You can strike it from the record, but AMC honcho Adam Aaron’s suggestion that the world’s largest theatre chain allow texting in designated auditoriums will forever stick in this juror’s mind.
It began on Wednesday when Variety published an interview with the head of AMC Entertainment. In it, Aaron publicly toyed with the idea of sectioning off select auditoriums and making them text- and mobile device-friendly.
One can’t begin to contemplate the horror of sitting in a theater that sanctioned this type of violently insane behavior. There’d be more light leaks than a Sergio Leone train station. Why not stock concession stands with bullhorns and laser pointers while you’re at it?
Friend and devoted multiplex front-liner, Jim Hemphill, didn’t appear flustered by the proposition. “I honestly don't understand why cinephiles have a problem with this,” Jim told his Facebook minions. ”I say let the imbeciles who want to text during movies have their own screens and keep them away from the rest of us. As long as use of cellphones in the non-texting screens is punishable by death.”
I don’t want the children and grandchildren I’ll never have growing up in a world where texting and cinema have become synonymous. After calming down, it became apparent just how much we can all benefit from the helpful radiance of Jim’s expounding. Sweetening the air of earmarked auditoriums with the delicate fragrance of Zyklon-B is one way to forever eliminate weakling texters. Force offending ticket buyers to wear armbands and I’m all for it!
It appears that we have won the battle. In a press release issued today, Aaron conceded, “We have heard loud and clear this is a concept our audience does not want.” If ever there was a, "No shit, Sherlock" moment, it's this.
There are but three people in the world who need to be on call 24 hours: doctors, lawyers, and Al Sharpton. All others should be instructed to return their mobile devices to the glove box. Only a mental patient would pay $16 for the privilege of checking their email midmovie.
Unless you have the attention span of a pineapple, there’s no reason one can’t sit silently in the darkness long enough to enjoy a movie.
Beefy jocks need work too. Why not employ a few high school gridiron stars capable of showing a little muscle as ushers? Instead of preshow cartoon reminders to silence your phone, how about a slide that reads, “We value our customers right to an enjoyable and uninterrupted moviegoing experience. If there is someone using a mobile device during the presentation, report it to an usher and we will see to it that the offending snot-for-brains is bounced.”
We’ll never reach the point where movie theaters are deemed phone-free zones. Now that AMC’s ears are open, hear this: it’s one thing to put to rest this silly notion. Patrons have made clear their contempt. It’s time AMC and other chains did something to ensure their patrons a phone-free experience.