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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Making the movies nicer

Sharon Waxman has a story in today's NY Times about what theater owners are doing to try to lure patrons back to the movies. The answer seems to be "not much."

There are vague suggestions of hiring more ushers to shush obnoxious audience members, asking patrons to check their cell phones at the door, reducing the number of ads before the show (won't happen), putting a lid on ticket prices (ditto), or blocking cellphone reception in the auditorium. (The cell phone lobby will fight that to the death.)

"We have to attack rude behavior - fighting, bickering, talking too loud," John Fithian, head of the National Association of Theater Owners, says.

When was the last time you saw an usher come into a theater while a movie was showing, just to check in? When was the last time you saw an usher actually talk to a patron who was acting rudely, or throw him out of the theater?

And let me just ask one more question: was the movie in black and white?