questionsdo you do anything when someone uses their phone…


I have no problem calling them out. "Hey, do you mind?" or "take it outside please" almost always does the trick. When that's not enough, there's always the theater staff.


Sigh. It's not worth the fight; most people using their cell phones are too stupid/rude to turn them off, and I don't want an altercation. I'll move before I say something. . . although I will passive-aggressively dig my feet into the back of your chair if you're sitting right in front of me.

It's one reason I don't go to as many movies as I used to.

I also try to go to earlier showings, or wait till a movie's been out for a while before I see it.

Now, if I'm in a theater watching a live performance, all bets are off. So much as look at the time on your cell and I will call you out consistently till you shut it down.

Maybe I find theater people less intimidating than movie people.


I hulk out and start throwing theater seats

Either that or just ignore it


I just stub my cigarette out on their device. That usually stops them.

Seriously, I wait for the DVD to come out.


Texting doesn't bother me. I do it in theaters and most of the people I've seen do it, as well as myself, turn their phone's brightness down a good bit so as not to be extremely distracting. I've never seen anyone take a phone call in the theaters though. If they're loud and refuse to quiet down or take it outside, I'd probably jump all over it and make the guy/girl leave.


I find loud mocking and throwing of popcorn usually does the trick. Usually, the folks around will join in, as well.


I clear my through loudly, if they're nearby...otherwise, I ignore it.

Here's a question, though, at what point do you usually start complaining about usage? I was emailing back and forth with my husband while he was in Iraq during the pre-preview commercials while the lights were still half-up, and an older gentleman started whining to his companion about "stupid kids texting" and they moved...from beside my friend and me to the row behind us....really. I finished emailing/chatting with my husband before the real previews came on, but when the gentleman kept whining, I turned around and nicely (I WAS raised in the south) apologized and explained the situation. He was rude to me and said it didn't matter, that I should still take it outside. Because he was older and more irate than I, I apologized again and left it alone. It has bothered me for 3 years. Was I really in the wrong?? Or was he just a JERK?

(Sorry for the hijack...)


@captainsuperdawg: I dare you to text in front of me in a theater. I would have taken your phone and put it in the trash can in the hall. We PAY MONEY for the theater experience, any little light or noise distracts from that.


@aafalke: You should have taken it outside. It would have taken 15 seconds to exit the theater and continue your emailing in the hall or lobby.


@aafalke: Personally I think he was just a jerk. To be complaining after you had stopped using your phone to e-mail is (to me anyway) just acting like a spoiled brat. Especially because you explained the situation to him, and that you had no more intention of using your cell phone when the movie was on. If it were me sitting there, I wouldn't have minded as long as it was done before the movie, because once it's dark, the light from a cell phone is distracting....but you said the lights were still half-up, so I wouldn't have minded. I would have then said, well your whining is way more distracting to the people around us than my use of my phone long before the movie started!

As for the other question, I kick their seat if they are in front of me, lol! Not really, I don't watch movies out much, and most people in the theaters I've been in have been very courteous. It's amazing really, because the area I live in, most people can be extremely rude over very silly things.


I think it is wrong for someone to communicate electronically while in the theater. Prior to the lights going out is probably OK, but it starts the whole thing off on a bad foot with those around you. If you must be electronically tethered, have it on vibrate only. Check the caller ID as it comes in and if you must speak or text that individual, do it out in the lobby, Everyone in the theater has paid more money than it's worth to be entertained and the phone user is not supposed to be part of the show. You are not getting to watch what you paid for while you are communicating anyway, so don't deprive everyone else as well.


Part of the problem is that EVERYONE is a jerk and seems to believe they have a constitutional right to be jerk (they probably do). When one jerk jerks someone else, and they jerk back the whole thing turns into a jerk-off. Can't we all just stick to Woot-Offs? ...By the way... monitoring a Woot-Off on your phone in a movie theater should be allowed (there could be a BOC after all), although personally, a Woot-Off keeps me at home.


@captainsuperdawg: You text in a theater? Geez. Talk about falling off the pedestal...


I tattle but that is how deals.woot has trained me.


@aafalke: He was right, and you were in the wrong. Take the conversations and texts out to the lobby.


We seldom go to movies anymore because of the annoyance factor of fscking phones. Unfortunately, the problem has expanded to live performances as well in the last couple of years. It's hard to enjoy a stage performance when the field of vision between me and the stage is full of little bright phone lights held up at eye level or above. At $50+ per ticket these days, I've gotten pretty quick at summoning an usher, and fortunately the local venues are quite good at taking care of the problem.

Movies, however, are pretty close to being a lost cause for us.


@kamikazeken: So you attack people who cough, sneeze, eat their popcorn loud, or do anything that distracts from the movie? What if I had a slushee and, being diabetic, turned the light on my insulin pump? Would you take that away from me as well? It has a light and it beeps. If my phone is out in the theater, the brightness is all the way down, it's on silent, not vibrate, and I try to keep it low so it doesn't distract others. I'm not openly texting people, playing with a strobelight app, or doing anything extremely distracting. And by the way, most of my texts are along the lines of "Watching a movie, ttyl." I don't like being distracted either.


@curli76: That's kinda how I feel. If someone is inconsiderate enough to use their phone during the movie, and I'm talking about well after the opening credits have rolled, then I doubt any scolding from me is going to do anything. I look at it this way: if you don't have two hours to dedicate to going to the theater to see a movie, DON'T GO. If you do go and you're anticipating an important call for which you can't predict the timing (from work or a wife about to go into labor), sit near the exit so you have time to pick up before the call goes to voicemail, but you don't have to answer while still near people.

My current solution is usually to change seats, making a big production out of it so that (hopefully) the phone user will see that I'm making the effort to move. Lately, however, I've adopted the Michael Bolton outlook: "Why should I change? He's the one who sucks."


@aafalke: your scenario is okay; in fact, I'm usually updating my calendar or some other quick thing on my own phone while the lights are still on. I'm talking about deliberate texting throughout the entire movie. This happened to me yesterday, which prompted me to pose the question. A lady in the row ahead of me was basically carrying on a text conversation with someone, whipping out her phone every 5-10 minutes to reply. She was with a friend, and I got the feeling she didn't want to be there, but her friend dragged her along, so she didn't particularly care about the movie and found another way to entertain herself. Made me homicidal.


I think the entire cell-phone thing is a VERY sad commentary on our society.
10, 20, 30 years ago, we all got along JUST FINE w/o having to be avail. or able to contact others for half of or even a whole day.
Now? Some people can't go a mere 2 FLIPPIN' HOURS (ok, occas. 3 if it's Avatar, Titanic, or Avengers, etc.) without having their lives interrupted--or are so insecure in their own lives that they feel a compulsive need to "touch base" with someone every hour?
There was a time that such indicated one was in a position of great importance which necessitated making oneself available.
Now--it's the opposite. People who are slaves to their phones are merely announcing to everyone that they are so un-important that they must be at someone else's beck and call every minute of every day, no matter what they might be doing.
My personal time is too important for that. Unless I'm expecting a possible urgent situation to arise, I turn my cell phone completely off at movies. No vibrate. OFF.


I call it like I see it and tell them to shut it down!


And if someone else is doing it, I don't change seats. My preferred movie theater has reserved seating which can be selected and purchased in advance, online. I'm not as bad as Sheldon, but I do have a good idea of where the best seating choices are in each of their 16 theaters. (Okay, go ahead and call me a nerd---but just once in each was all it took to figure it out.)
Fortunately, 4 of these theaters are adult-only (over 21), and cost a tad more. It's therefore almost without exception a much more polite crowd overall (even though alcohol consumption is allowed), and this is almost never an issue there. But I did recently have to sit in one of the downstairs theaters, where the texting issue happens a lot. As I prefer to sit near the back, I was amazed at how many rude, un-important people were there and couldn't wait two hrs to converse with someone not even present. But at least they weren't TALKING! LOL.


Before reading the responses, I had no idea people were so annoyed by texting. Yikes!! I guess the backlights on phones don't bother me like they do other people. Although, I was once told that my eyes don't react to light quite as the should, so maybe that is why. I also don't go to the movies often at all, MAYBE 3 times a year. And the most recent movie, only an elderly couple was sitting in front of my friend and me. But I suppose if a bunch of people were texting, it could maybe get annoying if they were really lighting up the place. Talking on your cellphone I don't agree with at all though. When I go, I don't turn my cellphone off, but put it on vibrate. No one calls my phone, so if I do get a call, It's most probably from my parents and important.

As far as live performances, people shouldn't text simply because it's rude to the performers, right off the bat, never mind other people. >_<


While the house lights are on, even partially, I have no problem with cell phone use and occasionally do it myself. Once the house lights go down, I put my phone away and expect others to do so also, though I generally don't care much during the 15 to 30 minutes of previews and TV commercials that have become common.

No one has ever said anything to me about my cell phone use with the house lights on. About a year ago, once, the guy in front of me had not silenced his phone and it rang about 30 minutes into something. He jumped up and ran for the exit, while several people threw things at him and shouted at him... all in all, it was hilarious. (I cannot recal the movie, but the whole incident fit in with it, almost like it was planned.)

However, I no longer go out to the theater very often (less than a dozen times a year, mostly on Sunday mornings to shows that start before noon since they only cost $6). It is extremely rare that a theater is more than about 10% full when I'm there.


@captainsuperdawg: A smartphone (assuming you have one) on ANY brightness setting is very distracting in a dark theatre to the people behind you. A required medical device is another thing entirely. But with your phone, please recognize that while you may not be the very worst type of offender, you are still contributing to the problem and distracting people behind you.


@aafalke: Anything before the actual movie starts is fair game, though I might move since I don't know for sure you're going to turn it off.

Once the logo for the production company appears on the screen, it's all off or I will pretend the theater has ejector seats and imagine you being launched.


I'll check the time on my phone or putz around on it while the commercials and lights are on. Being forced to get to a movie early enough to get the "scoop" for nearly a half hour about what's on TNT this summer so I'm not sitting in the front row is annoying, and anyone who feels I'm distracting from their "experience" at that point has larger issues. My phone is on silent and tucked away before the lights go down and the screen is adjusted for the real previews, and doesn't come back out until the credits roll.

We have had people persistently texting behind us in a packed theater before. I'm talking opening weekend, couldn't find a spot to move to without sitting on the exit stairs sort of packed. After a few disgruntled over-the-shoulder looks failed to solve the problem, my husband asked them to stop. No idea if their screen was dimmed or not, but every time they got or sent a text it was akin to seeing a flash of lightening out of the corner of my eye. That's rude, and wrong.


@captainsuperdawg: I don't think you want to end up in any of the same theatres as me. At the very least, I hope your phone is fully insured.


@aafalke: I say as long as the lights are on, it's fair game. Once the lights go out, then turn it off. Therefore, I'd say he was a jerk and you were fine.

@captainsuperdawg: Why even bother replying? If the lights are off and the movie is on, it's still rude. Just turn the phone off. There are very, very few things in the world that can't wait 1-2 hours to be replied to.


I use an insulin pump, superdawg, and yes, I'd go to the restroom to adjust it if I needed to. Having had diabetes for nearly 20 years, having to find a more private location to prick my finger to get a blood sample is something I've had to do at many times, and it's an inconvenience almost every time.

And yes, I really really would take your phone if you were texting in front of me. I would then deposit it in the trash can or hand it to the manager. If you had a problem with that, I'd happily meet you outside to settle it. AFTER the movie ended.


I wanted to stab the dude next to me through his eyeball with my straw when we went to the midnight opening of the last Harry Potter movie. Texting occasionally the whole time. Every time I thought he had finally come to his senses and put his phone away, it'd be out 5-10 minutes later. The brightness seemed turned down and he kept trying to "keep it low", but it was still incredibly distracting. I don't know if he thought it was okay because we were in the back row and so less people could see it, or what.

I didn't say anything because the theatre was obviously packed and I didn't want to cause a further problem, but sometimes I am timid, and sometimes I am not, so I might say something in the future if it happened again.

As soon as official previews start, phones should be off or otherwise ignorable. It's fine during the "movie scramble" slideshow commericals and that type of stuff.


@jezebelseven: I've often fantasized about going out to the concession stand, bringing back a jumbo supreme 128 oz soft drink and "stumbling" right into the miscreant's lap with it. Hey, it's dark in theaters! And I'm old and a little clumsy, with bad balance!


There's a time and place for texting. It's not in the theatre. It's not in class. It's not in church. And it's definitely not in the middle of our conversation. Put your stupid phone away and talk to me face to face instead of that person on the other end.


We pay to see & hear the show not u. Please take it outside. The last time I went to see a movie was @ the Uptown theatre in Wash. Dc. I sat up in the balcony, @ first I was the only one there, then a young couple sat right behind me. They put their feet on the back of my seat & talked .This was a matinee showing of Vertigo in VisaVision. I drove from Balto.Md. to see this, well they left about half way into the feature. But the show was ruined for me. I now have a 136" screen that I watch movies on in 1080p. I was going to the movies 2 or more times a week! not any more.