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Quick, name the reason that you stopped going to the movie theaters. Cost of a ticket? Likely. Lack of good choices? Very possible. The annoying people all around you? Bingo. Patrons in movie theaters have become increasingly disruptive, from talking to texting during movie screenings. But one major theater chain believes it might have the answer.
CinemaCon has been going on in Las Vegas, where top movie theater executives are weighing in about the state of the industry. In a conversation with Variety, AMC Entertainment head Adam Aron addressed the possibility of allowing audience members to text during screenings. They way that Aron explained it:
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. … What may be more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly.
It’s a start. And a very real possibility. A few years back, movie theaters floated the possibility of hosting screenings where patrons could tetxx messages at each other that would appear ON the screen. Horrifying, I know, but some people might enjoy that… and movie theaters need to create new reasons for people to come to movie theaters.
The idea of allowing people to text in a theater only sounds inexcusable if you don’t warn people heading INTO the multiplex what they are getting into. If a separate screening is designated solely as a text-friendly screening, then the people in there won’t be disrupted. They’ll be on board. In theory. Right?
Or, we might be seeing more PSAs like this:
Social media, and the rise of technology, continues to be a nightmare for the theater industry. Cellphones are an issues, as are social-media platforms like SnapChat and Periscope. But if the movie theater chains start to change the way theaters operate in order to accommodate the way audiences want to see movies in 2016 (and beyond), will you continue to support them? Or will these initiatives only work to keep you at home? Weigh in below.