Thursday, May 31, 2007

I would love to get my mitts on one of these!

From USA Today:

Select moviegoers get tattletale tool

NEW YORK — Movie theaters don't have vice principals or hall monitors to enforce the rules, but they seem headed that way as they step up their battle with a big and growing problem: rude customers.

Major chains are telling managers to monitor audiences more frequently and clamp down on disruptions, including cellphone use, talking and gross littering.

The largest theater owner even is enlisting moviegoers themselves. This week, Regal Entertainment Group will significantly expand a program to give selected patrons wireless devices to anonymously alert the manager of disruptions.

"We have noticed over the years that customer etiquette has become more and more of a problem," says Dick Westerling, Regal's senior vice president of marketing and advertising. "We're doing what we can to provide a friendly environment for all moviegoers."

Summer is the peak time for complaints as kids pack theaters for the season's high-energy adventure and animation flicks.

"I don't believe that this generation of younger folk is as respectful of fellow audience members as previous generations" were, says National Association of Theater Owners President John Fithian. "Maybe that's because I'm getting older. But the sense among our members is that this is a growing issue."

Rudeness isn't limited to kids, though. "Parents who bring really small children into R-rated movies are an annoyance," Fithian says.

Theater owners must act. As HDTV and home theater sales grow, "They have to make it worth people's time to leave home and go to the movie theater," says Research Associates analyst Marla Backer.

The financial toll isn't obvious this year. Box office sales already are up 6%, with an unusually high number of potential blockbusters on tap. Shrek the Third, Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End have set a heady pace ahead of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Live Free or Die Hard, Ratatouille, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and The Simpsons Movie.

Owners still recall, though, the 2005 box office slump that led many to fear disturbances had done permanent damage.

"There's a subtle structural change going on," Backer says. "Certain people don't go to the movies anymore."

Regal will try to change that this week by introducing its Regal Guest Response System in 114 theaters, up from a test at 13 that began last year. Customers in Regal's loyalty points program will be invited to take a cellphone-size device into the theater. If something pushes their buttons — a disturbance, picture or sound glitch, someone recording the film — they can push one of four buttons to alert the manager.

"We've seen an improvement in the customer etiquette with the implementation of this program," Westerling says. "It addresses these problems on a more routine basis and in a faster manner."


Mags said...

Wow. That could be cool. And it could also suck.

Rocketstar said...

They should install drop seats. If someone is being obnoxious, the manager would pull a lever and the person would just drop down into the floor and have to leave the theater.

Mags said...

Forget the drop seats-I think they should have SHOCK seats!

LOL. THAT would be so funny!!!

But if burnt popcorns smells that gross, imagine how burnt teenagers smell? Ick. Drop seats it is.

the108 said...

I think that places such as movie theaters and whatnot should have a kiddie play area with a couple of employees working there and a fee.

The worst thing about being a parent is being made to feel as though you suck because you have kids. A lot of people are just bitchy cocksuckers who can't stand to hear a kid and will then make the parent feel awful. No wonder places like this lose money because anyone with kids stays home half the time.

I'm certainly not going to spend 10 bucks per ticket, 4 bucks for a box of candy, 4 bucks for a soda and five bucks for popcorn just to add the 2o bucks for a babysitter.

That is a shitload of money to go watch a movie I can pay three dollars for once it comes out on dvd.

My favorite store here is called Fred Meyere and it's just like a super walmart... even the prices are the same if not lower. At Fred Meyer's they have a daycare that is monitored by a staff and you can drop your kids off in there to watch movies, play games, do artwork and play with toys instead of having to drag them around the store. The kids have more fun in the playroom and we don't have to listen to them beg for everything in the place.

This is why Fred Meyer's gets my business.

Mags said...

Where's this Fred Meyer gonna be when you give birth? LOL

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Tom, I tagged you at my site.

Anonymous said...

They used to have "cry rooms" in the older theaters, now there is only one left in Seattle. It offers mothers and families a seperate viewing room so they don't have to worry abuot bothering the other adult patrons.

In Florida they meantion "no texting" esplicitly, but not here, not yet, and the backlighting of a phone is as annoying as having it ring. I even got on a woman about it who was checking every 5 mins.

I said, "If your so frickin' important texting maybe you don't have time to take in a movie! Don't piss me off, I'm sitting right behind you."

-P I do it my way

the108 said...

Mags: Oh, my If it's daytime, I 'll just take my kids to Fred Meyer and be like, "ho hum... just doing some shopping" and then leave them in that fucking playroom while I haul ass to the hospital... HA HA HA HA.

"Honey, Fred Meyer is closing in about ten minutes. You might wanna go get the kids."