Theatergoers Want Mobile Phones Jammed

from the you're-breaking-up dept

A new survey says that 72 percent of British theatergoers want mobile phone signals to be blocked in theaters. Of course, like in the US, there's the small matter of such jamming being illegal in the UK, so new legislation would be required, but this opens up some questions: would the law codify times or places when it's okay to jam phones, or would it simply be a free-for-all? Either method seems pretty problematic: laws do a really lousy job of keeping up with changes in technology, or changes in attitudes towards it; allowing anybody to actively jam cell phone signals anywhere, at anytime just because they feel like it is pretty inherently a bad idea (though passive jamming, such as by using signal-unfriendly construction materials, on private property may be a little different). Like banning cell phone use while driving, blocking the signals in theaters merely eliminates one distraction, it doesn't solve the deeper problem of rude or inconsiderate people in the audience. Before phones were the big issue, people simply talking during performances was a problem, but there was no call for new laws banning it. There are probably better solutions than just jamming signals, such as forcing phones into silent mode, which make much more sense than getting the government involved to try to legislate people into having some manners.


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  1.  
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    mike, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 9:31am

    Just Stop Going

    I refuse to go to movies and havent done so in 7 years. Cell phones arent the ONLY thing that needs jamming... so, too, do these bratty kids AS WELL AS the need to jam some of these actor's comments about things for which they do not know nor understand in life.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 9:35am

    And...

    why would the blocking of cell phones in theatres be in the hands of the theatre managment? why is the government getting involved in this?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 9:36am

    sorry...

    why wouldN'T the blocking of cell phones be in the hands of the theatre management? (haven't had any coffee yet :()

     

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    Sanguine Dream, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 9:51am

    Not such a great idea...

    Some people have legit reasons to carry cell phones with them to the theater. Imagine how pissed you would be if you couldnt reach your doctor for your pregnant wife because of this jamming. Cell phones in theaters are a problem but jamming them is far from the best solustion. And besides people talking in theaters is a much bigger issue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 9:53am

    Kick them out

    Theatre managers just need to monitor shows and kick people out who are rude. Whether it be with cell phones or otherwise.

     

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    Pseudononymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:06am

    OK.. How about this

    If we can't legalize jamming the signals, can we legalize punching the lights out of people who pick up a ringing phone and proceed to talk on it WHILE IN THE EFFING THEATER?!

    If it rings... benefit of the doubt. Rings and you talk? Safeties should come off.

     

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    Dam, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:08am

    All The More Reason.....

    I don't go to theaters because : prices are outrageous, and the idiots who can't turn off their cells. I invested in a new plasma screen earlier this year and couldn't care less that it's not the same size as a theater screen. No interuptions and the popcorn is better.

     

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    Clark Westfield, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:08am

    Re: Not such a great idea...

    If you're involved in something so important that you can't bother going to the lobby to make your phone call, perhaps you shouldn't be going to the theater to begin with.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:09am

    I don't understand the analogy here. While a law is required to allow theater owners to jam the phones, this wouldn't be a law "banning" the use of cell phones in theaters. It would just leave it up to the theater owner. And we have had laws banning behavior in theaters, specifically the laws outlawing smoking in theaters.

    And the idea that forcing carriers to implement technology that allows other people to mess with the settings on my phone seems like a much worse idea. Not to mention that if a phone vibrates, it's not going to prevent an inconsiderate person from answering it and talking on the phone.

    The real solution here? Have employees keep an eye on the theaters. Enforce the "no talking/smoking/cell phone use" rules. Kick out people who refuse to follow them. Theaters used to do this, before the days of megaplexes.

     

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    xxl3w, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:11am

    Cell phone jamming

    I'm against the jamming of cellphones in theatres, but if you have a pregnant wife, what are you doing watching a movie in a theatre? I guess if a new star wars is released, comic book stand owners could be excluded from this. I wouldn't get mad if they jammed cell phones in movies though. I REALLY hate when people talk on phones/to others during a movie. Too many people complain about the government and do not complain about the public. The public ruins everything. IE: theatres, the internet, and my life.

     

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    Rabid Wolverine, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:12am

    Cell Phones in Theaters

    Just another example of how rude and inconsiderate people have become. And of how, in the name of tolerance and political correctness, we have been coerced into putting up with it.

    Yeah, kick em out the moment the irritating little device rings, sings, songs or whatever...

    As far as jamming goes, doesn’t the government have more important issues to deal with? Like protecting us from terrorist? Why do people want the government to baby site them through everything? I think that’s been tried once, it was called communism and it failed miserably…

     

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    xxl3w, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:14am

    Re: I agree with this anoynmous coward

    The theatre employees should do a much better job enforcing their own rules. The only time I ever brought a phone into a theatre is when i was an inconsiderate/drug intaking kid.

     

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    eric, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:15am

    Re: Not such a great idea...

    Imagine how pissed you would be if you couldnt reach your doctor for your pregnant wife because of this jamming.


    We always see this one when talking about cell phone jamming. It's the doctor's responsibility to be available. I'd be angry at the doctor for entering an area where his cell phone didn't work.

     

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    Faraday, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:23am

    Shielding, not jamming

    Jamming is illegal in the US. Is shielding? If the theatre was a "Faraday Cage" at Cell Phone frequencies, this would prevent the phones from working inside the theatre and be perfectly legal, correct? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

    Theatre could ADVERTISE this feature, heavily. Perhaps even offer the same movie on two screens, one shielded and one not... and see which one sells more tickets?

     

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    Anonymous of Course, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:31am

    Re: And...

    In the USA most transmitters need to be
    licensed or type accepted which is a sort
    of group license (in a sense.)

    Some transmitter covered under a subsection
    of Part 15 do not need a license.

    But must not they must interfere with licensed
    users of the spectrum.

    So a license would be required from the FCC and
    they're not going to give you a license or
    allow type acceptance for a transmitter that
    interferes with a licensed user.

    That's why the government is involved. It would
    require action from the legislature to allow the
    FCC to first write a specification and then change
    the rules to allow a cell phone jammer.

     

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    MissingFrame, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:31am

    How many shut off phones?

    Ironically I doubt any of those theatre-goers shut off their phone when going into theatres. As usual, it seems that everyone else is the problem, not you.

     

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    STJ, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:33am

    How did socitey survive 20 years ago when there WERE NOT any cell phones!! Did someone with possible "issues" just never leave their house in fear of being away from a phone? I remember the days when my parents told me to be home at 5pm or not eat any dinner. They just didn't call me on my cell phone and bug me.

     

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    WebmanGA, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:37am

    use your mute button

    I need to carry a Treo PDA/phone for work at all times...I simply use the "MUTE" buton. If I feel a vibration I know I havea call, then i get up and take it in the lobby if the caller Id warrants an immediate response.

    The issue is with people not being respectful, I certainly try to be when in public.

     

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    Tyshaun, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:38am

    Re: Shielding, not jamming

    Jamming is illegal in the US. Is shielding? If the theatre was a "Faraday Cage" at Cell Phone frequencies, this would prevent the phones from working inside the theatre and be perfectly legal, correct? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

    Theatre could ADVERTISE this feature, heavily. Perhaps even offer the same movie on two screens, one shielded and one not... and see which one sells more tickets?


    While I empathize with peoples desire to beat down cinema-cell-phone-frollickers, there ARE some legitimate times when blocking the signal is a very bad idea. Having a wife who is a physician, and on call 24 hours a day, I have seen where her getting a phone call has literally meant a patient life is saved. This has happened at the cinema and she is considerate enough NOT to talk in the movie (she runs like heck for the nearest door). However, blocking the signal means she would never get the notification in the first place, and I think that would be a horrible thing.

    Also, I have recently become a daddy and although I love my progeny dearly those occasional "adult night outs" are very needed. I couldn't imagine going out to a place where I knew that they were blocking the signal for either mine or my wife's cell phone.

    At any rate, you get the idea, I agree with all those that say the answer is in the movie theater management enforcing policy better rather than blanket jamming of signals.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:38am

    Re: Shielding, not jamming

    Perhaps even offer the same movie on two screens, one shielded and one not..

    Now theres a good idea. I (apparently all by myself here) would NEVER go to a movie if I knew cells were being blocked. Sorry, but being available is far more important to me than some annoying twit of a kid who can't realize other people are watching the movie.

    You know why that twit of a kid doesnt bother me? 'cause I'll scold him for his rude behavior. Out loud, first incident. It's amazing how polite people are after being publicly shamed for being rude. especailly in a closed static environment.

    Of course, that could get you killed in some theatres. That's not a problem for me. I don't frequent any place where practicing manners gets people killed.

    I'll shame anyone into silencing themselves, but It doesn't have to be JUST cause of a phone. At the same time, if MY phone rings (it will actually vibrate, but you get the idea), I step outside to answer/callback after checking the number.

    This is a communications age. Trying to STOP people from being reachable will not work. It will only serve to alienate people. Instead, try to get the irresponsible people to act responsibly with their communications devices.

     

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    Alessar, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:38am

    Let's not ban, just deal with the problems

    Before cell phones were common, a few people - such as doctors - had pagers for emergencies. I'm ok with people like that having their phone trigger mid-movie. They are obviously going to leave right away and deal with their emergency. Anybody else? The movie theater needs to have ushers eject them. Problem solved.

     

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    lar3ry, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:39am

    Some answers...

    We don't need no friggin' laws--we have too many of them in the first place.

    It's not that difficult to rig a Faraday cage around a building to block incoming cell signals. I'd think it would be polite on the theater's part to have signage warning that cell phone signals will not work in the auditorium (please go to the lobby if you wish to use your phone).

    How about that all-important emergency call? Well, being somebody that carries a pager (it vibrates) for emergencies, it is a given that if you go to a restaurant or a theater or anywhere else, you may be paged and your job requires you to be available. Nobody I've ever worked for said that I had to answer the phone immediately; they give you a set amount of time to be available for consultation (say, ten minutes) or even to be online (say, a half hour to an hour). You get paid for this, so you simply learn to avoid places where your pager/phone won't work. When you do get called, simply go to the rest room, lobby, or step outside and do your business. Of course, you realize that this means that you cannot take pleasure trips to Antarctica while you are on call--d'uh!

    Again, if a place blocks incoming cell/pager signals, they should let people know... the people that NEED to be available will thank you and make alternative arrangements. If there should be a law, it might require a "standard" circle-sign that you can look for to tell if you are in a cell-free area.

    By the way, I got paged on the way to a restaurant this past Monday. I turned around and went home. I ended up spending a couple of hours online instead of eating--my wife and daughter had a good meal without me, but they brought me home some food. Being Labor Day, I found out that this two-hour call netted me $750. I didn't piss anybody off; only disappointed my family that I couldn't be at the restaurant with them, but they knew I was on call. In fact, after they learned what I earned, there wasn't ANY negative feelings!

    As for the idiots that answer their John Phillip Sousa full-volume Stars and Stripes Forever ring-tone in a theater with an extended conversation with somebody three seats down, well, you can't legislate against stupidity or insensitivity. Likewise, there isn't any legislation against pouring one's 30-gallon "Biggie Size" Coke (accidentally) against the offender, either...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:47am

    the theatre's are already struggling for business with less and less people attending them each year. Jamming signals in and out of the building itself would not help the business whatsoever...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:47am

    Enforced rules are the only REAL solution!

    One of the big reasons that I got a cell phone was because I am on call 24/7/365 in my employment, and I did not want to sit home all the time. Used to use a pager, but then I still needed to find a phone to call in. BUT, I do know how to set it to silent mode and walk outside the theater when it 'rings' to talk. Sometimes, depending on how far from the door I am, I will answer it first and tell them to hold on while I exit.

    That is all it would take to please anyone with any sense. Theater management, make the rules and enforce them, it would be less expensive than adding jammers or sheilding or the lost business of people that are on call.

     

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  25.  
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    Haywood, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: I agree with this anonymous coward

    Do you really think those pimple-faced kids running movie theaters could or would enforce anything?

     

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    CecilDL, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:48am

    Theater employee here

    I'm a projectionist at a 7-screen theater. When I'm not starting movies I'm prowling the theaters with the Usher.
    People with feet on the seats, outside food, unruly children are a concern of mine. Cell phones are a real pain to deal with, and text messaging is a real issue because of the backlight. It's a real distraction for our customers.

    Some people are so ignorant they will nod when you ask them to stop, then immedietly start again as soon as you've left. There are issues that we need someone in the theater at all times, which we can't afford to do. You shouldn't have to, but if it's a distraction for you as a customer, it's best to bring it to our attention so we can deal with it.

    One time we had kids in the dark theater throwing pennies at other customers. Nobody told us, so they weren't caught!

     

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    JKarp, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:51am

    Re: Not such a great idea...

    Sanguine Dream Said:

    Imagine how pissed you would be if you couldnt reach your doctor for your pregnant wife because of this jamming.

    Good god. It's a frigging miracle any babies survived before cell phones existed...

     

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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:51am

    either way - cost of movie-going increases

    If you want ushers/managers to monitor the theatres more - you have to increase staff levels. The only way the theatres can make up for that financial burden is to charge you more money.

    To implement any sort of technology like jamming signals in your theatres - more money. Tough situation - eh?

     

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    phone blocker, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 10:59am

    Re: Not such a great idea...

    No,
    If you need to receive a call, don't go to the theartre.
    Why should the other ticket buyers have their moviegoing experience ruined by your ringing phone? Because you just couldn't wait for that film to come out on DVD?
    As long as people think like you do, there will be a need to block cell phones in theartres.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:03am

    Re: either way - cost of movie-going increases

    The only way the theatres can make up for that financial burden is to charge you more money.

    No... The only way theatres can make up for that financial burden is by getting better licensing deals from the MPAA.

    Movies are too expensive period. They could get more people to go to the theatre if they made prices realistic, and made the experience at least a little more pleasant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Not such a great idea...

    If you need to receive a call, don't go to the theartre.

    right... I'm sure the movie theatre houses will jump all over this idea. I can see the advertising now...

    "Need your phone?!?!? Go Away! I'd rather go broke then let a doctor in the house."

    Of the 200+ IT staff that work at this facility, about 150 of them are "on call" after hours. You show me one theatre that wants to tell them they can't spend their money there. Just one, and I'll sms you a beer.

     

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  32.  
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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:09am

    our culture is known well for how rude it is.

    there are some great points made by people here that are being overlooked:
    - the doctor example is a bad one - someone had a great answer that it is the doctor's duty to be available when on call by not entering a "jammed" zone.
    - make 2 theatres available - one with and one without - unfortunately you will never see that experiment - but i can guarantee the one with jamming will do much better business.
    - some people have legit reasons for carrying a phone - no one argues that - but like one person above mentions - they made it fine before this "communications" age. I'm a techie and I still "forget" my cell phone often. not saying i am the perfect example - just saying i don't understand the "being available is most important" mentality.

    the theatre is an expensive outing and it is worth every penny of it --- if you have a great presentation without interruptions. people everywhere agree --- look at movie grosses!

    no worries though - this will never happen. government must get involved and that wont happen in the US - we are much too rude of a society to permit such a practicality.

     

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  33.  
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    Tom P, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:10am

    Dealing with symptoms...

    Blocking cell-phone signals in theaters to make people who were raised with no manners into model citizens is tantamount to banning oxygen in theaters to prevent smokers from being able to light their cigarettes. Granted I'm utilizing a wee bit of hyperbole, but the concept is the same. I can't think of the last time I saw someone smoking in a theater, and yet all of the tools necessary to do so are still in the pockets of smokers in theaters...

    Am I the only one seeing a correlation here? There must be a reason OTHER than "blocking cigarettes from being lit" at play here. I would assume that it is a combination of other patrons speaking out (to management, not w/rude shouts or fists or spilled drinks) against offenders and management responding by ejecting the viewer or forcing him to extinguish the cigarette. (I would personally be in favor of the former)

    I believe that the theaters need to step up their in-show security, have a monitor who ejects audibly ringing cell-phone owners from the theater immediately, no refund, no excuse. If not a monitor, than a CALL button or something (though a cell-phone can be stashed quickly, and a call ended abruptly, so a monitor is still the best bet)

    The warnings to put the phone on silent are already in place, nobody would have a foot to stand on in complaining about being ejected. No phone comes w/out a silent mode, and nobody has any excuse for not using it. (Personally I abhor hearing obnoxious rings no matter where I am, and rather than be a hypocrite, I leave my phone on vibrate literally all the time I spend outside of my house or car)

    Cell phone use in theaters is no different from cell phone use in any other occasion where obnoxious ringtones don't belong: sit-down restaurants, speeches, traditional theaters, libraries... the list varies per person, but common courtesy isn't common anymore, and people have to stop treating the symptoms with rediculous counter-measures.

    If we get dogs to get rid of the cats that we got to get rid of the mice... what will we use to get rid of the dogs?

     

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    Hexalon, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:11am

    Re: And...

    Anything doing with radio waves is in the domain of the FCC.

     

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    eoin, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:12am

    yo jkarp

    "Good god. It's a frigging miracle any babies survived before cell phones existed..."

    dude... it's not like you could've called yr doctor in the middle of the theater before cell phones existed either.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:16am

    All comes down

    to manners.

    Most people have them. But, like the bible belt, what happens is called "a vocal minority".

    Everyone has said it, keep your fone on vibrate, leave if you want to talk. Again, manners.

    The other thing you can do (and I've done) is keep a large cup of ice water. People hate it (and can't do shit about it) if you dump water on them if they are being rude.

    I had one person take me to court once, but the Judge rightly dismissed it. 1, because since it was only water, nothing was harmed (except his pride) and 2, the Judge agreed with me (and I think secretly was amused at my "it was an accident" bullshit story (the guy was behind me).

    You may or may not get popped for it, but its better than listening to the dipshit yap all night (think of the movie "Scary movie" where the girl was eating chicken and talking on the phone, close to that bad).

     

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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: either way - cost of movie-going increases

    yay! - i got someone to come out and play!

    movies are expensive - but the public pays more and more every year to go see them. it is simple economics. we are off topic here but you are going the wrong way with this if you want to whine about movie theatres and their prices. if people did not pay the prices - they would be reduced or the movie industry would fail.

    good point about chasing away business tough - but I do not think it would be as rampant of a problem as you make it out to be. i am an "IT Guy" on call and i assure you that most IT guys would gladly "forget" their cell phones when they want to see a movie. i do already and it is not required.

    getting the film buyers to negotiate a better deal would be much easier if the public did not pay the prices. however, as long as we pay the prices, those costs will only continue to rise.

     

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    Former Theatre Manager, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:17am

    It's not just phones...

    I managed a 6-screen private theatre. I instructed all ushers and projectioninsts to check theatres every 20 minutes. Customers received one warning and then it was out the door with them. The policy was posted and if they didn't like it they could go to another theatre...90 miles away. We had quiet theatres and customers appreciated it. This is not a legal matter and should be handled by the theatres' management.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:21am

    Where are the parents in this forum. HELLO, are we forgetting about parents who might be out at the movies and their small children are at home with the babysitter or the grandparents and there's an emergency and because the theater has a cell phone jamming policy, you can't receive the emergency calls? That's crazy.

     

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    The Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:34am

    There is no "legitamate" reason to carry Cell phon

    Some may not remember that life was fine before the advent of Cell phones. People had expecting wives or sick kids or emergencies the same as they now have. You had to make the decision not to go to the theater if your wife was expecting or so on. For years my wife did not carry a cell phone and people constantly asked, "What happens if there is an emergency?" I always responeded, "I am sure the police will get ahold of me." I don't know if jamming cell phones (especially by the gov.) is the answer, I just know that people have and can get by just fine without them.

    Personally I would like to have a personal cell phone jammer. Something like those neckless air purifiers they sale on TV. That way it could block all celluar signals within 20 feet of wherever I am. Two reasons for this. One, it would be funny and two i would not have to be annoyed by people on cell phones. I would just have to be annoyed by people for other reasons. That is until I invent a jammer for all annoying things people do. I guess I would have to walk around looking like MR. T after that.

     

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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:35am

    Re: It's not just phones...

    6 screens? either you were in a VERY small market with very little attendance anyway - or you were a theatre manager in the 70's and 80's when 6-plexes were prominent --- and cell phones were not a problem.

    I am not saying theatres should not be a part of the enforcement - I have 7 years of managing my own theatre under my belt too. It's not rocket science when it comes to controlling people in the crowd. So - are you going to be there holding each patron's hand throughout every film? No.

    Think of average 12-18 plex theatre - add 12-18 more employees per shift? add possibly 36 more shifts to a days work? It will never happen.

    It will not get resolved until someone gets seriously injured - shot or knifed - for reacting to a cell phone user or being the cell phone user. People DO get that angry over it. I choose not to toss cold water on a fellow patron in the big city because I really do not want to be that example.

     

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    shane, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: I agree with this anonymous coward

    most theaters have managers who make money, and all they have to do is to shine a light in your eyes an say, take it outside or leave.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    here's money for pizza....here's the schedule for my two kids...

    and if you need to reach us in an emergency - call the "BigBucks Theatre" at Regency Oak at 123-555-1234 - we are going to be in the 10 PM show of Superman.

    --------------------------
    Gee - that was difficult.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Nathan, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:41am

    Re: Not such a great idea...

    Or as they did before cell phones and pagers, you tell the manager of the theatre your name, what your job is, where you're going to be seated, and that you left this phone number for emergencies, so come get me. They did it "back in the day", why can't they do that now?

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:45am

    All it will take...

    is for patrons to finally grab the offender, toss them to the ground and then kick the shit out of them. After this happens a few times, the assholes sending text messages or having telephone conversations while other folks are trying to enjoy the film will learn - or not. Either way, you get your $8.00 worth of enjoyment.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    churney, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:56am

    My Movie Theater

    At the local theater there's usually 2 or 3 security guards inside. They remind everyone prior to the movie being played that there are to be no cell phones. If one is seen durring the show the guards remove the one responsible for disturbance.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Shielding, not jamming

    "It's amazing how polite people are after being publicly shamed for being rude. especailly in a closed static environment."

    and you're from what generation now? publicly shamed for being rude only results in juvenille retorts. maybe this would have worked in the 50s, but kids today have grown up with south park. that alone is enough to prevent your hypothesis from being realized in the modern world. not to mention the internet... anyone who has grown up with the internet has been, at some point or another, involved in flaming. this has conditioned us to not actually take offense to such attempts at verbal onslaughts and to formulate personally degrading responses to such attacks in a quick, efficient manner.

     

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  48.  
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    rijit (profile), Sep 7th, 2006 @ 12:12pm

    Dealing with symptoms... by Tom P

    The cigarett analogy does not work since it is against the law in most cities to smoke in public places.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Warren, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 12:20pm

    Domo Arigato, Mr. Vibrato

    I don't see why it's necessary to infringe on everybody's right to receive a phone call...provided their phone is set to "vibrate" instead of a ring volume.

     

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  50.  
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    Mike Brown, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 12:22pm

    Maybe a technical solution...

    Perhaps there is a technological solution to this. Cell phones work because the cells are small and the phone connects to the nearest (i.e. strongest) cell.

    What if the theatre had a "cell" inside? The cell would capture the phones, because it would be by far the strongest. Outgoing calls could easily be blocked (you'd want to program the cell to accept 911 calls).

    The in-theatre cell could then answer any incoming calls with a message, "the patron is in the (x) theater at this time. If this is an emergency, there will be a $2 charge to put the call through. Press 5 to accept the charge."

    Thus, the doctor could get those pregnant mother calls, and I suspect most people who were just calling to chat would be too cheap to pay the $2. That would cut down the numbers to a very small percentage of viewers who had (a) friends who were extremely rich; and (b) were too rude to turn off the ringer and put the phone on vibrate.

    The theatre could pay for the cell with the fees for putting calls through.

     

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  51.  
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    Tek'a, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 12:34pm

    think that a hardware enforced "silent mode" might be the best solution. especially if it can be done Without gub'ment being involved. simple, tiny, perhaps bluetooth or related tech, transmitter in that little hallway on the way into the theater?

    if the mobile producers got behind this, maybe marketed it as a feature "QuietCell Enabled Device", it would be a great shush.

     

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  52.  
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    ntlgnce (profile), Sep 7th, 2006 @ 12:42pm

    Duh.

    Get real people. Saying that they should "JAM" cell phones, is just as stupid as the morons that "forget" to turn them silent!! They should have a no tolerance policy and kick those who forget to use, the vibrate feature. How would one call for help, if someone needs it? The people that think that cell phones should be banned, are taking the movie experance way to seriously. I mean after all its just a movie, OMG I missed something that was said during the movie and it totally ruined the entire flick for me.. DUH get real people. Again with the reality check, saying that they should "JAM" cell phones, is just as stupid as the morons that "forget" to turn them silent!! OH I paid 10 bucks to see this movie and about half way through the movie someone got a call from his brother to say that his kid just fell off the roof. And it ruined the whole 2 hour movie for me, I want a refund, because I heard a cell phone beep and missed two words of the movie somewhere in the middle.. Now I need to pay another 10 bucks to find out what those two words were....

    Some people in the world are born complainers, These people need to get over it, and realize that somethings in life are more important then a story that someone put to film to entertain others.

     

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  53.  
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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 12:50pm

    now we are getting somewhere

    Mike Brown - I suggest you develop this idea more. It is the best of both worlds. Feasibility is there and it sounds like there exists technology to support it. Costs are taken care of.

    Go get rich Mike Brown - great idea!

     

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  54.  
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    Grandfather Time, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Shielding, not jamming

    superb idea.....now, for a device to drain cell phone batteries so you dont get blinded by the guy in front of you whos constantly needing to see what is on the floor of the theater, and opens his phone for light......

     

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  55.  
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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 1:00pm

    re: Duh.

    ntlgnce - your screen name is quite ironic.

    some people here are providing seriously workable solutions.

    people taking a $10 movie-experience too seriously?

    you get real. everyone is entitled to their own opinions and lifestyle. do not put someone down because they have serious interests in something you obviously do not. most of the people who have posted so far have an interest in a solution to help both sides. you are interested in complaining about the complainers. go elsewhere to bash people.

    the people who need to be "bashed" are the people who answer that ringer "What's up homey?...Naw just chillin in a theatre...yeah...the good part is coming....AWWWW...." - most of you know who I am referring to - that one guy who DOES ruin the experience. I think most of the people here realize that. We just have different approaches. Yours is apparently to pay $10 for a movie and get a social club out of it.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 1:06pm

    THEATRES ARE GENERALLY GAY

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    we need a baby crying jammer... not a cell phone jammer. At least the phone will eventually go off! :)

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 1:29pm

    Turn off your phone ad's.

    Is Southern California the only place that puts up big "turn off your cellphone" ad's before the movie?

    Since they have been doing that I never hear a phone go off in the theatre.

    I find the bigest distraction is parents that bring small children to action movies.

     

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  59.  
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    charlie potatoes, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 1:45pm

    Screw all this

    This is all bullshit. when you enter the theater they should give u a pellet gun...and anyone annoying you is fair game. aim for their heads. it hurts a lot more.

     

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  60.  
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    JiffyLube, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:06pm

    No more talking!

    I was at the movies with my wife a year ago when two old ladies came in and sat down in front of us. When the lights went down and the previews started, one lady had to explain each scene to the other. They were both hard of hearing. Finally, just before the movie started, a banner ad came on the screen that read: "Please don't talk during the movie." The one woman read it aloud to the other. My wife and I could not stop laughing - albeit quietly...

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:29pm

    It sounds like all cell phones have a vibrate option to ringing. Therefore, a reminder sign as you line up with your ticket to" turn off your ringers please", and ,in a corner ,visible to entering viewers ,in the lobby, a chair ,well-labeled as the half hour time out chair ,for first ring infractions. When you are in a crowd you accept crowd herder rules, like at an airport, for the good of the group. Whether they see this as a joke or not depends on their level of maturity.!

     

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  62.  
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    Mr. Hand, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:44pm

    Public Flogging

    It is not the phones that need regulating it is the people who can not figure out how to properly use one. To me there is still less distraction from cell phone use then there is from the jerks who talk and kick the back of my seat. I would rather have the option to kick someones ass for distractions then to jam their phone.

     

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  63.  
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    Sailorette, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Not such a great idea...

    Some people don't have that luxury.

    Much like another person above, I'm on call 24/7/365, and there are many, many people in the same business.

    It's called the military.

    By the book, we are supposed to be reachable at our recalls at all times. When you live in the barracks, as most military members between 18 and 25 do, your only recall is a cell phone. Failure to do so can cost you anywhere from a loss of your off-time for a week or two all the way up to half of your month’s pay, times to, 45 days restriction 45 days no liberty.

    So you REALLY want theaters to stab themselves in the foot by making it so military folks in the prime moving-going demographic can't go to their shows, go for it. Hope you like DVDs.

    For anybody who said "oh, the doctor shouldn't go to the movies" or "oh, the pregnant wife's husband shouldn't go anywhere"-- grow up. Please. You're responding to a rude sub-group by demanding a whole new responsibility of a different group. Why should these folks totally ignore advances in technology that help them do things better?

    I'm firmly on the "enforce the rules" side. Isn't that the POINT of rules?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:54pm

    Re: either way - cost of movie-going increases

    "If you want ushers/managers to monitor the theatres more - you have to increase staff levels. The only way the theatres can make up for that financial burden is to charge you more money.

    To implement any sort of technology like jamming signals in your theatres - more money. Tough situation - eh?"


    Wait, I have a better idea - why not simply fine the people who are being rude? So it costs more to hire ushers etc, but for just one $25 fine, you could pay someone for about three hours work. With all the jackasses around these days, the theaters may actually end up making money this way. Patent pending.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not such a great idea...

    Some people don't have that luxury.

    Much like another person above, I'm on call 24/7/365, and there are many, many people in the same business.

    It's called the military.

    By the book, we are supposed to be reachable at our recalls at all times. When you live in the barracks, as most military members between 18 and 25 do, your only recall is a cell phone. Failure to do so can cost you anywhere from a loss of your off-time for a week or two all the way up to half of your month’s pay, times to, 45 days restriction 45 days no liberty.

    So you REALLY want theaters to stab themselves in the foot by making it so military folks in the prime moving-going demographic can't go to their shows, go for it. Hope you like DVDs.

    For anybody who said "oh, the doctor shouldn't go to the movies" or "oh, the pregnant wife's husband shouldn't go anywhere"-- grow up. Please. You're responding to a rude sub-group by demanding a whole new responsibility of a different group. Why should these folks totally ignore advances in technology that help them do things better?

    I'm firmly on the "enforce the rules" side. Isn't that the POINT of rules?


    So here's a new idea. Why don't you clowns just put your phones on silent mode, than all of this would be a non-issue? Don't they teach you consideration for others or having a little foresight in army school?

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Monsuco, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 3:10pm

    Wait for DVD

    Here's an idea, just use signal blocking materials to construct the theator. Thus you can't call inside of them. If someone needs to be contactable on their cell phones at all time, here's an idea for them, NEVER GO TO A THEATOR, WAIT FOR DVD.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    AJ, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 3:22pm

    To forgiving

    No children under 4 period.
    No cell phones period (emergency number provided here)
    If you talk during the movie, your gone.
    If your fat, you have to buy 2 seats so the guy next to you can be confortable.
    If your tall, please sit in the back.
    If you want to make out with your partner, get a room.
    If you dont want to pay our overinflated rates for food or drink, bring your own.
    Please take care of your bodily functions before the show starts.

    Since we all know that these things will never happen, buy a home theater. Were always going to have something to bitch about, cellphones, talkers, babies, crowds, fat people, tall people, foot on chair people, the list goes on. Get yourself a nice flat screen, surround sound, snacks, and sit back in your lazy boy and watch that crappy film. Be sure to pay special attention to the "Dont be a thief by stealing movies" clip that you can't fast forward thru, while you monitor your torrent for the next piece of theft of the day. Have yourself a nice juicy packaged non-recycleable-ozone depleating-saturated fat enriched mcdonalds #1, while you chat away on that cell phone to your friend bitching about the price of gas for your 6 ton roadkill making suv that gets 4 miles to the gallon.

    I LOVE BEING AMERICAN!

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Thor, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    Auto silent mode using Bluetooth

    Why can someone make a phone that goes into auto-silent mode by giving it some kind of standard signal... and then comes OUT of silent mode when you leave the theatre...

    that would be cool

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Someone, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Auto silent mode using Bluetooth

    If they did that, people would start bitching about the security implications of allowing anyone to change your phone settings. (Even if it is just the ringer)

    Also this doesn't stop people from using older phones without bluetooth.

     

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  70.  
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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 6:36pm

    re: military

    OK military man - same lesson as we gave the parents earlier except a little different. Say for some reason this is even considered in the US - and enforced - then you have something to be concerned over. Then before you go into the theartre - put on your voice message the alternate number (number of the theatre) and tell the manager where you can be reached. if you plan ahead - it works fine. grow up? well if movie going is so important, then you would not mind taking these steps to make sure other people do not interrupt your show!

    as far as ad placements - they are all over the trailers. people laugh at them though.

    i still like the idea of a technological solution that manages this situation without completely losing the calls. However, I would be all over plain old keeping those cell phones out of the theatres.

    Military man - I understand your constraints. I am sure you are trained as such to handle any situation with the best resources available. Like I said - no reason to believe the US will even consider this for years - but if they considered it and enforced it - remember - the law would only >>lift restrictions for cell phone jamming

     

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  71.  
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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 6:39pm

    Military person

    All apologies Sailorette (I just looked back to see your screen name - if you are female I did not mean to disrespect you. Please insert "military person" wherever you see "military man". :-)

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 6:45pm

    contimuation of #69

    ...for some reason the rest of my post got cut off...maybe i write too much... :-D

    here is the rest...if you are interested:
    Like I said - no reason to believe the US will even consider this for years - but if they considered it and enforced it - remember - the law would only >>lift restrictions for cell phone jamming

     

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  73.  
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    G-Man, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 6:47pm

    last try

    ok - it cut it off again...try it without special characters:

    Like I said - no reason to believe the US will even consider this for years - but if they considered it and enforced it - remember - the law would only - lift restrictions for cell phone jamming - for movie theatres. Then it is completely in the hands of the theatres as to how they want to handle it.

    In today's society - I am sure if a theatre wants to implement something like this - they communicate it openly. I'll go and I am sure a majority of the publis would still go. However those of you that need 24-7-365 access can simply choose another theatre. In some places, this would not be an option - but how stupd could a theatre be to implement this if they are the only reasonable theatre available to a military base? So relax military man and grow up. you hav much to learn.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Tom P, Sep 7th, 2006 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not such a great idea...

    Wow, Great job assuming that everyone in the military is army, that everyone who doesn't turn off their ringer is in that army, and that the individual to whom you viciously responded (who is FOR the enforcement of silenced-cell-phones in theaters) is a perpetrator of those same rules...

    Along with your baseless accusation, your verbal assault on the group you've decided to villify ("clowns"? are you serious?) is patently rediculous.

    I'm willing to bet that a poll of those disturbed in movies would show that the majority were disturbed by teenagers... the type who are in mid/highschool or college.

    As he said, you're responding to a rude subgroup (that is, TEENAGERS w/cellphones and no manners) by foisting regulations on all the others (parents, on-call personnel, ME, etc)

    Read before you flame, and if you've got no point to make, don't bother posting.

    I agree completely with "Enforce the Rules"...

    To the argument that theater-owners will never do it because it costs money? That's a real shame, because it's the responsibility of the proprietor to see that customers aren't disturbed by other customers (it certainly isn't MY job to keep strangers quiet in the theater), and if that doesn't matter to the proprietor, I'm sure as hell not going to the movies.

    With a mentality like that, you can give it maybe two years and pirated dvds will put theater-owners all out of business for their refusal to respond to a serious encroachment on the majority of their customers' satisfaction.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Amy Alkon, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 12:30am

    if your phone rings at all in public, you're rude

    My cell phone is ONLY on vibrate when I'm anywhere but home. Why? Because I wouldn't want to disturb anyone with the ring -- and I have the least obtrusive ring I can choose on my phone.

    Why should anyone have their thoughts interrupted with your ring? Anywhere?

    Moreover, if I'm in a cafe or other public place, and for some reason, I MUST take a call, I go outside, and make sure there's nobody close by who's bothered.

    Remember consideration? So few people seem to. Let's bring it back, huh?

     

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  76.  
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    Music Pirate, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 6:46am

    I'm wondering....what happens if someone's cellphone does indeed get "jammed" and said person has a family emergency. They are unable to be contacted. Could this open the theaters up to possible lawsuits? You know how sue happy people are, just a thought I guess!

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anon, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    I agree that the problem isn't cell phones, it's poor etiquette. When you have a new babysitter, it's nice to know your phone in your pocket on vibrate can alert you to problems. It only takes a peek to see that it's either from home (and I will leave whatever venue I'm in, if it's one where talking is inappropriate) or from someone who can just leave a message until I'm done. If theatres blocked cell phone signals, I would probably stop going until my kids were much older. Theatres need a "no tolerance" policy - if your cell phone rings, an usher sees you to the door. Post the policy prominently.

    Some people get really irritated when people talk on their cell phone in a variety of public places. I think as long as they don't increase their volume above what they would use to talk to someone sitting next to them, it's not a bother - would I be annoyed if they were talking to a friend sitting next to them? If the answer is yes (ie, theatre), then I'm annoyed if they talk on their cell phone. If no, it's their business. The people who talk like they're having to shout across the room to talk on the phone irritate the hell out of me.

    And no, I don't use my cell phone much in public. I'm a "phone as a tool" kind of person who really sees it as a way to convey a message and say good-bye.

     

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  78.  
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    Wizard Prang, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 9:29am

    As long as it is signposted...

    ...what's the problem? Why is it that cellphone jammers are perfectly ok for the President's security detail but too good for the rest of us?

    I'm playing Devil's advocate here - I would just as soon not have the jammers and just trust people to bebave responsibly, but that does not seem to be happening.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 9:40am

    Well said.

    We managed for centuries without phones, now some of us cannot survive without them.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 12:30pm

    Re: sorry...

    why wouldN'T the blocking of cell phones be in the hands of the theatre management?
    Why should it be limited to theatre managers? Why not let everyone block cell phones? Before long no one would be bothered by them anymore.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Some answers...

    Likewise, there isn't any legislation against pouring one's 30-gallon "Biggie Size" Coke (accidentally) against the offender, either...
    People have been arrested and charged with assault for such actions. If you don't believe me, try it on the next cop you see.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Maybe a technical solution...

    What if the theatre had a "cell" inside?
    A couple of problems. Firstly, why would the cell companies go along with this? What's in it for them? Loosing customers? Secondly, who would pay for it? Cell sites are expensive and the theatres don't want to spend any more money.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Celes, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 6:10pm

    Re:

    I totally agree. I have a wonderful baby, happy most of the time, but why on earth would I take her to a theater? No small child can reasonably be expected to sit quietly for over an hour watching something that's only entertaining to their parents.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    techmind, Sep 8th, 2006 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Shielding, not jamming

    You obviously have no idea what a Faraday cage is and how it is constructed if you want a theatre to be inside one. A Farady cage isn't made with spray paint - this a very expensive thing to create, and not so plesent to work in. I should know, as I was a RF technician for many years and worked in a Farady cage at a factory. Bad idea.

    The basic problem here is one of rudeness; I carry a phone with me all of the time. When I'm in a space where it is inappropriate for it to ring, I switch it to vibrate or off. It is that simple. In a theater I switch to vibrate. If I get a call, I go outside and return the call - using the Caller ID information saved by the phone. This isn't rocket science.

    There are too few people demonstrating courtesy these days, (used to be common courtesy, didn't it) and very few taking responsibility for their own actions. Sad...

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Not a movie goer, Sep 9th, 2006 @ 5:58pm

    Not a movie goer anymore

    By now we've heard here from parents, military, medical, and yes - even computer operators, who feel having cell phones in theaters is not only their god-given right, but an even issue of life an death (who's next to make this claim, the on-call Taco Bell chef? The tow-truck driver? Plumbers? They're cetianly more critical than server admins...). Good luck on ever getting consensus on this issue. In the meanwhile, I'm here on the couch watching DVDs.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    greg, Sep 10th, 2006 @ 2:55pm

    There is more than one problem here!

    fisrt off let me say that i am a theatre techie

    and it's not so much that the cell phone jamming is not a bad idea but it is the fact that if the show uses wireless microphones the jammers may cause them to not function properly because of the frequenies being jammed

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Tom, Feb 15th, 2007 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Not such a great idea...

    poor thing, first of all don't get her pregnant and if she was due, why are you at the movie theater? Poor baby, why is your phone your baby blanket?

     

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