Movie theater execs at CinemaCon (a conference, about the cinema) recently discussed the merits of allowing cellphone use in theaters:
IMAX’s Greg Foster seemed to like the idea of relaxing the absolute ban on phone use in theaters. His 17-year-old son “constantly has his phone with him,” he says. “We want them to pay $12 to $14 to come into an auditorium and watch a movie. But they’ve become accustomed to controlling their own existence.” Banning cell phone use may make them “feel a little handcuffed.”
Greg Foster, I bite my thumb at you sir. And who cares about your son’s $14, it’s not even his! I’m worried about my $14, and how it will have been spent for naught if your son and his terrible glowy phone even make an appearance during my movie.
Richard Rushfield’s response to this idiotic debate is fantastic, and you should read every glorious word of it (“Let’s just be absolutely clear on this question so there is no wiggle room: if you text during a movie when there is any other person in the theater, you are the scum of human existence”). But most importantly, we all must internalize that if we see something (like, a terrible person texting in the movie theater), me must say something (like, “I will cut you if you don’t put that thing away”):
So here is the only sensible response to this ever growing threat at our theaters:
1. If you see someone text, don’t be such a coward. Ask them to stop. Your fellow patrons will love and admire you for it.
2. If they refuse to stop, ask the theater manager to remove them. (I know, you’ll feel like a snitch. Get over it. I’ve had a multitude of kids throw out of movies, and it’s the best feeling on Earth.)
3. If the theater manager refuses to take action, ask for your money back and write to the chain asking if this is their policy and informing them that you will never attend their cinemas again.
I’ve never gotten anyone kicked out of a movie theater, but I am confrontational in that sticky sweet way. The last time I was a movie theater superhero: The girl in front of me texted throughout the first twenty minutes of the latest Twilight (which, I don’t even understand — that should have been a sacred space to teens, I thought?). I decided I’d give her until the end of the wedding scene (MORE THAN FAIR) to stop, because maybe she was comforting someone who was dying in a ditch somewhere, IDK. She didn’t stop. So I leaned forward and said: “I’m so sorry you bother you, but are you going be texting the entire movie? I just want to know if I should move seats.” She turned around and called me a bitch and told me to mind my own business. I moved, she continued texting, and I stayed in the theater until the end of the credits lest she be waiting to jump me. You win some, you lose some.