Thursday, April 26, 2012

Texting during films, yeah, it's cool.

In a move that The Onion could not make up, a recent panel on film industry issues debated the concept of allowing theater patrons to text while watching a film. Billy Donnelly has a mind-bending, furiosity-inducing article over on Ain't it Cool News, HERE.
Sony Pictures, Regal Entertainment, and IMAX are all mentioned as endorsing the idea. Donnelly writes that the majority of those in attendance were keen on letting audience members text. The only real dissent was from Tim League of The Alamo Drafthouse chain of theaters. The topic came up as a possible way to woo young folks into theaters. Everyone involved seems to wax nostalgic for the old days, but they seem to forget the concept of reasonable ticket and snack prices for young people and the thing that really drove us to the theater, double features.
As theaters make the unfortunate move to digital projection, studios are saving boatloads of money on printing and shipping 35mm prints. Will the rental of films become cheaper for theaters? Once the hump of re-equiping is paid for, they should. But I think we know better.
Donnelly's article is well written and appropriately passionate. I love his take on IMAX's reaction to the new idea:
However, leave it to Greg Foster from IMAX to be the icing on the cake. His 17-year-old son always has his phone on him... I guess that makes him special from the rest of the population that also does, but Foster's theory on the matter is this: "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.” He also believes they may “feel a little handcuffed" by not being able to use their phones during a movie. Good!! They're supposed to feel handcuffed. It's a rule that's been established for the greater good for the greatest number of people... not just for your kid. I guess people might feel a little handcuffed by their ability to just walk into a bank and take whatever money they want, too, regardless of whether or not it belongs to them, but guess what? That's the rule, unless you want to take the chance of winding up in handcuffs. Maybe it's my abundance of common sense, but I'm not seeing why anyone would want to cater to this particular crowd, when the majority of people who do follow the rules on not using your cell phone during a movie also have $12 to $14 they're willing to pay for a few hours of entertainment.

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