America's biggest cinema chain wants to let people use their smartphones during movies

By midian182 · 20 replies
Apr 14, 2016
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  1. It’s hard to go anywhere these days without seeing people staring at their smartphones, but one place that still asks you turn them off is the cinema. But even this may be about to change. In an interview with Variety, Adam Aron, CEO of one the biggest cinema chains in the world, AMC, said the company is considering allowing phones to be used in its US theaters.

    Aron said the plan was to draw more Millenials into cinemas as a way of improving the industry’s dwindling audience. “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. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life,” he said.

    "We need to reshape our product in some concrete ways so that millennials go to movie theatres with the same degree of intensity as baby boomers went to movie theatres throughout their lives."

    Aron admits that while the idea may appeal to some people, not everyone is going to appreciate having the glare of multiple smartphone screens disturbing their cinema experience.

    “We’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences. There’s a reason there are ads up there saying turn off your phone, because today’s moviegoer doesn’t want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on.”

    Aron did offer one possible solution that could potentially benefit everyone. He suggested designating certain auditoriums as ‘texting friendly,’ which would hopefully mean that those who can’t bear to go without checking their phone every few minutes can watch a movie in one screening room while everyone else can use another.

    Whether we do ever see ‘texting screens’ appearing in any of AMC’s cinemas remains to be seen. So far, the idea isn’t being very well received, with most people saying, rightly, that keeping a phone turned off during a movie isn’t a difficult task.

    Image credit: wavebreakmedia / shutterstock

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  2. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,340   +1,436

    Maybe if it didn't cost an arm and a **** to go to a theater more people would go. And people being addicted to there phones is another problem, I can only imagine what the roads will look like in 10 years.....
    Brock Kane, LiveResistance and 9Nails like this.
  3. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,073   +428

    Roads won't be much different than they are now.
    wastedkill likes this.
  4. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 426   +278

    "Aron said the plan was to draw more Millenials into cinemas as a way of improving the industry’s dwindling audience"...And in doing so will drive away everyone else... So all this will do is shift the demographic not increase the numbers... who wants to be surrounded by a bunch of ignorant phone zombies when they are trying to watch a film that cost a fare amount to see. also who is going to check their phones when the movies over to make sure they didn't record it, (because ya know, piracy paranoia).
    psycros, LiveResistance and Duckeenie like this.
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +1,083

    The costs are high for a reason. Money made from the tickets goes to the people would made it and concessions is how the theater makes its money. So yea, the consumer loses all the way around and Hollywood continues to bathe in our filthy money. XD

    OK as for the main topic, BAD IDEA. If you seriously can't live without your phone for a couple of hours, then you might want to seek help.
    Brock Kane and psycros like this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,735   +3,706

    Lets see if I can get this straight. Aron wants to open the doors for anyone willing to pay for a movie, while using their smartphone. Aron is also willing to infuriate those not willing to share their movies with inconsiderate smartphone users. Yeah I thought so, it is a simple concept. Although I can't see how this will work out for them financially. People are either willing to watch a movie or use their smartphone. Anything in between will only serve as a disruption and loss of business.
    wastedkill and psycros like this.
  7. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,340   +1,436

    aside from the fact we'll have 30 million more drivers on the road using their phones at the wheel. At least right now MOST drivers can go a whole movie without using their phone. I don't many people realize just how addicted todays kids are to their phones. It's a serious problem that we wont fully see the effects of for another 10-15 years. We are just now starting to see how big of a problem this is with distracted drivers and now movie theaters considering letting people use their phones.
    psycros likes this.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,735   +3,706

    Ahh yeah that brings up another topic. If they want me to spend my money to watch a movie they will either reduce the concession price and include it into the price of the movie or allow me to bring my own.

    And one final thing. I would be willing to part with my money more freely, if it didn't make total assh-oles of most the actors. When ever they get the attitude they are better than everyone else, they don't deserve anymore money.
    psycros, LiveResistance and stewi0001 like this.
  9. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    That is plain stupid. Me and my friends are of the "millenials" generation and we hate people using the smartphone in theaters; that's plain disrespect to others trying to enjoy the movie, every source of light is a distraction. If you go to watch a movie, you focus in the movie!! You can keep checking your smartphone any other time without limits.
  10. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,000   +1,320

    If I have to deal with peoples phones through the movie im not going anymore. its that simple. Seeing 10 little phone screens in a dark theatre is actually really annoying for something im playing 2 hours worth of work to see.
    psycros likes this.
  11. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 440   +223

    Exactly what I was thinking, who the hell goes to the movie to text on their phone? Chances are if they are in the theater texting they probably didn't even pay for the ticket, so how is this supposed to generate AMC more money?
  12. MannerMauler

    MannerMauler TS Addict Posts: 183   +44

    Wow, I won't be going to AMC anymore, good thing my town has a Cinemark theater.

    Just wait until this policy starts, they'll lose tons of customers, resulting in loss of revenue and quite a few other things that will make some rich dude cry at all the lost money.
    psycros likes this.
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,829   +634

    So let me get this straight, either your a Baby-boomer born between 1946 and 1964 or your a millennial born after 1994? So anyone born between 1964 and 1994 does not matter to AMC's CEO Adam Aron? Are you god damn serious?

    Honestly how much could it cost to employ the 6 people working at the movie theater at minimum wage? Sure as hell doesn't justify paying $15 for a drink and popcorn (the cheapest form of food known to man) and actually fountain drinks are pretty ridiculously cheap if McD's can do dollar drinks any size all summer. So maybe try reducing the cost a little to encourage young people to go to the theater? Personally I sneak in food and drinks because I refuse to pay the extortion prices they charge. Then there's the 3D BS fad that needs to die for any movie not made for children, but really it's an excuse to charge more, because at $11.95 your not already paying too much.

    But wait, the solution is to allow dildos to use their cell phones during a movie, great idea, drive away the rest of the audience so you can corner that tiny *** demographic of people too stupid to look where they walk let alone feel the need to go to a movie theater, these people are often enough happy to watch shows and movies on their smart phones. But no, we need these individuals ruining movie theaters for the rest of us so they can in turn raise the rates because of diminishing audiences...

    If there's one thing I can be happy about, I have no AMC theater in my area, there's one downtown but why would I go all the way there to see a movie with dildos on their cell phones?
    psycros and LiveResistance like this.
  14. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    Stupidest. Idea. Ever.

    People not going to movies as much has absolutely nothing to do with having to turn off their phones during the movie. There are two simple reasons why people don't go to movies as much any more: 1. Consistent ticket price increases made it too expensive and 2. Most movies released these days are awful.

    So when I listen to this guy talk out of his ***, what I'm actually hearing is this: Our movies are crap and they're too expensive, but instead of addressing those two key issues we'll try every other ridiculous idea instead.

    In other news, even though they claim that less and less people are going to the movies, they still seem to be making record breaking profits every year. Funny how that works when you factor in the fact that they constantly ***** and moan about losing billions to piracy every year. My guess is that the constant increase of ticket prices more than makes up for less movie goers *and* their claims of rampant piracy.
    psycros and LiveResistance like this.
  15. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +64

    Yes it is. I think the zombie apocalypse is real. They don't look like the zombies on The Walking Dead, they're really all the kids on their dumb phones.
  16. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 174   +68 really a ridiculous article and statement from AMC. I don't personally know any millenials that want or need to check their phone during a movie. I don't know anyone who wants to be interrupted during a movie. Sounds like anyone born before 1994 are old news at least to AMC.
    psycros likes this.
  17. JayT1803

    JayT1803 TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +23

    This must be a joke.
  18. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,877   +1,298

    Yeah, I'm sure all the Gen-X'ers - the BIGGEST MOVIEGOING DEMOGRAPHIC - is happy being treated like they don't exist. Heloooo, Netflix!
  19. DwayneAK

    DwayneAK TS Rookie

    “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. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life”

    My parents use their phones way more than I do, my mother doesn't hear a word I say when she's browsing Facebook. When I go to the theater I'm there to watch a movie, and I don't want to be distracted by my phone vibrating in my pocket, so I'm more than willing to turn it off. I also put my phone on silent while I sleep so if my family dies in a car crash while I was sleeping and the hospital calls me I'll still get a good nights sleep. I wish this old **** would stop thinking he knows something about people 40 years younger than him. Dude looks like Ebenezer Scrooge.
  20. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    In 10-15 years there'll be other things to be addicted to and smartphones will most likely be obsolete.
  21. Brock Kane

    Brock Kane TS Addict Posts: 184   +104

    This CEO is a fricking *****! No, I'm serious! The world of Idiocracy continues!

    So, letting Millenials use their cell phones during a movie is about as OK as them using them in church or how about even better, during a funeral mass.

    Even if you let them use their phones for texting, what next....a hundred different "ring tones" echoing through the theater??? What is this Adam Aron smoking??? This idea is probably the single most moronic idea I have ever heard!

    Hey Mr. Aron, let me know how this works out for ya! LMAO !!!!

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