AMC CEO Adam Aaron has upset a lot of people this morning with the posting of some liberal remarks he made yesterday about in-theatre texting. The quotes were part of a Cinemacon Variety interview with cyborg reporter Brent Lang. Aaron didn’t say that AMC will allow texting in all theatres, but that AMC might designate some theatres within a given plex as text-friendly. Another option, he allowed, might be to allow texting in the rear of some theatres.
HE’s view is that people who text in theatres should be beaten, spat upon, soaked with soft drink splashings and then turned over to ISIS for further discipline after the film has ended. But if texting must be allowed, I don’t have a problem if it happens only within, say, the last six or eight rows of a theatre. As long as those bright little screens aren’t glowing within my sight lines, fine.
And I guess it wouldn’t be super-terrible to allow total texting in certain designated theatres. I’ll just avoid those theatres if and when I pay to see a film, which happens from time to time.
Here’s the offending passage from the Lang/Aaron interview:
Lang: “Would appealing to millennials involve allowing texting or cellphone use?”
Aaron: “Yes. When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.
“At the same time, though, we’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences. There’s a reason there are ads up there saying turn off your phone, because today’s moviegoer doesn’t want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on.”
Lang: “Would you have a certain section for texting?”
Aaron: “That’s one possibility. What may be more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly.”
I have enough respect for filmmaking to sublimate my urge to read smartphone data and updates while a film is playing. Most of us are fine with that. But for some millenials, they can’t bring themselves to accept that. Like junkies, they need the multi-tasking thing.
Question: If you were Aaron and you had the power to choose, would you want to be called (a) Adam Aaron, (b) Aaron Adam, (c) Adam Cain or (d) Aaron Abel?