AMC recants idea to let moviegoers text in theaters

WASHINGTON — Movie theater giant AMC Entertainment has changed its mind about letting moviegoers text in theaters.

After CEO Adam Aron told Variety that the chain would test text-friendly movie theaters, a flood of complaints and criticism on social media has convinced AMC it’s not a good idea after all.

“No texting at AMC. Won’t Happen. You spoke. We listened. Quickly, that idea has been sent to the cutting room floor,” AMC tweeted Friday morning.

The social media firestorm meant a quick reversal for AMC, the kind of instant feedback that wasn’t available to corporations making controversial decisions a few years ago.  That was also a point not lost on Aron.

“In this age of social media, we get feedback from you almost instantaneously and as such, we are constantly listening,” Aron wrote in a statement.

“There will be no texting allowed in any of the auditoriums at AMC Theaters. Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future.”

In the earlier Variety interview, Aron said the move to test texting sections in its theaters was in response to changing lifestyles, and especially aimed at appeasing millennials.

“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. You can’t tell a 22-year old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their live,” Aron told Variety.

AMC has a dozen multi-screen theaters in the Washington region.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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