcement of reasonable etiquette in theaters, perhaps from a concern for repercussions and retribution, but also, at least in many movie theaters, from a lack of staff.

But I think it is only through enforcement by venues, and cultural unacceptability, that disturbances like these can be minimized, especially in this case. I don't think anyone particularly wants to be in a theater full of other people on phones; the people who use them in theaters would likely be upset about others using them were they not using them at that particular time. There are already venues for watching movies on large screens while being able to talk and generally be more casual, and perhaps we could use more of those, but that's not the problem here: the problem are people who are selfish. If someone wants to be able to disturb others, but not be disturbed by others, then letting everyone cause disturbances isn't going to help: everyone will go to the no-tolerance shows, and become upset if they're thrown out.

You mean you actually tolerate that crap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149509)

Well, here in Brazil one pretty much has to turn the damn things off, otherwise people will kick them out of the screening room. Texting with very _low_ light and absolutely no noise might be tolerated, but don't count on it.

All the theaters (movie and live-action) tell you right at the beginning of the session to shut the cells off. They _have_ the right to kick you out if you don't... but they don't even have to, the people right behind you or next to you will make your life hell until you run out in fear of losing your annoying gadget.

Other Ideas (1)

Roderic9 (2454194) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149527)

An EMP works for me.

My lawn (4, Funny)

_Ludwig (86077) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149565)

Why has “get off my lawn” become code for cranky senior citizen? What the fuck do those kids think they’re doing tearing up my meticulously-mown property, and why is it unreasonable to object to trespassers?

I mean, if you’re just picking up a wayward frisbee or something, fine, but other than that, unless I invited you, seriously, stay off my lawn.

Re:My lawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149665)

or maybe you're an asshole with no sidewalk on his lot. i'm mean you definitely are an asshole, probably have the diagonal-cut lawn and sprinklers that dampen the sidewalk (if you have one), thus soaking pedestrians. you're lucky i haven't bleached "asshole" on it yet, asshole.

Advertise 2 different types of audience (3, Interesting)

Snotnose (212196) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149583)

One is "I wanna watch the damn movie", use a cellphone or talk too much and you get tossed out. The other is "I wanna be with my friends", anything goes. Run the experiment a couple months, see which gets the bigger audience. / Last movie I saw in a theater was Return of the King, due to talkative asshats // Second to last movie was The Two Towers

The theater is dead. (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149595)

The entire movie theater industry is dead.

Even if cell phones were eliminated (which in my experience have been more or less a non-issue in theaters) you've still got the fact that its $8 for a ticket and then $5 for a popcorn, $5 for a soda, $5 for a box of Junior Mints... Its simply too expensive for the 2 hours of (possible) enjoyment, especially when a couple of months later you can watch the movie on Netflix or pay $1 for it at Redbox. It used to be you could offset this by the fact that you were getting a higher quality picture and sound, but anymore a HDTV and surround sound are pretty common. 3D is simply a gimmick, its fun for a movie or two but doesn't really add much to the experience. I mean, other than for a midnight premiere, does anyone actually go to the movies anymore?

Re:The theater is dead. (5, Informative)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149641)

$8 for a ticket. Where are you going? I might need to move there. Cheapest I've found for a non-matinee is $11.50 or $12. Hell even my hometown, a mid-size Midwestern city, clocks in with $10 per theater.

Drug abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149617)

Mandatory dose of Rittalin and a punch to the dick.

First.. world... problems.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149627)

This is the kind of nonsense that makes you cringe at what bothers people.

Rethink the concept (2)

northernalbertapolic (2966983) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149633)

I think they need to rethink the concept of the movie theater. The value of "going to see a movie" in this digital age is that you are going out to see a show. So get rid of the "lines of chairs facing the screen" thing, change the layout so that groups are further apart, with more comfort.

Serve booze - they do it at baseball games! That would both offset the cost of the new concept and make the experience more enjoyable for adult audiences.

Nobody really needs movie theatres anymore. They have to make it something out of the ordinary that people will be excited about.

Re:Rethink the concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149721)

Thats why I like the local place that has sit down dinner and drinks with a movie that has already had its run. Cheap tickets, fair priced food, good value (imo).

is it really that big of problem? (2)

AxemRed (755470) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149683)

I go to the theater about 5 times a year. I admit that I'm not an avid movie goer. But out of my limited experiences at the theater, I don't think I have ever been so annoyed by someone else's phone that I gave it a second thought after the movie. I see a lot of people talking and texting through the previews, but once the movie starts, people seem to stop. I have seen one person answer their phone and run out of the theater. And I see people checking their phones or texting here and there but not constantly and not with sound. Sometimes I wonder if I just live in a more polite region or if people are just anal.

Two words... (1)

nemui-chan (550759) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149685)

Oh Hell no... Fine, that was three.

Yeah.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149693)

Something is very wrong if the movie cannot keep people entertained enough to stay off the fucking phone.

More of the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44149719)

I'm a band director, and we've got the same problem at music concerts. A few years ago I was at the national music teacher's convention and went to one of the sponsored concerts. Essentially everyone there was a music teacher. Right as things were getting started, a cell phone rang a few seats over from me- you could hear the muttering from angry concert goers for several rows. When the lady had the audacity to actually ANSWER her phone (rather than just sheepishly turn it to silent) people literally stood up and turned around to give her the stink eye. I believe she was very nearly lynched that night.

I admit to checking my phone... (1)

dkuntz (220364) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149723)

But I pull it only half out of my pocket, hit the button, see if the text I got was from my kids or if there's an urgent issue requiring me to leave the theater to make a call, or go home/work. So maximum exposure time is less than 3 seconds, and any light would be directly to my left (so, the stairs, or my wife...), or reflected off my pants.

How to treat movie goers talking on their phones (4, Interesting)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149725)

like this [youtube.com]

I don't support the Movie Industry (3, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | 1 year,28 days | (#44149737)

I find that supporting the Movie or Music industry is like giving money to my local mafia. Something I will NOT do.

So going to theaters is out of the question.

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