The hubbub began when new AMC CEO Adam Aron told Variety that the theater chain wanted to attract more younger viewers, and was considering devoting specific sections of screenings -- or even entire auditoriums -- to texting devotees.
"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," Aron told the trade. "You can't tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That's not how they live their life."
While the CEO acknowledged that there would have to be certain ground rules in place for such a proposal to succeed, since the majority of moviegoers would still prefer their experience uninterrupted by glowing screens, apparently Aron did not foresee just how strongly audiences felt. The idea was met by a huge backlash on AMC's social media accounts, and the CEO of Alamo Drafthouse (a chain famous for its strict "no texting" policy) also voiced his disapproval.
AMC responded on Friday, announcing that it would immediately abandon the texting plan. In a lengthy statement released on the company's Facebook page, Aron said that while AMC is always striving to enhance and update the theatrical experience for its guests, in this case, it had missed the mark.
The statement said, in part:
Unlike the many AMC advancements that you have applauded, we have heard loud and clear that this is a concept our audience does not want. In this age of social media, we get feedback from you almost instantaneously and as such, we are constantly listening. Accordingly, just as instantaneously, this is an idea that we have relegated to the cutting room floor.
With your advice in hand, there will be NO TEXTING ALLOWED in any of the auditoriums at AMC Theatres. Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future.
You can read the entire statement here. Just make sure it's not on your phone inside of a dark AMC theater.
[via: Variety, AMC]
Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images