Film and TV

It's Time We Start Allowing Cell Phone Use in Movie Theaters

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Then there's your average movie fan, like the one who left the above voicemail, the person that just wants to go out with the friends or loved ones, see the latest flick, and maybe check Twitter two dozen times while the movie plays. For them the movie theater isn't some sacred space that needs to be defended, it's that big room that shows explosions and smells like popcorn.

As you can see, lover of cinema, the days of common courtesy at the movie theater are coming to an end. You can either make peace with that fact, or get crushed by it.

But you need not give up your movie theaters to anarchy. There is another way, a suggestion that everyone knows exists but no one wants to embrace: we need to encourage movie theaters to start having screenings where cell phone use is approved.

By marking off certain screenings as "cell phone friendly" and having other screenings "cell phone free" we might all be able to reach a peace: theater owners and movie studios will be able to allow and encourage cell phone use without alienating those who want a quieter theater experience.

It's not an ideal solution, but it's the only solution that anyone might take seriously. There will still be "cell phone free" theaters - this is not a suggestion that every movie theater everywhere be forced to start allowing cell phones - and "cell phone friendly" screenings would draw away those annoying movie patrons who ruin the experience.

It's cliché, but there are some movies that just have to be seen on a big screen, and unless you're rich enough to have a projector system in your home that means going to the movies. It means finding parking and lines and pre-movie commercials. It means little white screens breaking your focus on the big white screen in front of you. But unless you have a way to change human behavior for the better (and if you do, there are way better applications for it than movie theater etiquette, no offense) the cell phones aren't going away.

Unless, of course, you're willing to allow them on a limited basis.

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Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia