Tag Archives: interactive

Should movie theaters cater to cellphone users?

EARNS+REGAL+ENTERTAINMENT

Texting in a darkened movie theater used to be considered a serious breach of the movie-watching experience.
But bad manners could become the norm.
Blogger Hunter Walk recently sparked a fire storm with a post suggesting that movie theaters should cater to those who want to text and otherwise interact with the world while watching a movie.
“Instead of driving people like me away from the theater, why not just segregate us into environments which meet our needs. I’d love to watch Pacific Rim in a theater with a bit more light, wifi, electricity outlets and a second screen experience,” he wrote.
The San Francisco blogger received hundreds of comments — many, but not all, of them were negative.
Forbes media and entertainment contributor Scott Mendelson responded with a lengthy column on why Walk’s suggestion is a disturbing idea.
“It’s not just a blow against civilized movie-going, the ability to turn off the constant flow of digital information, and the idea that people should actually follow the rules of the establishments they choose to visit; it’s a blow for variety in the kinds of movies that arrive at a theater near you,” Mendelson wrote.
But Walk’s suggestion could gain traction.
The largest movie theater network in the country — Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment Group — recently held a special “interactive” showing of “Sharknado” in Los Angeles.
“Usually we ask guests to keep the cell phones off during shows and not to distract others. But for ‘Sharknado’ half the fun is sharing a reaction, and hearing a riff from someone else,” Regal senior vice president Neal Pinsker said in a news release.
The “Sharkanado” event may have been a success but I’m with Mendelson. Movie theaters should be texting-free zones — at least while the movie is on.
Click here for the Hunter Walk post.
Click here for Mendelson’s response.