When people ask what killed off cinemas thirty years from now on, we can safely say that it wasn't piracy and it wasn't 3D.
It was this. This genuinely stupid idea by US cinema chain AMC and its new CEO, Adam Aron. During an interview about the cinema chain's gusto for experimentation, the subject of phones in cinemas was brought up and Aron came up with this doozy. "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. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life."
"At the same time, though, we’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences. There’s a reason there are ads up there saying turn off your phone, because today’s moviegoer doesn’t want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on."
Oh, it gets better / worse. Read on. When he was asked about allowing specific sections of a cinema for texting, he doubled down. "What may be more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly."
Are you actually serious? No, really. Are you actually f**king serious here? This is up there with thinking the Millennium Clock in Dublin could work or Martine McCutcheon thinking she could have a singing career. It might sound like a good idea for about two minutes until you actually consider it and realise that it will never and can never work.
We're on record as saying that anyone who openly uses a phone during a screening deserves to be thrown out because, come on, you're there to watch a film. If you have to take a call, absolutely, step outside and answer it. This isn't an old crotchety thing either. There's such a thing as actually having respect for the people sitting next to you. Sure, you might not like the film and answering a text might seem like fair game, but there's people around you. And yes, that light really is distracting.
Perhaps putting all those who can't adhere to simple courtesy into one screening might be a good idea, but that's enabling them.
Texting-friendly screenings? Piss off. No. Not in this life. Ban this sick filth now.