- New Line Cinema
UPDATE: AMC has walked back quotes from its CEO. In a new statement, the company said, “NO TEXTING AT AMC. Won’t happen. You spoke. We listened. Quickly, that idea has been sent to the cutting room floor.”
It’s one of the ironclad rules of going to the movie theater, but it’s about to loosen up.
AMC Entertainment recently got a new CEO in Adam Aron, previously CEO and co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, among other things.
Aron has plans to shake up how the AMC theater chain, the largest in the country, does things, including becoming more millennial-friendly.
And to attract millennials, Aron wants to find a way to allow cellphone use during movies. He explained his reasoning in a new interview with Variety.
“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 said. “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.”
AMC’s head hasn’t just been thinking about this in the abstract. In fact, based on his quotes, it seems like he’s been thinking through how to do it just right.
“We’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences,” he said. “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.”
When asked about a section for texting, like the old smoking sections of restaurants, he says it’s a possibility, though “more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly.”
Either way, it’s clear the largest movie-theater chain in the country will be actively courting millennials and the devices that they constantly have with them.