TECH

Theater Chain Backtracks On Worst Idea Ever

The company changed course after major moviegoer backlash.
"We’re going to have to figure out a way to do it," AMC CEO Adam Aron said about permitting texting in the movies.
"We’re going to have to figure out a way to do it," AMC CEO Adam Aron said about permitting texting in the movies.

UPDATE: April 15 -- That idea sure faded to black fast. After AMC Entertainment said it would consider allowing texting in some of its movie theaters, the cinema chain received blockbuster backlash and shelved the idea.

"With your advice in hand, there will be NO TEXTING ALLOWED in any of the auditoriums at AMC Theatres," CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. "Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future." 

PREVIOUSLY:

Many devout moviegoers are going to lose their popcorn over this: The biggest American cinema chain is open to allowing texting in some theaters.

AMC Entertainment CEO and President Adam Aron told Variety that it's a definite possibility.

"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," Aron told the trade publication in a story published Wednesday. "You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cell phone. 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," he said of in-theater texting.

Aron added that a separate section for texting was possible but that entire auditoriums set aside for mobile phone use was more likely.

In a series of tweets Thursday, Aron elaborated on his comments.

AMC, with hundreds of theaters, surpassed Regal as the country's largest chain when it bought Carmike Cinemas earlier this year, USA Today reported.

In a 2014 Today.com poll of 28,000 respondents, 97 percent said cell phone use during a film should "never be allowed -- watch the movie instead!"

When the subject of allowing texting was debated by cinema executives in 2012, Tim League of the Alamo Drafthouse chain responded: "Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater. ... That is the scourge of our industry."

Hear hear.

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