4:55 pm EDT, April 14, 2016

AMC Theaters says they may let people text during movies

In an attempt to be down with the teens, head of AMC Entertainment Adam Aron says his movie theater chain isn’t against letting texting happen in some of their theaters.

Aron told Variety that the younger generations are interested in being allowed to text while seeing a movie, and he’s up for letting them do that.

“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,” Aron says. “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life. At the same time, though, 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 proposes that if they ever allow texting it won’t be in all of their theaters. “What may be more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly,” he said.

Texting is almost always frowned upon because the screen’s bright light is distracting in a dark theater to those who are sitting around the texter. Naturally, these comments caused a backlash online, and led AMC Theaters to clarify Aron’s comments on Twitter:

This sounds like a slippery slope to me. If you allow texting, moviegoers may decide they can use their phones for a longer period of time since they’d be officially allowed to use them. Whereas, currently, most people rush to send a text so they don’t bother their neighbors for longer than they “have to.”

I can also imagine studios being weary about this new rule. Being allowed to use your phone could encourage moviegoers to, say, Snapchat a scene from the movie that’s playing before them. The new rule could cause an increase in piracy and spoilers.

We hope the backlash to Aron’s remarks causes AMC to wait a long while before considering this idea again. Call me a scrooge, but kids need to be reminded that it is okay to be separated from their phones for a couple of hours a week. This is one of the last places where they’re strongly encouraged to let go of their digital world for a small period of time. It’s bad enough that texting happens when it does in the theater. It doesn’t need to be made any worse.

Do you think AMC should make the kids happy?

Source: Variety

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