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US cinema chain pulls plug on proposal to allow movie-goers to use their mobile phones during films

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

Published 15/04/2016

One in five adults here are smartphone addicts. Picture posed
One in five adults here are smartphone addicts. Picture posed

Can you survive the length of a film without checking your mobile phone?

We've all been there, engrossed in a movie on the big screen and then the bright shining light of someone checking their phone disturbs you.

However this week one of the largest cinema chains in the US is considered letting customers use their mobile phones during films.

Part of the proposal included that you could book into specific auditoriums.

 

AMC chief executive Adam Aron said he wanted to encourage younger people to go to the cinema more, and he thinks relaxing the rules around mobile phone use is the way forward.

He told Variety magazine: "You can't tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That's not how they live their life.

"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.

"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.

"Today's movie-goer doesn't want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on.

"What may be more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting-friendly."

AMC has a UK multi-screen complex in Manchester and has around 400 cinemas in the US.

However, following the "instantaneous" response to the proposal AMC theatres have shelved the idea.

In a statement it said: "We have heard loud and clear that this is a concept our audience does not want. In this age of social media, we get feedback from you almost instantaneously and as such, we are constantly listening. Accordingly, just as instantaneously this is an idea that we have relegated to the cutting room floor.

"With your advice in hand, there will be NO TEXTING ALLOWED in any of the auditoriums at AMC theatres. Not today, not tomorrow and not in the forseeable future."

 

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