According to Reuters, the next time you talk on your mobile phone in a movie theater, beware: Your neighbors are listening. “Regal Entertainment Group the largest U.S. movie theater chain, is arming moviegoers with a new gadget that allows them to call in the ushers and remove unruly audience members with the press of a button. Regal is testing devices at 25 of its theater locations, handing them out to frequent customers and may roll it out nationwide in the next year if it proves successful, Campbell said. Regal operates 6,400 screens nationwide. About the size of a pager, the gadget has four buttons. One alerts theater managers about a disruption in the audience, such as a fight over a cellphone. A second button gives notice of faulty movie projection, a third button can be pressed if the room temperature is off and a fourth button, marked “Other” covers any other problem. … The bigger problem seems to lie with a whole generation of youngsters who cannot disconnect from their cell phones, instant messaging and other devices even as they sit down in a public theater.”

What We Think
Movie theater interruptions are a common pet peeve. Even so, we don’t much like the idea of empowering some movie patrons to rat out others … to us it smacks of big brother. Still at $10 a seat, going to the movies has gotten to be so expensive, this is a simple way for the movie theater owners to build loyalty into their customer base. But why implement on a specialized gadget, one dumbed down to four buttons? Can’t we implement this on the mobile phone itself? Wouldn’t that be more politically correct … encouraging everyone to use the technology responsibly?

Relevant Links
Textually Org 11.30.06
As reported on Iconculture