Don’t bring a cell phone to a movie theater. Just, don’t do it. Leave it in the car. Keep it at home. Because pulling a phone out in a theater can get you yelled at. It can get you in a fist fight. It can get you shot. And now? It can get you involved in a mace fight.
At least, that’s what happened during a screening of Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, according to Mashable. The film was screening at the Chinese Theater in downtown Hollywood as part of the American Film Institute festival. An eyewitness tells the site that the man in the back of the theater asked a woman who was sitting near the front to turn off her phone, because the light from the device was clearly visible. He might have made the final mistake when he reportedly tapped the woman on the shoulder to get her attention after being ignored. According to the eyewitness:
She stands up and starts cursing, saying 'You hit me, you hit me, I'm going to call the police.’"
Instead of calling the police, however, she took matters into her own hands. She ignored the pleas of people around her asking her to turn off her phone. She dug in her bag for a bottle of mace, pulled off the cap, and "sprayed him at point-blank range," according to Mashable.
It probably looked a little bit like this. (As you might imagine this clip is NSFW):
The report goes on the say that after pepper spraying the gentleman who was merely asking her to turn off her cellphone and stop texting, the woman sat back down and tried to "enjoy" the movie. Between text messages. But after a few minutes, security guards came in and asked her to leave. She quietly complied.
There is no way I can personally condone anything that this woman did, so long as the reports are accurate. Texting in a movie theater is bad. If the guy in the back was asking politely – or even with a sense of urgency – then she’s completely wrong for overreacting the way that she did. Leave the theater. Get a manager. Take the argument outside, so others can enjoy an awards-worthy drama like Mr. Turner. Knowing what we know about previous theater encounters, the maced man can be happy he’s still alive. Is this what it has come to?