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by Bryce J. Renninger
March 21, 2012 5:33 PM
9 Comments
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Movie Audiences Want to Text, Says Hollywood Reporter Study; Meanwhile, the Alamo Drafthouse Groans

Michael Ging/Flickr

According to a new study from The Hollywood Reporter and market research firm Penn Schoen Berland, most filmgoers think using social media while watching a movie in a theater would add to their experience. Almost half said they would like to go to theaters that allowed cell phone use during films.

In the piece, Jon Penn of Penn Schoen Berland, suggests viewers want a Choose Your Own Adventure, where moviegoers bring friends not even in the theater into the viewing experience. “Millennials want their public moviegoing experience to replicate their own private media experiences," he said. "Having dedicated social-media-friendly seats, or even entire theaters, can make the moviegoing experience more relevant and enjoyable for them.”

The data is part of a Hollywood Reporter-comissioned study that looked at how entertainment consumers view social media.

Of course, this comes as no surprise to the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, which has been fighting the widespread use of texting during movies with thoughtful PSAs. Last summer, the theater released a colorful phone call they received from a woman who was ejected after the manager received complaints about her texting.

Since then, the Drafthouse has, at designated times, encouraged cell phone use in their theaters. This weekend, the Drafthouse hosted a Hecklevision screening of the cult classic "Leprechaun," where viewers interacted with the action on screen with, one could assume, texts like "Taste the Rainbow, thug!" and "Hi Ma!," that were then placed on screen by the theater while the film was running.

At other times, though, the rules at the Drafthouse stand. They won't be encouraging a Facebook powwow during "The Hunger Games" anytime soon.

9 Comments

  • Edward Copeland | March 23, 2012 11:23 AMReply

    These are also people who want to talk to their friends who they came with so others can't hear the movie and, if given the option, really wish theaters would convert theater seats to toilets so they could shit and piss there without missing any of the movie. In other words, they are self absorbed idiots. If your device is so important to you that you can't be disconnected from it long enough to see a movie, you shouldn't be seeing a movie.

  • Marianne Louvre | March 22, 2012 3:23 PMReply

    The study also says that 75% of social networkers say that being able to use a mobile phone in a movie theater would make the experience distracting and less satisfying. And those of us who don't consider ourselves active "social networkers" completely agree with that.
    Did the writer of this article even look at the study?

  • mike hurley | March 22, 2012 10:15 AMReply

    And people in hell want ice water. Last time I surveyed people; five out of five smokers preferred smoking in theatres and on airplanes. It's not the texting that bothers me, it is the freaking light. Until they figure out a way to make one persons fun not another person's pain you can't use a cell phone or I Pad in my theatres.

  • Oslo | March 22, 2012 2:49 AMReply

    Please keep the texters in some small room. I actually want to see a GOOD film, and not be around those who can't respect art.

  • Robert | March 22, 2012 1:54 AMReply

    If they use their cellphones like in The Departed, then, sure, fire away. But until they can compose & send a text with their phone in their pocket (on silent ), then they should stay at home.
    And while we're at it, bring back velvet curtains opening to reveal the screen and short films before each feature too.
    I liked going to the cinema .

  • Archibald | March 22, 2012 1:50 PM

    100% agreed. I, for one, love the velvet curtain, the organ and player that they used to have at some theaters where it would rise up in front of the stage, and the fact that people actually went to a movie to SEE a movie.

  • andrew | March 22, 2012 1:46 AMReply

    who wants go the the movies to watch a movie? the day i pay attention to something is the day i die.

  • sasha | March 21, 2012 11:32 PMReply

    They should play the same movies on two screens. One for the regular old boring movie goers that just want to sit and watch a stupid film and the other screen would allow talking and texting on cell phone, maybe have a full cocktail bar stocked with all the peanuts you can eat so you can flirt with strangers in the dark. You'll really need a smoking section, maybe a little vip room in the back with some strippers if the movie starts getting too confusing... and lets not forget the espresso maker! All of this for $12.50... hey, now you're talking. And they should make the other Oh-So 20th century boring screen half the price of admission.

  • Kate Erbland | March 21, 2012 5:37 PMReply

    If they want their own theaters, fine, let them have them. I will not be joining them.