Friday, August 04, 2006


Movie Theater's New 'Complaint' Button
go to original article ... or email me for article text
"Loud talking, chair kicking and other movie-theater annoyances may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new device similar to the flight attendant call button on airplanes.

Moviegoers at the Regal Deer Valley Cinema complex are testing devices that will alert a theater employee when a fellow patron is behaving badly.

Instead of searching the theater lobby for an employee or fuming silently, the "guest response system" enables people to subtly tell on their neighbors from the comfort of their own seats."
I love it. It's a simple fix, that if deployed correctly, can cut right to the people who actually care about these things.

I don't know if these are intended to be installed in seats (I hope not - they'd be rife with abuse from some of the people patrons complain about) but if a patron can choose to pick one of these up at the lobby, or the door of the theater, I think it would go a long way towards silencing some of the most common complaints.

I've always felt like the people who complain about things like cell phones, the people they sit next to, and other things related to the experience are a vocal minority. And on top of that, they're complaining about a few instances that are by no means representative of the majority of moviegoing.

Now, if they have a venue for voicing their complaints (provided, they actually get dealt with), I think people will begin to speak more reasonably about it. It's the feeling of being trapped and helpless that is the biggest contributor, here, I think. If there's actually something that can be done, people might decide that it's worth it to tolerate whatever minor annoyance rather than go through the trouble of picking up a radio device at the box office.

Additionally, I like the idea of a way for people to notify the projectionist about things like sound and focus. I know that I always care about these things (but never want to leave my seat and miss part of the movie). Very sensible. What more can you ask for.

There are a lot of ways to go with this. Obviously cell phones are like a dirty word in theaters, but being able to use any device (i.e. text messaging) to notify the theater about problems would be nice. It might even be workable with proper signage around the theater lobby.


At 5:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this very intriguing. This device may raise the customer's expectations which are difficult to meet. Unlike airlines, do you expect a theater employee to walk into the middle of movie showing to stop the offender?


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