Wednesday, July 25, 2012

To Text or Not To Text?

We've all been in this situation: you're sitting in a dark theater, excitedly watching a film you've eagerly been waiting a long time to see, when all of sudden an bright flood of light in your peripheral vision distracts you from the action onscreen - someone in the theater is texting. OMG!

How do we define movie theater etiquette? Sure, we all silence our phones before a movie, but what about texting? How much of this does it actually take away from the movie-going experience? Texting in theaters has been the subject of a debate amongst movie theater owners - some argue that restricting use of text messaging during a film is excessive. IMAX Filmed Entertainment chief Greg Foster is in favor of allowing text messaging, saying "We want [youths] to pay $12 to $14 to come into an auditorium and watch a movie. But they’ve become accustomed to controlling their existence." As he sees it, banning text messaging might make them “feel a little handcuffed.” Read more about it here.

Conversely, a movie theater chain is imposing a strict ban on texting and talking: the Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse theater chain warns the audience that anyone in violation of their no-texting/talking ban will promptly be ejected from the theater. "Founder, Tim League, set out to make a theater for and by movie lovers, a place where the concept of "film as art" could exist without any of the usual snobbery. The movie houses have tables where guests can eat fine food and drink beers from local breweries while enjoying the film in front of them." Read more here.

What do you think? Is the banning of text messaging taking it too far? What other distractions take away from your movie-going experience?

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