I’m going to see King Kong later tonight. If someone’s cell phone rings during the flick I might snap, but if theater owners have their way I won’t have to worry about that anymore. The National Association of Theater Owners (a kinder, gentler NATO) is preparing to ask the FCC to allow them to block cell phone signals in theaters.
Theaters are facing a real challenge as attendance falls do to high prices and more entertainment choices. This is seen as one way to bring people back into the movies. Apparently the rude behavior is a turn off.
Some theaters are already taking the matter into their own hands, with no cell phone policies. Some even require you to check your phone at the door. Not everybody thinks that all of this is as good an idea as I do. The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the Washington based lobby group, will fight any move to block signals. “We’re opposed to the use of any blocking technology, because it interferes with people’s ability to use a wireless device in an emergency situation,” said CTIA spokesman Joseph Farren. That argument seems a bit weak to me – if those ushers in silly outfits aren’t for emergencies, what good are they?