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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Blocking cell phone signals in theaters (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Blocking cell phone signals in theaters
Shane Cooper
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 232
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 12-22-2005 01:24 AM      Profile for Shane Cooper   Email Shane Cooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here is a link to an interview with NATO President John Fithian talking about dealing with the cell phone problems in theaters. One item he suggests is lifting the FCC ban on cell phone signal blockers.

CNN Video

What has been successful for everyone in curbing cell phone use?

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Allison Parsons
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 630
From: East Peoria, IL
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted 12-22-2005 02:05 AM      Profile for Allison Parsons   Author's Homepage   Email Allison Parsons   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Slapping them upside the head if they answer. No just kidding of course.

It seems like at our theater we don't have TOO much of a problem with cell phones going off during the movie. BUT, the blue or green lights shinning when someone checks to see what time it is/who called/whatever, is more of a problem or annoyance then cell phones ringing. Not too mention CRYING BABIES (can they make a ban on those as well? [evil] )

I remember when we use to have problems with laser pointers. If we found the idiots who where shinning them on the screen, we would confiscate them. But as always, once a manager walks into the theater, the culprits put away their toys...

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Cory Isemann
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 500
From: White Plains, MD, USA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 12-22-2005 07:40 AM      Profile for Cory Isemann   Author's Homepage   Email Cory Isemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A always love catching someone while I'm at the port window and I'm able to point out where they're sitting to another manager and watch them get escorted out. Cheap thrills!

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-22-2005 01:04 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am pessimistic about NATO or specific movie theaters circuits being able to get anywhere in jamming or shielding out cell phone transmissions.

The medical folks will throw in their need to be reached anywhere anytime. Then others will try to make it into a civil rights kind of thing -and probably have more success about than other groups, such as militant smokers campaigning against smoking bans in certain areas and cigarette taxes.

What has to happen is the general public must become hatefully angry enough to where a selfish cellphone user will fear inviting a vicious ass kicking if he takes or makes a cellphone call during a movie. Until that day comes assholes will keep on dialing and answering cellphone calls during movies.

quote:
Not too mention CRYING BABIES (can they make a ban on those as well? [evil] )
I hear you, Allison. During the showing of "King Kong" I watched this past weekend, a couple sat in the row ahead of me. They had an infant that could not have been more than a month old. The baby starts crying and the mother is mixing up a bottle to feed the kid right in the theater. The only bright side to this is the baby didn't cry very much (just wait until he's several months old and that crying volume level shrieks up several notches). The couple had to get up and leave when "Kong" started climbing onto the Empire State Building. The infant started crying and would not stop. I've seen some people stay planted and allow an infant to scream through the climax of a movie. On top of that, while the crying sustains, they're probably those bubbly parents who exclaim "isn't my baby the cutest?" Assholes.

I'm sorry if this steps on any toes, but parents of infants seriously need to leave the baby with a relative or just stay at home. Don't take the kid to a theater and f**k up everyone else's outing.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-22-2005 01:53 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We had the most annoying cellphone incident yet last weekend. It was during a quiet moment in NARNIA, when all of a sudden a phone rang, but intstead of a musical ringtone it was a voice yelling "ANSWER THE GODDAMN PHONE! ANSWER THE GODDAMN PHONE! ANSWER THE GODDAMN PHONE!" As luck would have it, my wife was standing in the back of the auditorium when it happened and hauled the offending teenager out in quick fashion.

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Matt Fields
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From: Jackson, Ohio, United States
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 - posted 12-22-2005 02:13 PM      Profile for Matt Fields   Email Matt Fields   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Had a teenage girl who was warned to turn off her cell phone. She didn't, and tried to use it in the theatre, so we took it till the end of the movie. Meanwhile, her Dad tried to call her. Ended up getting in an arguement with the father. I'd rather fight him then piss off the paying customers.

Bottom line, no cell phones in the auditoriums. Only solution I know is to police the theatres as much as possible, and tell people when they come in the no cell phone policy.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-22-2005 02:39 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If it is technically possible to block phone signals and only phone signals, without affecting other radio signals or affecting phones outside the physical theatre, I'm all in favor of this. People who need to be reachable at all times shouldn't be going to movies. People who "think" that they need to be reachable at all times should turn their phones off or, better yet, leave them at home or in their cars.

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Jarryd Beard
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From: Hellertown, PA
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 - posted 12-22-2005 04:12 PM      Profile for Jarryd Beard   Email Jarryd Beard   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't like the idea of taking a customer's cell phone during the movie. Instead, simply kick them out with no refund if they don’t think they can sit for two hours with their phone silenced. Also, if the phone rings, I wouldn't remove the patron. I'd warn them that any further activity of any type would result in them being ejected.

Because I work in a college town theatre, at least 95% of our guests are college students. The talking on the phone doesn't occur nearly as much as those annoying fucking text messages. People sit in a dark theatre with their stupid bright screens sending test messages. Nothing pisses me of more. Well, except for some stupid fuck that plays with his Zippo lighter lid all through the movie. Never have I come so close to throwing something at someone in a theatre. (Of course, I was at another theatre watching the movie as a paying customer. This didn't occur while I was working.)

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Greg Mueller
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From: Port Gamble, WA
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 - posted 12-22-2005 04:25 PM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How about just wacking the ill-mannered rude asses in the back of the head with a large coke or a water balloon? (Water would be easier to clean up but a coke would be handier) This penalty would be applied to cell phone users (of any type) parents too inconsiderate to take their screaming kids out and people who talk during the show, telling what's going to happen in the next few moments (I've come close to doing this a few times)
Or maybe they just need a spotlight shined on them until they quit [Big Grin]

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Mark Lensenmayer
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From: Upper Arlington, OH
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 - posted 12-22-2005 04:29 PM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been annoyed by talking customers before, but I oppose blocking cell traffic anywhere.

I use my cell phone primarily for short conversations and emergencies. I had my cell go off one time in an important city council/zoning meeting, but it was a true emergency (very ill father-in-law). I've also had my daughter call after being in a car accident. If I had to talk to someone, I would leave the auditorium and call the person back, but I MUST be able to receive the call.

I bought my cell phone to be able to be reached anywhere, any time. When you have elderly parents and in-laws, their being able to reach you instantly is crucial. I'll turn off the ringer, but I will NOT turn off or surrender my cell phone.

Any theatre that would deny me entrance because of a cell phone would immediately lose my business and just give me another reason to stay home.

So, that puts the management in a real bind. The issue isn't really the cell phone itself, but how it is being used. Any loud talking should be cause for removal, but there is a true need for emergency calls to get through.

I don't have much hope of NATO getting this through. They have good lobbiests, but the phone companies have paid (with our money) for some of the best! I would doubt it even gets introduced.

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Greg Mueller
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From: Port Gamble, WA
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 - posted 12-22-2005 04:34 PM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How about having a cell phone users showing? And/Or a screaming kids showing. That way all those people who refuse to be considerate could all go to those showings and piss each other off instead of the couple hundred people they piss off that are considerate.
What did people ever do before they had cell phones?

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Lyle Romer
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From: Davie, FL, USA
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 - posted 12-22-2005 04:54 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Lensenmayer
I MUST be able to receive the call.

Then you'd better read your contract, because all carriers state that delivery is not guaranteed.

As for the topic at hand, nobody could stop you from passively blocking the signals with faraday cage. It would just be very expensive. You could combine a faraday cage with an on-site paging system (antenna in each auditorium) so that people who really MUST be reachable (doctors, emergency officials) could leave the phone at the box office and get an in-house vibrating pager.

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David Stambaugh
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From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 12-22-2005 05:31 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Allison Parsons
BUT, the blue or green lights shinning when someone checks to see what time it is/who called/whatever, is more of a problem or annoyance then cell phones ringing
I've noticed this happening far more frequently lately than phones actually ringing. At one recent show this woman in the row in front of me pulled out her phone and checked for messages like every 5 minutes, and every time that nice bright LCD display was a distraction. Do these people think nobody can see that light but them? Are they retarded? Fucktards maybe? Blocking calls won't stop people from dinking around with their phones. [Roll Eyes]

My god, how did we ever exist without cell phones? We've all gone off the deep end. SHUT THE DAMN PHONE OFF FOR 2 HOURS!!! [Mad]

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Lyle Romer
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From: Davie, FL, USA
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 - posted 12-22-2005 05:42 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: David Stambaugh
Blocking calls won't stop people from dinking around with their phones
But maybe they'll eventually figure out that they aren't going to get any messages and stop checking!

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John Hawkinson
Film God

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From: Cambridge, MA, USA
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 - posted 12-22-2005 06:26 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sadly, many people use cell phones in place of watches noawadays...

I will admit, I use my cell phone to inform theatres about major focus or framing problems during the trailers, to avoid having to disturb lots of other patrons by getting up from the center of a row.

I've also done it mid-movie once or twice for truly egregious problems (wrong lens, movie goes out-of-frame across a reel break, etc.). Perhaps sadly, at the multiplexes around here, calling the theatre is actually often faster than trying to find a manager in a lobby (not even counting travel time).

Recently at a screening of Bee Season, I watched someone across an aisle from me answer her cell phone and keep talking continually. I understand that sometimes people forget to turn off their phones or put them on vibrate -- that is really really annoying, but it at least understandable -- but to actually answer the thing and talk?! Wow!

Maybe more surprising was that nobody near her said anything! I got up after waiting 30 seconds for someone closer to do something and managed to get her to stop without making noise.

--jhawk

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