Biggest Theater Chain May Allow Texting

As a way to bring in millennials, says AMC CEO
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2016 9:32 AM CDT
Biggest Theater Chain May Allow Texting
Are you on board?   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Prepare to be thrilled or peeved, depending on your age. The newly appointed CEO of AMC Entertainment says he's considering allowing mobile phone use, including texting, in theaters as a way to attract millennials to see a show. It's actually one of many new strategies being discussed—including more "exciting" food—as AMC prepares to become the world's largest theater operator upon its merger with Carmike, but it's likely to be the most controversial. "We need to reshape our product in some concrete ways so that millennials go to movie theaters with the same degree of intensity as baby boomers," Adam Aron tells Variety. The way to do that? "You can't tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone."

"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 continues. If this sounds like a terrible idea, don't freak out just yet. Aron acknowledges that "today's moviegoer doesn't want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on," so he says a compromise might be to have mobile-friendly auditoriums. "IF ever, we ONLY would pursue in a way we'd be TOTALLY confident ALL our guests will fully enjoy movie-going experience," he adds on Twitter, per WNCN. Aron says a new deal with ticketing app Atom Tickets might also help attract millennials: When you buy a ticket, it will send a text to friends who can then reserve a seat next to you, Aron says. (This theater chain recently started checking bags.)

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