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Majority of Theater-Goers Favor Cell Phone Jamming

by
September 11, 2006

A UK newspaper, The Stage, ran a poll and reported last week that 72% of movie-goers favor cell phone jamming devices in theaters. Unfortunately this is just a statistic from the UK, not the US, and on top of that, it is illegal to jam cell phones, both in the UK and the US. This report has brought up a lot of questions and interesting discussions on both Techdirt.com and Ars Technica.

If cell phone noise and use is one of the biggest problems in the theater, then why wouldn't theater chains lobby enough to get a special exception to the laws. I bet there is enough support (and it's obvious that there is at least in the UK) from regular attendees to allow for jamming to be implemented, or a less imposing system, such as forcing phones to be in silent mode. Check out the discussion and post a comment with your thoughts on whether you'd support something like this in theaters.

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  • Jacq Davis
    Today, my husband and I had finally came to conclusion to never go to movie theater again. Until they figure out how to make people stop using cell phones in the theater. Here's the email I sent to the theater after today's unpleasant experience. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Dear Santikos' staff, owner and managers, My husband and I have had it today. We are big movie goers for many years and since we moved to Texas. Your theater was our first choice for movie watching. But the past year or so, we have not had a good movie watching experience. Not once. People will talk out loud, answer cell phones, carry on conversations, text message and such that take away not only ours but I am sure many others' right to enjoy the movie they paid for. The thing is that we know you understand the situation, and have many attempts of informing people to turn their phone off. Today, we were watching our favorite movie The Transformers for the second time in the Palladium 19 - IMAX... VIP showing. I felt that paying more to watch movie in the VIP should give us a more pleasant movie watching experience without having to deal with chatty teenagers. But the experience proved us wrong, yet again. The couple sitting next to us have not only chatted loudly, but turn on their cell phone with the bright screen on to text message and such. We told them to turn the phone off. But the boyfriend started threaten us that he will "take us down" outside the theater after the movie is done. We did not feel safe and asked for staff's assistance. Your staff was kind enough to come in and tell them to turn it off. Stayed in the theater to monitor the situation. But they both keep turning the phone on, and started flashing the cell phone screen at us. Waving it, flashing it... And continue making threatening comments. We had enough and left. We thank you for your refund and the free tickets. But until the situation is totally resolved. We have made the final decision of never going into the movie theater again. This is not a happy decision. But it is a decision that we have been thinking about since last year, and reminded every time we visit the theater. This is an on going trend and problem that we all know is hard to resolve. But we just want to let you know how we feel. And to take into consideration of other policy and action to help with this situation. We saw in a movie theater in Memphis, TN that has a very visible note at the entrance of each theater, saying that if reported having cell phone on, the person will be escorted out of the theater, no exceptions! I know our little action of not to watch movie in theaters ever again will not affect your sales. But, if the trend continues and more people follow. With Blockbuster and Netflix, even iTune... your sales will definitely drop, from people who are tired of dealing with this kind of rude behavior. We wish you luck and hope the future generation will learn to respect others. Sincerely, Jacq and Jeremy Davis
  • Christo
    Well, I think she said it but I'll second it. There needs to be stiff consequences for irresponsible cell phone management in theatres. I think it should be the same for any kind of house, not just the movies: Concert halls/arenas, opera houses, playhouses/Broadway etc.

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