Mar 272006

If you read this blog often, you know that Lay and I enjoy going to the movie theaters to see newly released movies watching newly released movies. However, probably like most of you, I have noticed an increasing rudeness with people talking during the movies, and most especially carrying on cell phone conversations during the movie. Having a cell phone ring is distraction enough, but everyone seems to feel they are important enough they MUST answer the phone. If you’re lucky, they will answer while leaving the theater, but still, you’ve now been distracted.

Increasingly, as kids are given cell phones, their parents’ don’t think they need to provide these kids with some rules about cell phone etiquette. (Of course, it’s not just kids.) They often think it’s OK to carry on a?regular and lengthy conversation right there in the theater. I’ve even seen one young girl place an outgoing call, and start describing the movie to the person on the other end of the call.

I think the talking and phone conversations are the result of VCR’s and DVD players. Sounds weird, I know, but let me explain. I remember growing up when the only way to get to see a movie was to go to the movie theater. Then, the movie experience could be moved to the home with VCR’s and Home Box Office (HBO), and most recently, DVD’s. I think people get used to watching movies at home, and being able to behave any way they want, and haven’t been taught to draw the distinction between watching a movie at home or in a public space.

Whatever the cause, theater owner’s are apparently now hearing about the annoyances, and are considering moves to reduce the distractions. According to a story on CNet’s, at the most recent?ShoWest conference, theater owners started discussing the possibility of blocking cell phone’s inside the theater.

“I don’t know what’s going on with consumers that they have to talk on phones in the middle of theaters,” John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, told the ShoWest conference in Las Vegas. “We will actually petition the Federal Communications (Commission) to remove the block” on jamming cell phones, he said.

That may be difficult, since federal law and FCC rules prohibit the use of cell phone jammers. And, there are legitimate reasons for needing to have a cell phone call get through. (I’m thinking of parents that have left children with a babysitter.) However, unfortunately more than one bad apple is ruining it for everyone else. So I would be in favor of jamming in theaters and Church too.

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