You know that big box office crisis that we've been hearing so much about lately? Well, the Suits have finally pinpointed the cause for it: Cell Phones! NATO (The National Assosciation of Theater Owners, that is, not the free trade org) are currently hard at work trying to get the FCC to block cell phone signals inside of movie theaters. President John Fithian says that as part of theater owners' attempts to bring viewers back to the movies, theaters need to start eliminating "rude behavior." Fithian says this isn't a particularly big step, as many theaters already have no cell phone policies, requiring guests to check their phones at the door. On the other side of this battle is another fancy acronym: CTIA, the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Assosciation. The Washington-based cellular lobbyist group said that it will fight any move to block cell phones, because it interferes with people's ability to use wireless devices in emergency situations.
Am I annoyed by cell phones in theatres? Sure. Do I think we need to get the FCC involved to make a bunch of rules and regulations to prevent it? By all that is good and holy, no. It already drives me nuts that every law/rule making body in the states seems to feel the need to churn out legislation at the drop of the proverbial hat. Take care of it the private sector, like some theaters are already doing – check it at the door. Throw people out who violate the policy. Sure, you won't be able to catch everyone, and sure it'll result in a few seconds of frustration by a theater full of people every now and then. But isn't a few seconds of frustration better than yet more endless federal regulation?