AMC rules against texting in its theaters

Theater Texting

Implementations Specialist Nick Allgeier checks his phone in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater, Monday, April 25, 2016. [Photo by Hayley Knoph]

With modern society’s obsession with new technology, the illumination of the smartphone screen is seemingly inescapable. The sacred untouched darkness of the movie theater was even at risk of being disturbed by the glow—that is until AMC chief executive Adam Aron backed down from his idea of allowing cell phone usage in the theater chain.

“When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow” Aron said in an interview with Variety on April 13.

Tweets

Moviegoers respond on Twitter to Adam Aron’s tweet regarding the possible allowance of texting in theaters. Screenshot taken Tuesday, April 26.

Aron later clarified via Twitter that texting would only be allowed in a few theaters rather than in front of every screen, but many movie consumers were still repulsed by the proposition. They quickly took to social media to voice their opinions.

 

On April 15, just two days after Aron originally announced the idea, AMC tweeted a statement explaining that the prospect of allowing texting during movies was dropped in response to the social media’s adverse reaction to it.

“With your advice in hand, there will be NO TEXTING ALLOWED in any of the auditoriums at AMC Theaters,” Aron explained in the statement. “Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future.”

Technology use in theaters has become a controversy since its advent. Since Aron specifically cited that 22-year-olds have the inability to turn their phones off during a movie, undergraduate students from the University of Denver were asked to share their opinions on the issue.

Sophie Hickcox Cropped

Question: How do you feel about texting in movie theaters?                          Sophie Hickcox: If your brightness is really low and if you’re being nonchalant about it, but if you’re being really annoying about it or the vibrate’s on, then it’s kind of obnoxious. (Sturm Hall, Wednesday, April 20.)      [Photo by Hayley Knoph]

Sophie Hickcox stressed that being discreet is key for whether texting in a theater is acceptable or not.

 

“If your brightness is down really low and if you’re being nonchalant,” Hickcox described as being okay, but more overt phone usage is “kind of obnoxious.”

Philip Rudyk

Question: How do you feel about texting in movie theaters?                                       Philip Rukyk: I think it’s annoying personally. I mean, I don’t do it myself, but if someone else does it, I think it’s pretty annoying. It’s just distracting. I’m trying to enjoy a movie, I don’t want someone’s light flashing over here. (Jazzman’s Cafe, Wednesday, April 20.)        [Photo by Hayley Knoph]

Other students, however, seemed to disagree with texting in theaters at all.

“It’s just distracting,” Philip Rudyk divulged, stating that other people texting during movies can be annoying. “I’m trying to enjoy a movie, I don’t want someone’s light flashing over here.”

 

In addition to the distraction that cell phones cause to other movie attendees, they also can distract the cell phone users themselves. University of Denver student Sarah Weiner suggests that the person texting isn’t able to completely to enjoy the film either.

“Why would you go to a movie if you’re just gonna sit there and text?”

Sarah Weiner Cropped

Question: How do you feel about texting in movie theaters?                                   Sarah Weiner: Why would you go to a movie if you’re just gonna sit there and text? (Sturm Hall, Wednesday, April 20.) [Photo by Hayley Knoph]

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2 thoughts on “AMC rules against texting in its theaters

  1. I think your article is very interesting and the inclusion of the Tweets in response to Adam Aron’s idea of allowing cellphones in theaters is excellent, as it provides us with additional context from the general public, rather than just the opinions of students at DU. I am glad they decided against allowing cellphones in theaters because I think it is nice to escape our phones for the duration of a movie in order to really enjoy the experience. I think allowing phones would prevent people from going to the theatre, as many movies are pirated and uploaded online for internet users to access for free. I think people would be more apt to stay in and watch movies online rather then pay admission price to sit in a theatre full of “22-year-olds” texting, as it would distract movie viewers from fully enjoying the content and the experience.

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Hayley! I liked reading this article because of its relevance to me, personally. As a moviegoer in Colorado, I will admit to using my phone in a movie theater in my life. This article sheds light on two opposing viewpoints, and I especially liked how you drew in different types of media (Twitter, and quotes from Variety) to explain these perspectives. I would say that I think texting can be distracting, and from now on I will keep that in mind when I visit movie theaters. I think your interviews asked great questions that succinctly gathered public opinion. Thanks for giving me insight into an issue happening around me!

    Like

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