Talkback: Will Movie Theaters Encourage Texting in the Future?

TextMessage300.jpgAre you a discreet movie theater texter who dreams of a day when the cineplex will not only allow you to text mid-film but actually encourage you to do so by providing state-of-the-art technology to improve your movie messaging experience? If so, then I bring you some good news via CinemaBlend: A Washington-based exhibitor plans on providing one safe social networking theater space for you. If it's successful, movie theater texting could be a not-too-distant reality.

The theater is the Tateuchi Center in Bellevue, Wash., which is supposed to open doors in 2014 with a pro-texting policy in hopes that the establishment will attract a younger demographic. Explained the theater's executive director John Haynes, "Simply forbidding [technology] and embarrassing people is not the way to go. So we are wiring the building in anticipation of finding ways to make it work over time."

According to the New York Times, the 2,000-seat concert hall -- which will also feature theater, classical music, jazz and pop acts -- will boast a 12 to 14-foot antenna, to allow for better cell-phone signal. The theater will also have a "standing policy of allowing nondisruptive cell use during performances." Potentially, the theater might also give each patron a small screen to place on their cellphones to dim the light and make it less distracting to other audience members.

Do you think this innovation is the way of the future? Could you see chain movie theaters adopting similar policies to appease young audience members -- rather than shunning them the way that the Alamo Drafthouse famously did last June? Or do you think this is just tech-savvy campaigning for a theater that still needs almost $100 million in funding?

· The Show Is Starting, Please Turn On Your Cellphones [NYT via CinemaBlend]


  • NP says:

    Yes, and they'll be texting on their G1s like it's 2008.
    This is such a stupid, awful idea. Why aren't they going in the _opposite_direction? I want to be able to rent a pair of high quality headphones through which to hear the film's soundtrack so I can block out the noise of the d-bags whispering nonstop five seats over. What happened to the pilot program of being able to page an usher from within the theater so you could get rid of people making noise or distracting you with the glaring light of their cell phone display without having to leave the theater yourself.

  • The WInchester says:

    Agree that this is an awful idea, and a signal that we're one step closer as a society to becoming Idiocracy.

  • James Kent says:

    You couldn't pay me to sit in a theater like that. I pay to see movies in a theater to avoid distractions.

  • "nondisruptive cell use"? Far as I know, it doesn't exist.

  • Alex says:

    Idiots who text during a movie are the lowest form of scum. Theaters need to curb the need to text inanities for an hour and a half, not encourage it. It would also help if we moviegoers confront these morons on the spot, instead of letting them text with impunity.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Yessir! And in the future world you're describing, the letters and numbers on mobile devices will have been replace by big emoticon buttons so we can all tell each other how 🙂 Ass XXX makes us feel. This is a really shitty idea btw. Another way in which Bellevue #blowsalot.

  • casting couch says:

    Giving me more and more reasons not to go to the cinema anymore. Thanks!

  • Yeah, it's a slippery slope. Allow texting in theaters and then maybe... allow watching a different movie altogether on your iPhone?