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Zero Tolerance for Cell Phones at the Movies [AUDIO]

Using your cell phone during a movie is not just rude, it’ll also get you kicked out of many theaters.

Movie theater
Flickr user: Bob B. Brown

With prices for movie tickets increasing, patrons are becoming less tolerant of their movies being ruined by other patrons constant calling and texting. In fact, the Movie Picture Association of America released new guidelines for movie theater owners, instructing them to call police if patrons are recording using a cell phone.

Many independent and art-house theaters have long held a zero-tolerance policy for cell phone use. Michael Sodano, owner of the Showroom Theater in Asbury Park, said since their theater caters to smaller groups, they have a “self-policing” policy for discouraging customers who habitually call or text.

He notes 9 times out of 10, it’s not the sound of a phone ringing or a person talking that distracts movie goers, but rather the bright illumination from a telephone’s screen.

“People want to send texts or surf the internet on their phone, and the brightness really destroys the ambiance,” said Sodano.

Sodano explained as people are looking for a more authentic movie going experience, you can expect to see smaller theaters have a more zero-tolerance policy towards cell phone use. The challenge, he believes, will be for major theater chains and multiplexes, who have a huge amount of customers at any time, and inadvertently will always have some bad eggs.

“They are inconsiderate of watching a movie like they would at home, so they’ll just come and do what they want to do,” he said.

“You’re supposed to want to go to the movies to want to be transported somewhere else not be harangued by texts and phone calls and that sort of thing.”

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