One of the big reasons I hate going to the movies is because none of the theaters do anything about people using their cellphones during the show. The Alamo Drafthouse gives a stern pre-show warning, while various other chains also “ask nicely” during the trailer presentations. It doesn’t do anything, and I think all of us can attest to this.
With rising ticket prices, it pisses me off that there aren’t watchdogs sitting in the back of theaters, or in the projection booth, shooting a red laser on the phones that light up the theater. It’s an easy way to call out the perp without causing a scene. If it continues, escort them out. Here in Los Angeles we pay upwards of $15 a ticket – you’re telling me that can’t pay someone $8 an hour whose sole job is to stop people from using their phones? Cheap bastards.
The kids at /Film report on The Prince Charles Cinema in London where cinephiles offer “Ninja” services in exchange for free tickets. When they spot a patron talking, texting, throwing popcorn, kicking seats, or otherwise engaging in rude behavior, they swoop down to give the jerk in question a talking-to. One of the program’s recent targets, moviegoer Abdul Stagg, recounted his experience to the site:
“I normally hate noisy people in cinemas, but I got a call from my friend just as the movie started and thought I could get away with taking it. The last thing I expected was two completely blacked-out people suddenly appearing by our seats and give me and my mates a warning to shut up. It was actually pretty terrifying at first, but then I realised it was a bit of a laugh and a great way to make it clear what I was doing was having an impact on those around me. It certainly made me hang up and shut up for the rest of the film.”
I’ll tell you right now that, as cool as an idea this may be, there’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. These “Ninjas” are not employees. If violence were to ensue because of an altercation, the theater is going to be held responsible. Get ready for a followup to this…