In an interview with Variety at the CinemaCon trade show in Las Vegas, AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron told the publication that he would be open to allowing texting and cell phone use in theaters. He made his stance clear during the week of April 4, despite the frequent "no cell phone" warnings aired in theaters across the country.
Aron, who has also served as the head of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, told Variety that you "can't" tell a 22-year-old to turn off his or her phone, claiming that it's "how they live their life."
One option he entertained was the possibility of a texting section, where individuals who want to be able to use their phones could sit and watch the show. However, he specified that the more likely option would be to convert existing AMC theaters into "texting friendly" venues.
This would not be the first time that texting in theaters has been proposed. Venture Capitalist Hunter Walk made headlines in 2013 when he took to his blog to discuss how texting and movie-watching could exist harmoniously at the theater. Walk imagined the idea of being able to Google the cast of the movie or send out a tweet while watching a film. Then, he went on to state that the sheer ban of digital technology in theaters had driven him away from the theater.
"I'd love to watch Pacific Rim in a theater with a bit more light, Wi-Fi, electricity outlets and a second screen experience," Walk wrote. "Don't tell me I'd miss major plot points while scrolling on my iPad — it's a movie about robots vs. monsters. I can follow along just fine. If you took a theater or two in a multiplex and showed the types of films which lend themselves to this experience I bet you'd sell tickets."
Notably, Actor Elijah Wood went out of his way on Twitter to negate the venture capitalist's argument.
"You can have that experience," Wood stated. "In the comfort of your home. A ludicrous idea to create a passive viewing experience at a theater."
With Aron's proposal, the discussion surrounding technology use in the theater is just the latest to stir the pot.