A story out of the ShoWest conference for movie theater owners about industry efforts to silence cell phone conversations during films has triggered an online debate about whether the ubiquitous gadget is to blame for a drop in the number of moviegoers.
Are the mid-film rings and conversations keeping people away from the theaters? Or are the simply the final straw for those already fed up with prices, sub-par film offerings and lacking overall theater experience.
Bloggers took those questions on, and offered varying opinions on whether theater owners have the right to ask federal authorities for permission to jam cell phone reception, and idea the head of the industry's trade group is apparently considering.
Blog community response:
"People talking on cell phones during movies isn't a problem for me--I'm not sure I've ever seen someone doing it. But I do, on those few occasions that I make it to movies now with Meredith, rely on a babysitter being able to call a cell phone in case something does happen."
--Some Boring Words
"Movie theater owners still don't get it. Message to Hollywood: Make better movies, start treating us better as consumers, and stop ripping us off."
--Fergie's Tech Blog
"I am sick of 'dude you gotta hear this'-cell phone guy, high school cell phone kid and important business call hotshot, ruining movies, restaurants or bookstores, or wasting minutes of my life as they fail to pay attention while waiting in line for a cashier. And before you even think it, let me say that the red circle with the slash and the phone picture on it does not get the job done. Why? Because everyone with a cell phone thinks that their call is an important exception to the sign...I would have no problems if a bookstore, restaurant or movie theater etc. installed a cell phone jammer for the overall benefit of their customers. It should be their choice to provide the atmosphere they think consumers want."