Nowadays, movies are one of the only chances we get to unwind, forget about the annoyances of professional and social life and have an hour or two in contentment, benefiting from a meditative cinematic experience.
We then dive into our perfectly buttered popcorn and glance up at the Minion ‘Dave’, who comically reminds us in the pre-screening advertisement the importance of turning off all cellular devices prior to the film. And as cinema etiquette stands, we ALL turn off our phones or place them on silent, not to disturb the peace and serenity of the big screen. Yet could all of this change?
Earlier during the week, Variety sat down with new CEO of AMC theatres Adam Aron at the annual CinemaCon event in Los Vegas to discuss the alarming new prospect for his cinema chain. Aron’s plan involves growing the company by appealing more to millennials, stating, “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.”
Thankfully, Aron did eventually regain some composure and realized that not all 22-year-olds are solely dependent on Snap-chatting their slightly bitten choc top and the opening credits of the film.
He continued to parade the obvious and say, “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.”
However, those of you who are not 22 years old and have a fixation with letting people know where you are and what you’re doing all the time, there is still the possibility that this ‘up and coming revelation’ will not affect you. When asked by Variety if there will be certain sections for texting, Aron responded, “what may be more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly.”
To be honest, I don’t mind if Adam Aron trials some of these ‘texting friendly’ cinemas. Firstly, because I trust moviegoers not to be foolish enough to support this passing phase. And secondly, AMC cinemas can do as they please, just so long that they are clearly marked and alienated from conventional auditoriums so there is absolutely no chance I may somehow walk into one by accident.