In a recent interview at CinemaCon, the CEO of the American theatre chain, AMC, Adam Aron, suggested that he would consider allowing texting or cellphone use during movies, in a move to entice millennials back to the big screen.
Aron said, “We need to reshape our product in some concrete ways so that millennials go to movie theaters with the same degree of intensity as baby boomers went to movie theaters throughout their lives.”
There are very few places left in our lives where we can escape the constant bleating of the smartphone. The maddening texting of distracted dinner guests, with half of their minds on your pork tender loin, and the other half furiously clicking away to reveal which Game of Thrones characters best represents them (here’s a clue, it’s the rude b*stard who never gets invited back again).
We used to get some reprieve when we went down into the subway, or on an airplane. But now there is Wi-Fi following us wherever we go, reminding us that even at 100 feet below the ground or, 35,000 feet in the air we can still post hilarious face swap photos on Facebook.
Yes, we may be a generation with our finger on the pulse but, this is surely madness. At a time when many of us are looking to find ways to remove ourselves from our ever-present smartphones, and switch off digitally from time to time, it seems crazy to eliminate one of the few sanctuaries we have from electronics.
Speaking to Variety, AMC CEO, Adam Aron, said, “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.”
He added, “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s now how they live their life.”
However, since those comments were made just two days ago, Aron has already been forced to backpedal from the (obviously) huge backlash the internet threw up in response to letting “Tommy Texter” into our midst.
It began with a ‘only a few screens, I swear’ from Aron on Twitter, to what has now become a full-on ‘oh, gawd, we’re sorry, we never meant it for real we swear, okay guys, let’s all be friends‘ press release that is at least six texts too long.
And this is what happens when Baby Boomers publicly tell millennials what millennials want.
NO TEXTING AT AMC. Won’t happen. You spoke. We listened. Quickly, that idea has been sent to the cutting room floor. pic.twitter.com/JR0fo5megR
— AMC Theatres (@AMCTheatres) April 15, 2016