CinemaCon is a meeting held in Las Vegas where movie theater owners and movie industry types come together to talk about various aspects of the business of movies, from the latest technologies to the new and stupidly expensive junk food companies will try to sell you in theaters in the near future. Today is the final day of the convention.
This week, during a panel discussion about various issues facing the movie industry in which all of the speakers were high ranking CEOs and representatives from theater chains and studios, a bunch involved in the discussion just kind of, you know, casually mentioned how they’re warming up to the idea of allowing cell phone use in their theaters in a pathetic attempt to loosen the restrictions that they think keep young people from going to the movies as much as they used to.
Greg Foster, one of the executive officers of IMAX, said about kids like his 17-year-old son, “We want them to pay $12 to $14 to come into an auditorium and watch a movie. But they’ve become accustomed to controlling their own existence” and that kids may “feel a little handcuffed.”
You’re goddamn right they do, and they should.
Movie theaters are one of the last bastions of self-control we have left. If you don’t calm down, stop talking, or put away your phone, out of respect for the others around you, you shouldn’t be coddled and told what you’re doing is okay. You should have your ass booted out so the rest of us can watch the movie we paid for. Just because a younger generation can’t help but be experience-ruining dicks doesn’t mean we have to change everything to serve their dickdom. More theater owners should be like Tim League, a co-founder of the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. Tim is kind of a badass when it comes to cell phone use in theaters. Not only did he say this during the Cinemacon discussion…
“Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater. I love the idea of playing around with a new concept. But that is the scourge of our industry… It’s our job to understand that this is a sacred space and we have to teach manners. “
But this is a real voicemail left by a pissed off Alamo Drafthouse customer after she was kicked out for texting during a movie.
You know how before a movie starts there will be that short “please turn off your cell phone” PSA? The video you just watched is one of the PSAs that runs before a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. How do you treat idiotic rude people? Kick them the fuck out. No questions. You broke the golden rule of movie watching: you were being a disruptive, self-centered dick, and you got booted on your ass because of it.
Wouldn’t it be great if more theater owners actually took a stand against the dickishness of self-absorbed movie goers and, instead of changing themselves to accommodate them, they forced the self-absorbed assholes to be, I don’t know, respectful? Is that too much to ask? Are we going too far by refusing to accommodate our lives to assholes? It’s not, right? Right?!