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AMC Theaters backtracks on 'texting' plan during movies
2016-04-19

The obvious answer would have been, “No, that’s stupid. That’s the exact reason why many people are starting to hate our product.” Instead, here’s what he said:

Yes. 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.

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.

RELATED: Learn how to eliminate corporate jargon and drive business performance with improved communications techniques.
At the risk of sounding like a person who enjoys telling others to get off his lawn, texting in movie theaters is the equivalent of farting on an airplane. I hate the offenders for it—and I’m not alone.

Social media users responded with criticism:

    This AMC theaters allowing texting is just one reason why I would *happily* pay $50 to watch new movies at home.
    — Susan Arendt (@SusanArendt) April 14, 2016

    Dear AMC, please no texting in movies. That is not the experience I am paying for when I go to the movies.
    — TeenLibrarianToolbox (@TLT16) April 15, 2016

    AMC theaters will now allow texting! OUTRAGEOUS! Guess I won't be going to AMC theaters anymore. #amctheaters. I like to enjoy my movie!
    — JT (@KatJak93) April 15, 2016

Though many of the responses on Twitter were pretty measured and thoughtful, the message was clear, prompting AMC to issue the following statements on Facebook and Twitter:

    NO TEXTING AT AMC. Won't happen. You spoke. We listened. Quickly, that idea has been sent to the cutting room floor. pic.twitter.com/JR0fo5megR
    — AMC Theatres (@AMCTheatres) April 15, 2016

Another theater conglomerate, Alamo Drafthouse, saw it as an opportunity to take the peoples’ side. Its founder, Tim League, responded to the discussion with a post of his own:

At the Alamo Drafthouse we are actively engaged in trying to make sure cinema remains a compelling destination for young people, and I agree this should be a focus for the whole industry. I just don't believe that this line of experimentation is the right tactic. A firm policy against talking and texting in the cinema is about respect: for the filmmakers and fellow cinephiles of all ages.

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