Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's About Time (12/20/05)

(From IMDB News)

Theater Owners Want To Block Cell Phone Signals
The National Association of Theater Owners has asked the FCC for permission to block cell phone signals in theaters. NATO President
John Fithian said that the use of phones during movie presentations is one of the reasons for this year's slump in ticket sales. A Washington D.C-based cell phone lobby has already gone on record as opposing such a move on the grounds that it would prevent the use of a cell phone in case of an emergency.

I am so for this. Of course people will argue about the positives of (or negatives of losing) cellphones in theaters. How will it go?

"But what if we're taken hostage in the theater? How would we get help?"

Then why can't the manager call the police from his or her office? Plus, if you're taken hostage, the cops are gonna find out. Most hostage takers have a list of demands to be met. Also, why would they choose a movie theater?

"Ok, but what about a medical emergency? Heart attack or something?"

Well, most movie theaters now carry portable defibrillators (you know, the paddles). Those have been shown to help tremendously while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. You would have to go to the manager to get that anyway.

"Well, like, my friends and I, are like, supposed to, like, meet up. How are we to, like, do that if we can't, like, call each other."

Once upon a time, people would make plans to meet ahead of time. Then, they would designate an area (say, the front of the movie theater) and a time (how about ten minutes before showtime?). It was a wacky concept.
Look, you find a place to meet, and then you do it. You need to talk to someone? Go outside or in the lobby. That's the point. These owners want the signals blocked in the ACTUAL theaters. I don't want to listen to you complain about how Mr. McCoullough made you, shock of shocks, write a paper.
I also don't want to hear you and your friends text each other during the movie. What the hell is that? You want to be in the movie theater? Watch the movie. If you two want to talk about the movie or Mr. Mc, then wait until after it's over.

Here's the bottom line as I see it:
Yes, if there's an emergency, you will have to go to the manager, but the benefits outweigh the detractions.
No more ringing in theaters, no more obnoxious idiots answering their phones or texting, no more people trying to record parts of films using their cellphones (helps cut down on piracy. Got that theater owners?), and no more having to listen to stupid conversations from people speaking so loud the other theaters can hear them.
Do I think that cellphones could be part of the problem for a ticket sales' slump? Sure. So is disappointing movies, obnoxious patrons, cost, and a little bit of laziness. (I mean why go when it will be on TV or DVD in a few months?)
So, I'm all for blocking cell phone signals in movie theaters. The signal needs to work in the lobby, but once in the dark confines, no one should be on the phone.
I also think the same thing should be done on Broadway. Sure, it's fun to watch Kevin Spacey answer a person's phone and chew out the caller, but it would be easier not to have to deal with the ringing.
Maybe it's just me, but I think this is one tiny little step to making life better.


Admin Worm said...

One of the primary things that holds me back from seeing more movies is knowing that fellow patrons will by and large be terribly rude.

Hell, my wife and I went to a play recently and it was amazing how many people couldn't go 70 minutes without hearing themselves speak.

faith said...

I agree Leab! It should happen!!!

sopheava said...

This is precisely the reason I don't own a cellphone. Because there's nothing so urgent that I need to have it on me at all times. Plus when I'm with someone say, oh I don't know, maybe having dinner, the last thing I want is for the damn phone to ring. It's rude and.. and.. and.. and all the things you said.

There, I feel a little better now.