Tuesday, April 19, 2016

AMC should walk back walking back a texting-friendly auditorium

So, AMC said they were open to texting-friendly auditoriums for some movies. People reacted, they walked it back. Call me unsurprised.

They also made a mistake in doing this. They should go right ahead with it and let the idea sink or swim on its own merits, not on what people say about it.
AMC IMAX Theater
Image courtesy of Flickr user Vrysxy

I'm right in the age range that CEO Adam Aron targeted in the interview. I also hate when other people use their phones during a movie. I will notice every single phone, even the ones on low brightness across the room. It bothers me, and it bothers me to no end. I'm not the person that they're looking at. Even though I'm almost always using technology, I don't do so in a movie theater.

So, what if there were some auditoriums where the rule was different? In this showing, it's not a problem to use your phone during the movie. It's not grounds for ejection, and you know that when you go in. That is all that he is suggesting - allowing phones in some theaters, not all. I've heard this suggestion before, saying that this is a good way to allow people to have what they want.  The moment someone actually suggests it, people react as if it's the worst possible option.

AMC should bring the idea back. Take an auditorium or two in each theater, designated as allowing phone usage during the movie. Then, see how well they do. Don't base this decision on what people say they're going to do, but on what they actually do with it. Do they not get many people coming in, or do they draw in more people than the ones around them? We don't know the answer.

Call me cynical, but I don't believe what people say. I believe what they do, and this is a situation where that applies. AMC should take that same approach. Believe it when people spend their money.

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