Movie-Texting Justice, Beach Style
When we're at the beach for our annual vacation, we always try to see at least one movie, preferably a big, loud blockbuster. This year the choices weren't too good. "Transformers" is supposedly one of the worst movies ever made and I just couldn't see forking over the $8. We chose the new "Harry Potter" instead.
That movie isn't very good -- the HP franchise has become a collection of scenes, unsullied by any coherent story -- but I did appreciate the signs posted outside each theater: No texting.
I asked an usher how seriously the theater -- the Regal Inlet Square in Murrells Inlet, S.C. -- took the issue. Very seriously, he said. An usher walks through every theater several times during each screening, looking for the tell-tale glow. If they see someone texting, they ask him or her to put the phone away. If they see it again, the person is ejected without a refund.
Wow, I said. And how often do you actually have to kick someone out? "About once a day," he said.
Once a day. That strikes me as pretty high. But maybe it's low. I don't know how to respond to that.
Then he added: "If you have any problem with those teenage girls in there, let me know." He had noticed a gaggle of girls and identified them as a potential problem.
One was texting during the previews, but she stopped once the movie started. Just as he had said, the usher made several sweeps. Unfortunately, he was never there when a family a few rows back was talking and laughing. I turned a few times and gave them dirty looks but it didn't do much good. Their behavior was proof that people don't need technology to be annoying.
What's your summer moviegoing experience been like?
And don't forget that I need a slogan for our Radical Civility movement. If you have the perfect, pithy saying to accompany our gloved-fist-and-tea-cup logo, e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 10, 2009; 8:24 AM ET
Categories: Radical Civility
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