Let's Stop Texting During Movies!Hurray! At least one smaller movie theater chain (AmStar Cinemas / Grand Theatres nationwide) has banned cell phone usage and other theaters are considering it (Burlington, North Carolina). Maybe you know of others. What can we do to get all exhibitors to do likewise?

Perhaps cell phone / text message movie interrupters need to imagine the following scenario: You're watching a movie at home, you're in the dark all by yourself, you're in the narrative groove, you're caught up with the characters -- and then someone taps you on the shoulder and shines a flashlight in your face. When you motion to the stranger in your house to get the light out of your face, the stranger shrugs his shoulders as if to say, "What? I'm not doing anything wrong."

That's the rough equivalent. Complete strangers routinely and rudely disturb others by pulling out their cell phones, lighting up their equipment, and checking that all-important message. Then they take another few moments to type a response. Sometimes it's a phone call, and the stranger answers it right at their seat. Sometimes they proceed to check other messages, or keep the phone out to wait for a response to their text. Occasionally they think they're being "polite" by angling the phone away from others, which never entirely hides the bright, shining light. Texters know no age boundaries -- I've seen everyone from teens to well-dressed professionals to folks old enough to be my grandparents lighting up and talking or texting away. I've experienced it at public screenings, press screenings, and film festivals. Why do they do it? What can the rest of us do about it?
categories Movies, Cinematical