KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 15 (UPI) — AMC Theatres has decided against allowing the use of cellphones during movies after a backlash from film fans who thought the chain might start allowing texting.
“No texting at AMC,” the company tweeted on Friday. “Won’t happen. You spoke. We listened.”
Adam Aron, the new CEO of AMC Entertainment, sparked controversy earlier this week when he revealed in an interview that he was considering allowing audiences to text during movies.
“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,” he told Variety. “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.”
Aron’s reasoning was that movie theaters needed to think of new ways to attract millennials and stave off falling audiences.
His suggestion was met by vociferous opposition in some quarters.
Movie buffs even took to AMC’s social media accounts to protest that their lives would be made a misery if they were having to deal with glowing cellphone screens and incessant clicking of people texting.
And they even threatened to boycott the chain and go elsewhere.
“Not a good idea!” said Colleen Marino, 46, who was waiting to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 at the AMC in Dublin on Thursday.
“That is crazy. They need to put a sign up and say, if you want to talk, go outside,” said moviegoer Patricia Heard, outside the Metroplex in Kansas City.
But now Aron had consigned the texting idea to the cutting room floor.
“We have heard loud and clear that this is a concept our audience does not want,” he said in a statement.
“With your advice in hand, there will be NO TEXTING ALLOWED in any of the auditoriums at AMC Theatres. Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future.”