Rant of the Day: Texting in Theatres


I guess we can consider this a continuation of another Rant of the Day about people speaking in movie theatres (still my #1 complaint) but it’s relevant if only for an anecdote I had the pleasure of experiencing a few days ago.

I saw a screening of Friends with Benefits on Wednesday and was shocked to see two people get thrown out of the theatre before the film began. Seeing a film two days before its release date tends to mean that security is a little tighter in the theatres. Everyone attending was subject to a search by security guards outside the auditorium and anyone with a cellphone was told to either leave it in their cars or security staff would hold them for the duration of the screening. Yes, even my cellphone from 1998 (it gets internet!) was taken by security staff…in case I took any ultra low-res spoiler photos of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. I didn’t mind, but apparently someone else did.

A guy and presumably his girlfriend in the front row had somehow managed to sneak their iPhones in before the screening. They were busy playing Angry Birds or texting their friends (“I’m in movie theatre lol”) when one of the security staff noticed them and asked them to either leave their cellphones in their car or outside the auditorium. Like everyone else. They refused. So the manager was brought in to convince them that they couldn’t like, see the movie if they had their cellphones. Serial. They still refused. And then they left and never came back. I like to imagine the conversation went along the lines of:

Guy with cellphone: Dude, I’m not going to give you my cellphone. It’s expensive and I don’t want it to get stolen.

Manager: Your phone will be safe and our security staff will watch it the entire time.

Guy with cellphone: But I’m like waiting for an important call and I want to text my friends and stuff.

Manager: Dude, gtfo.

Folks – put your cellphones away. Yes, thank you for not talking. I much prefer to see four or five glowing blue screens popping up every five minutes so you can have an inane conversation with your buds (also – are people incapable of texting below their knees? Anytime I’ve seen someone texting in a theatre they hold their phone up to the sky as if they are getting signals from the mothership).

Thank god we have the Alamo Drafthouse, a theatre which makes no qualms about humiliating the idiocy of cellphone-wielding patrons.

This has been another edition of Film Viewing Etiquette* 101.

*Etiquette means “How not to be a douchebag.”


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