Once upon a time, cell phones were discouraged from being used in movie theaters. There were policies that clamped down on the usage of electronic devices, and places like Tim League's Alamo Drafthouse helped lead the charge against those who would disrupt the movie-going experience of their fellow spectators. However, as time has gone on, texting in the movie is slowly being normalized, with Apple's proposed "theater mode" prompting League to make his feelings known through the following tweet:
Tim League's Twitter is where the man himself drew a line in the sand, separating those who know that nay such activity into a class of person that he'll gladly deliver some theoretical violence to. Considering the long history of Alamo Drafthouse's campaigns against unwanted audience participation at the movies, we're surprised the warning was this light. All of this, of course, spurs from the rumor that the next iPhone software update would contain a mode making things easier on those who want to text away an entire movie. So, of course, all of this conversation could be for naught.
While there's been a slow growing movement to cater towards in-theater texting, this is the first time that a cell phone manufacturer has gotten into the mix. However, Tim League is used to fighting this battle for the side of the film-goer, as he's not only been an outspoken advocate for preserving the theatrical experience, his company has been providing some of the best PSAs in the field of anti-cell phone usage in the audience. In fact, one of them was with the voice of Siri herself, Susan Bennett. Oh what simpler times, when the machines were on our side.
Though Tim League isn't really going to threaten bodily harm towards Apple CEO Tim Cook, one does have to wonder that should "Theater Mode" be approved for inclusion on the next iPhone update, would League form any sort of legal challenge to counter? After all, a case could be made that the usage of a cell phone at the movies is distracting to audience members, and thus is wasting the time and money of those just trying to enjoy a movie. We're not entirely sure how such a suit would work, but it's something that should be kept in mind by any phone developers who want to stay on the good side of Tim League, and theater owners in general.
In the meantime, until your phone somehow has a "distraction free" mode, or theaters some how implement those "text friendly" showings they were previously kicking around, keep your devices stowed and silenced while you're at the movies. A lot of money went into making those movies, bringing them to your hometown, and giving you those nice recliners to watch them in. And let's face it, you didn't pay top tier ticket prices just to look at your phone, did you?