Movie theaters may ask to jam cell phones

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Stella, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #1
    Hope this happens everywhere... nothing worse than someone starting to talk on the phone or phone ringing. Total arrogant people.


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060315/tc_nm/media_films_cellphones_dc_3

    LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Movie theater owners faced with falling attendance are considering asking federal authorities for permission to jam cell phone reception in an attempt to stop annoying conversations during films, the head of the industry's trade group said on Tuesday.
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    Industry leaders at the ShoWest conference for theater owners want to find ways to win back crowds.

    "I don't know what's going on with consumers that they have to talk on phones in the middle of theaters," John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, told the ShoWest conference in Las Vegas.

    Theaters are trying a number of ways to silence cell phones, from sweeps by ushers to funny fake movie trailers urging viewers to shut off phones.

    Fithian said owners were considering other steps if that does not work.

    "We will actually petition the Federal Communications (Commission) to remove the block" on jamming cell phones, he said.

    That may be difficult, since federal law and FCC rules prohibit the use of cell phone jammers.

    The industry is broadly trying to increase interest in the movies.

    Motion Picture Association of America Chief Executive Dan Glickman told ShoWest that the industry is researching why and when people go to the movies and might consider an advertising campaign to encourage people to go out to the movies, just as the milk industry has succeeded with its Got Milk? campaign.
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #2
    They may or may not be able to jam them, but they sure as hell can post signs banning the use of cell phones in the theatre. At that point, anyone using a cell phone during a film is immediately escorted out of the theatre by large guards.
     
  3. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #3
    That will be great until the first emergency worker that attends a theater misses an important call.

    Most EVERYONE I know in Emergency services has needed to walk out of a theater for an emergency. They (like myself) tend to be the types of people that have their phones on vibrate, and walk out to answer a call. Depending on the type of call or issue, this law (if it was to go into action) could be reversed in a heartbeat.

    The other issue is going to be keeping the Jamming signal inside the theater premises. The FCC is not a typical group to like "interference" of other services or signals.
     
  4. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #4
    I thought I read somewhere recently where they've developed a paint that blocks cell-phone signals. So containing the "jammer" wouldn't be a big issue - just repaint the building.

    In terms of emergency workers - that's an issue indeed. I guess they'll need to rent DVD's. :p
     
  5. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #5
    I agree, public safety needs to be a priority over public entertainment. Like you said earlier emw, there are other measures that could be taken (if they haven't been tried already) before resorting to jamming cell phone signals.
     
  6. cyberddot macrumors 6502

    cyberddot

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    #6
    Signs work, and when they don't, the escorts get something to do besides standing around in the lobby.

    Do theaters have anyone come in during a movie to make sure someone isn't being annoying to the rest of the customers? It seems that I remember people in vests doing things like this when I was a kid, but recently I've found that if someone is being totally inconsiderate and is within reach...I'm the one that ends up taking care of the problem :mad: .

    Most people that I know that actually have to be on call are quite considerate; they have their phones on vibrate and sit near or on the aisle.
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #7
    I'd hate to see cell phone signals jammed - it's something which inconveniences everyone because of a few who cannot behave properly. Most people are capable of silencing cell phones - in the past several years, I've been disturbed exactly one time by a cell phone user, for a few minutes, during the beginning of one movie out of dozens I've seen.

    Cell phone jamming also jams text messages and, typically, all other forms of access (web, instant messaging, etc) - meaning that any way to contact someone in the event of an emergency aside from the vastly more intrusive way of sending an usher in to call their name out loud is ruled out.

    To me, theaters need to check for noisy/disruptive offenders, regardless of how they're being disruptive (cell phone, talking, throwing popcorn, etc). They need to deal with the offenders instead of copping out via call blocking.

    Note also that cell phone blocking technology, in general, is a radial technology, meaning that the blocking is circular (well, spherical) in nature, so either (a) you don't block all areas, (b) you block outside callers, or (c) you dump money into shielding.

    If theaters are allowed to block calls, I suspect they will see business decline. I would expect that they should legally be required to allow other means of contacting customers in event of an emergency/urgent need, such as vibrating pagers, displays, etc.

    Of course, the easiest, simplest, best thing to do is simply to not block calls and to escort any disruptive individuals out of the theater.
     
  8. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

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    #8
    How about they dont play 20 minutes of commercials and 20 minutes of previews before every film. Then maybe Ill go back.
     
  9. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

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    #9
    add to that list "how about making some movies worth watching that arean't thinly vailed product placements with non-exsistant plots" ?
     
  10. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

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    #10
    Now if only I had an ad-blocker in the theater....
     
  11. i.Feature macrumors 6502

    i.Feature

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    #11
    I hope they do this... I also hope resturants follow suit... I really can't stand cell phones... i have one of course... in my car... it's pay as you go.. i spend about $15 every 3 months... Only use it for my 5 hour trips between Toronto and Montreal...

    Blocking cell phones in a movie theatre is not a safety issue... Theatres generally have these amazing technological machines that use *gasp* land lines...
     
  12. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #12
    What about pagers and cell phones for physicians, EMTs, paramedics, fire personnel, police, etc.? *gasp* The fact remains that for some people, having access to instant communication is necessary to help them save lives. Just because you don't feel the need to be tied to a cell phone, doesn't mean that other people aren't and that there aren't people who depend on these people to help them. Even when some of these people are "off-duty", they can still be "on call" and need to drop everything that they're doing and go to help those in need.

    If theatres would simply enforce the rules they already have in place (ejecting disruptive audience members, etc.) a discussion about cell phones needing to be blocked in an entertainment venue wouldn't even be required.
     
  13. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #13
    There are some theater chains that list the times when the movies actually start. Goodrich might be one, but I could be mistaken.
     
  14. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

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    #14

    The other fact is 99% of cell phone owners are not in this situation.
     
  15. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #15
    I think that many people are lost in our cell-phone crazed world, and don't realize that, 5-10 years ago, going to the movies carried the acceptable risk that you would miss an important call.

    We got along fine without cell phones for 50,000 years, is it that tough to go without for 2 hours? :rolleyes:
     
  16. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #16
    The other other fact is that those 99% might depend on those other 1%.
     
  17. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #17
    People don't go to the movies as much because it costs $10/person before snacks, and the movies are mostly sequels, remakes, and the same old tired plotlines with the same old tired actors. Blaming it on cell phones is a silly cop-out, and if they do actually get the phones jammed, they'll soon see that the low attendance persists. This is just like the RIAA blaming napster for falling record sales.

    Hey morons - look at the product you're putting out and what you're charging for it. Stop paying no-talent hacks $10-20 million/movie, cut your prices drastically, and maybe we'll come back.
     
  18. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

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    #18
    I haven't heard of that at any chain. And unfortunately there isn't a Goodrich theater within 1000 miles of here.
     
  19. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

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    #19

    yes, and I have no problem with that 1% having/using cell phones. I don't think that gives the rest a free pass to be a beligerant jerk just because they "might" be a doctor.

    FYI, I do own a cell phone, it sits at home on my computer desk.
     
  20. r6girl Administrator/Editor

    r6girl

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    #20
    i second that! they should definitely look at the other factors that are causing a decline in the number of people going to movie theaters. for me, it would really just help if they had ushers in the theaters helping to shush or remove those folks who talk, allow their babies to cry, answer their cell phones, etc. ...
     
  21. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #21
    Wholeheartedly agree.

    I mean seriously, if this happens, where do you draw the line? Should we ban communication devices from ball games because some people get annoyed by the cell phone exhibitionists (ie. people behind home plate at a baseball game waving to their friends/family at home "Look! I'm on TV!").

    While I can understand that movie-goers are frustrated by disruptions like people talking on their cell phones... jamming all cell phones is like trying to kill a mosquito with a baseball bat. Sure, it'll do the job, but it's a little overkill. Just like an appropriate solution to killing a mosquito would be to use a swatter, theaters that actually eject disruptive audience members would noticeably improve the movie-watching experience.
     
  22. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #22
    Where have I ever said give those 99% a free pass? If someone is being a disruption, eject them. Like 840 wrote earlier, if you need to be available for calls just put the phone on vibrate mode... that goes for everyone be they a physician or not. Jamming cell phones is not the best solution here... theaters need to establish rules for enjoying a movie in their establishment and actually enforce those rules.
     
  23. i.Feature macrumors 6502

    i.Feature

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    #23
    Being "on call" is not being off duty. Being on call is "being on call". If these people need to be contacted they know better than to put themselves in a situation where they cannot be available. An on call doctor is not going to drive 3 hours away to go to the ski hills. That would be irresponsible. They know whats expected when they take the job.
     
  24. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    #24
    If I remember correctly, we're talking about going to watch a move here... not going 3 hours away to ski.

    Do you know that there are different iterations of being "on call" for a physician? One of those is where you simply need to be available for contact... and if required after said contact, then go in to perform their duties. Sometimes those duties can be fulfilled over the phone, sometimes not. Another form is where a physician needs to be physically on the premises of a hospital or clinic, readily available to perform their duties. There are other instances where a physician might be "off-duty" but if too many patients come in, or scheduled phsycians aren't able to work, they may be asked to come in. I should have been more clear about which form(s) I was referring to, my bad.
     
  25. i.Feature macrumors 6502

    i.Feature

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    #25
    I do realize this i'm just saying a person in an "on call" situation knows better than to put themselves in a situation where they cannot be reached. And if it really was life or death and they really had to see the movie, they could simply go to the service desk before hand and say that a call may come through that is life and death and could they please come get you from theatre 3, isle 22.
     

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