Texting in the movie theater

I had a good laugh last week reading John Kelly’s column in the Post about the lack of movie theater etiquette especially when it comes to texting.  I definitely feel his pain on this one. I’ve always had problems with folks talking on the phone in the movie theater. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t go to the movies that often.  Years ago I use to go to the movies at least two to three times a month.  I’ve slowed down to a point where the last film I saw in a movie theater was Why Did I Get Married? And when did that come out? I believe fall of 2007. Yes it’s been that long.   I prefer the comfort of watching movies at home compared to listening to phone conversations and seeing bright lights lit up on cellphone screens while folks text themselves to death in the movie theater.

The unholy union of the movie projector and the cellphone is the latest irritation, not because of people who talk on the phone during a film but because of people who text on it. Almost every time I’ve been at the movies recently, someone has been reading or writing a text on his or her phone, the bright little screen burning distractingly at the periphery of my vision, like some annoying floater shining in the vitreous humor of my eyeball.

I’ve even noticed it at the AFI Silver Theatre, not the sort of place that attracts unruly teens who shout back at the characters. When I saw “The Soloist” last week, a gentleman sitting alone a few rows in front of me spent the first third of the film consulting his phone, its tiny glowing screen competing with Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx on the big glowing screen.

You see what I mean?

Texting during a movie is rude for a couple of different reasons. There’s the aforementioned distraction — the human brain is now wired to zoom in on any and all screens in view — but there’s also the message that it sends: This movie bores me, says the texter. The rest of you morons may be able to suspend disbelief, convincing yourselves that despite sitting in a dark room clutching a $5 soda and a $5 bag of popcorn you’re really on the Starship Enterprise or in a secret chamber underneath the Vatican. Not me. I’m wired to the outside world.

If a person feels that texting is more important than watching a movie with the morons then why in the hell did they pay to see the movie in the first place!!!!!!!

For me, another problem is that My Lovely Wife gets even more irritated by movie-texting (“mexting”?) than I do. That means I have to worry about her. How much will she embarrass me with her Charles Bronson-style vigilantism? During a recent high-school band concert (it happens there too, and in live theater performances) she walked down to a teenage girl and whispered, in a voice that I’m sure was honey on sharpened steel: “I’m sorry, your iPhone is very distracting. Can you turn it off, please?”

The girl grunted some sort of assent, lowered the phone on her lap about a millimeter then continued to tap away at it.

I convinced my wife that rather than reenact “Death Wish,” we should just move seats. But you can’t always do that, especially when texters are spread throughout the theater like fireflies on a summer’s night.

You see I don’t blame his wife. Rude folks who text during a movie deserve some Bronson style vigilantism.  Why are they sitting in a movie theater in the first place?  If folks are that bored then they should go to the park and text their life away without bothering others.

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3 Comments

  1. Alaskana

    Great post on a very annoying phenomenon. Movie theaters really should start going vigilante on these cell phone punks and kick them out, especially after how much you have to pay to enjoy the movie theater experience these days.

  2. Dan

    Had to leave Transformers tonight due to an idiot on his cell phone texting away. He pulled it out and I tapped his chair and asked him to put his phone away. He of course ignored me and so I continued to tap on his chair. I then told him to put his phone away when he turned around and threw an entire soda on the person next to me. We were so floored when all of this happened. Of course I should have gone and got management before it escaladed but why should I have to walk out of my movie to do this. We were refunded our money but now I just want to see the last 40 minutes of the movie, not sit through the whole thing. From now on I guess I either bring a taser gun and zap the morons or go get an usher to walk in ( guy puts phone down) and then usher walks out (guy pulls phone out again). I am so frustrated. I’m 40 yrs old and shouldn’t have to put up with this crap. This was at AMC Northpark in Dallas…

  3. ladyrayne

    Dan, sorry to hear about your movie experience last night. It’s times like that when you wanna go Charles Bronson on these ignorant fools. Management needs to start clamping down on these texters. I hope you complained to the managers so they’ll know and maybe you should email or write AMC headquarters.

    Check out this link and you will find a section on your entertainment experience:

    http://www.amctheatres.com/contactus/index.html

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