In order to get more young people into movie theaters, AMC theaters may soon start letting Millennials sully the sacred cinema experience by allowing the use of cell phones during movies. The CEO of AMC Entertainment, Adam Aron, told Variety that allowing texting is a possible move the chain may make to increase their grip on the coveted Generation Y demographic.
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. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.
At the same time, though, we’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences. There’s a reason there are ads up there saying turn off your phone, because today’s moviegoer doesn’t want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on.
When asked if that would involve creating texting sections of the theater, Aron went bigger, saying, "What may be more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly."
He later took to Twitter to clarify his statements and prevent a backlash from text-unfriendly cinephiles.
Press reported we considering a test allowing texts in a VERY FEW screens. We know vast majority of audience wants no texting (1 of 2)— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) April 14, 2016
IF ever, we ONLY would pursue in a way we'd be TOTALLY confident ALL our guests will fully enjoy movie going experience at AMC (2 of 2)— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) April 14, 2016
But it may have been too late, as Twitter chimed in to offer critiques of Aron's idea and provide suggestions for how to get Millennials into theaters in a less patronizing way.
@CEOAdam we don't go to a movie theater to talk and hang out. it's way to expensive to do that.— kevin (@kevinturnr) April 14, 2016
@CEOAdam This is a stupid idea. If you want to attract millennials stop charging so much for the tickets and concessions.— Ian Wenham (@IanWenham) April 14, 2016
@CEOAdam a lot of your wording was very offensive. Too bad it's fashionable to shit all over millennials anymore.— Shaske Says; (@Shaske) April 14, 2016
@CEOAdam So basically UR saying I should never set foot in an AMC theater again? GREAT. There will b 2 Alamo Drafthouses in NYC this summer.— Rick Bullard (@Rick_Bullard) April 14, 2016
Alamo Drafthouse is a theater chain that originated in Austin, Texas, and has a severely strict No Texting policy during movies. They aren't afraid to kick people out who are caught doing it, as you can see in one of their ads where the Drafthouse takes pride in an angry voicemail from a customer who had to be tossed out of the auditorium for texting.