Looking for a way to attract more millennials into the movie theater, AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron is considering the possibility of allowing moviegoers to keep their smartphones active during a movie in order to send text messages. Detailed in an interview with Variety, Aron is looking into a couple options. One option would be to set aside an area of the theater for people that constantly want to send text messages. The other option would be to setup specific text-friendly showings of a film so anyone in the theater could text away.
Explaining his reasoning for the potential policy change, Aron said “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.
He continued “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.”
It’s unclear how text-friendly theaters would be conveyed to consumers that want to avoid those showings. It’s likely that the majority of people attending a film would prefer not to be disturbed by the glowing light of a smartphone. Outside of texting, this policy change would likely open up the opportunity for movie goers to play games on their mobile devices as well as interact with social networks like Instagram during the movie.
At the moment, AMC is currently attempting an acquisition of Carmike Theaters. If the takeover is successful, AMC Entertainment will become the largest movie theater chain in the entire world. However, the company still has to get the approval of the Justice Department as well as a vote of approval from Carmike’s shareholders.