“But, Mark,” you may be saying, “wasn’t texting already banned?”
For a change, you are correct. Until last week, anyway. That’s when AMC floated the idea of allowing people to text in a few theaters it was going to set aside for that audience.
This proposal was met with the kind of reception usually reserved for ebola patients. Irate movie fans bombarded AMC with texts and tweets, probably sent from movie theaters. And AMC responded with a tweet of its own:
NO TEXTING AT AMC. Won’t happen. You spoke. We listened. Quickly, that idea has been sent to the cutting room floor.
Wow. You people are very impressive. I’m talking to you tweeters and texters out there. You forced a major corporation to discard the type of terrible idea that, in earlier days, almost certainly would have been implemented. If only Twitter had been around when New Coke was introduced.
In a press release, AMC elaborated on its non-action:
“Unlike many AMC advancements that you have applauded, we have heard loud and clear that this is a concept our audience does not want.”
This statement raises a few questions about the advancements we have applauded:
- Who out there clapped when movie theaters started showing ads before the movies?
- Who cheered when theaters decided that showtimes were only approximations and thought it was just terrific when the films started as much as half an hour later than the posted time?
- Who rose for a standing ovation over the availability in the concession area of actual meals (pizza! chicken!) which can then be consumed noisily during the movie?
Getting back to AMC’s statement, I’ll readily admit that I was not one of the folks who tweeted loud and clear about the texting idea. Not only because I have no idea how to use Twitter, but also because I didn’t think the texting theater thing was such a horrible concept.
Yes, that’s right. Like Ted Cruz, who last week declared his support of Godfather Part III, I can also get behind bad movie ideas. While I can certainly see downsides to the segregation of texters at the movies (fewer screens available for smaller films, for instance), I recognize a major advantage, namely that my wife wouldn’t get into fights. (Last year, I documented one of her altercations with texting movie goers in a post called “Near Race Riot in Selma.”)
Seriously, though–why not do special screenings for unbearably rude people? Not only texters, but also people who scream at characters in the movie; old couples who have to repeat dialogue for each other; men who try to impress their dates by loudly and often incorrectly spouting inane movie trivia during the film (“Ryan Reynolds is the only actor who has played both DC and Marvel superheroes”); young couples who are too cheap to get babysitters for their crying infants; imbeciles who bring tuna fish sandwiches or celery sticks to the movies; and fashion plates who do not remove ridiculously high headwear.
I say give them all a theater of their own, a cinematic lunatic asylum if you will, so that I can sit in peace with my tub of buttery-substance covered popcorn (who applauded buttery substances, I wonder) and enjoy the friggin’ $12.50 movie.
See you soon.
P.S. Ben Affleck, too. I’ll let you figure out what this refers to.