Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!

ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/14/14 at 11:18pm
Of course I don't condone the recent shooting in a movie theater over texting, but I have to admit, I almost understand.

I am so over sitting next to - or near - someone who is checking their phone during a live performance. I always nicely ask the person to please turn off their phone and inevitably they will, but a few minutes later, they're checking their phone again. I would never take out a gun - I don't own one - but it makes my blood boil.

I honestly do wish that some blocking technology would be developed and employed at theaters. Doctors and/or other professionals who have a legitimate need to remain in contact during a live performance can leave their phones at some designated window outside of the blocked area (coat check?) with their seat assignment.

In addition, if you are a professional who must be on call, then you should make sure your seats are on the aisle.

Texting - mobile phone usage - has no place in a Broadway theater unless it is integrated into the production as a unique feature.
ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/14/14 at 11:39pm
The problem with a technology that blocks cell signals is that it can also pose a problem for the various wireless technologies that many shows now use as well (wireless dimmers for lighting effects, wireless motors in the automation system, microphone signals, wireless headsets, etc).
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
oasisjeff
Broadway Star
joined:11/15/07
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/14/14 at 11:59pm
Hmm, that isn't necessarily true, since the building itself could just include material that doesn't allow the signal to pass through it, in which case everything inside the box would be able to communicate, but nothing from outside could make it inside.

Apple does have a patent on performers or venues using IR (I think) technology to send a signal that would disallow iPhones from shooting video, or photos, or using Flash at the discretion of the venue/performers. But no word if that is currently in the operating system or not. Even if it were, that would only affect iPhone users, so it would still need to be a standard before other devices would support it.

Once that happened, pirate apps or jailbroken phones would still disable the Apple signal, so at a certain level you can't really stop it without signal-proofing the whole building.

That said, there are cell jammers on the market, which are illegal. And it would mean no one around you would be able to receive calls, send text, or check their feeds. Again, which would be illegal.
Now t/d/b/a haterobics on here.
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 12:32am
Then, lets have the debate and write the laws to better accommodate the needs of our culture. Clearly, we've not been able to set appropriate mobile usage etiquette, so time for some laws.
ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 12:38am
I obviously hate it too--but in this case it seemed even more ridiculous--wasn't the guy texting during the ads/previews at the movie? I mean, I try not to do that, but it seems fair enough (similarly I wouldn't object to someone texting at intermission during a play...)
FishermanBob
Broadway Legend
joined:7/9/12
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 12:40am
It's extremely annoying I will grant you that but in terms of what the lawmakers of this country need to be spending their time addressing right now, what already overburdened court systems need to be dealing with and what understaffed police forces need to be handling, there are much bigger fish to fry. Let's keep things in perspective.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 01:15am
Your obsession with this has made you lose all sense and logic, Scott Briefer. You're forgetting that cell jammers (and legislation that might support it) bring in serious security and safety issues. There is then no way for someone to call in an emergency on their personal phone or receive emergency calls/texts/etc.

Try again, Scott. Try again.
It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner
orangeskittles
Broadway Legend
joined:1/8/05
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 01:29am
It's 2014. No one is going to leave their cell phone at a coat check with some peon theatre employee to check their messages in case someone needs a brain surgeon.

I hope ArtC3 doesn't own a gun.
Like a firework unexploded
Wanting life but never knowing how
kmccoy2
Swing
joined:11/14/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 02:26am
So, I work in a front of house position that lets me observe which patrons' phones make noises and how they respond. I really believe that the vast majority of interruptions are from people who genuinely forgot to set their phone to silent. It's been on very rare occasion that I've seen a patron actually take a call and act as though it was their right to do so. I think that we could vastly improve the theatrical experience for people if we could make it much harder for well-intentioned audience members to forget to silence their devices.

My solution: Make a default setting on smartphones that responds to a local signal (perhaps a bluetooth or wifi device broadcasting a specific ID) and sets the device to silent. It should be enabled by default, but the user should be able to set the device to "opt out" of the silencing, either on a one-time basis or on a permanent basis.

Pros: Users who have a need to keep their device unsilenced can do so. While I don't think there are many such users, maybe something will come up in the future. This also avoids the use of active jammers, which are not only illegal, but risk interfering with show control systems. And it avoids the use of passive jammers (like Faraday cages in the wallpaper or whatever) which is a brute force solution and disallows all use of devices, including pre-show, intermission, and post-show. And there are often good reasons for theatre staff or show crew to have working devices. And in case of an emergency, passive jamming remains in place, hampering rescue efforts.

Cons: Doesn't prevent intentional use, either phone calls or texting. Would be unlikely to ever work on non-smart phones. And the biggest con of all -- it seems quite unlikely to ever be implemented by smartphone device makers or software writers.

So the reality is that I doubt it'll ever happen. But whenever I see this discussion, I like to throw it out there, just in case someone with the power to unilaterally add a feature into all smartphones happens to be reading. Personally, I have my devices set up to respond to calendar events and automatically silence when I'm in a show.
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 08:40am
^ I don't own a gun.

I think some of the ideas put out are great ones. I really don't care how we solve this issue. I just want it solved. Sadly, I don't think it is always the person who forgets.

Just last week, the woman sitting next to me at Matilda kept checking her phone. She had an old flip phone and every time she did, it lit up. It wasn't huge, but it pulled my focus each and every time. I kindly asked her to stop, but she looked at me like I had grown horns.

And, this isn't the first, or tenth time this has happened to me.
ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 09:18am
kmccoy2 for president!
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Wee Thomas2
Leading Actor
joined:2/28/12
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 09:20am
Was on the aisle, last row at a recent show, latecomer (30 minutes!) directly across the aisle from me had her iPad (or similar sized toy) out for quite some time, ignored my "turn that off" requests, as well as the requests from those next to her. I went out to get an usher who assured me it would be taken care of, it was not. Toy playing continued (iPad and phone with tone noises) through the show. Found the usher after the show who insisted they couldn't find the culprit. Considering my seats were next to the door, I told him that was bull**** and I'd be talking to the house manager.

Who so far hasn't had much to say (it's been a week and a few e-mails back/forth)
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 09:26am
It seems to me the answer is easy. Simply place a retired police officer with a gun in every theatre. Problem solved.

ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:18am
I believe this is a far more serious issue than many people might care to admit.

I used to love going to the movies. I rarely go now. Between poor projection (image and sound) and people eating and using their mobile devices - making noise - I decided the experience was no longer worth the $15+ it was costing. So, I bought a huge tv and home theatre sound system and a subscription to Netflix.

I am passionate about live performance, but I am not so sure how much longer I am going to be willing to shell out $100+/ticket to find myself frustrated by an experience marred by poor sound (my Matilda and Big Fish threads) and obnoxious patrons who have never been taught proper theatre going etiquette.

Producers, get a handle on this, or you're going to see this effect your bottom-line!
ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:29am
I think that age comes into play as well. I recall watching a local news story that was talking about cellphone usage in the theatre. This was also around the time that a patron's cell phone stopped a New York Philharmonic concert. It was later discovered that the patron was an elderly man who didn't fully know how to use their new smartphone and genuinely felt embarrassed and genuinely felt bad for what happened.

The news story pointed out that a majority of people's phone's that go off are older. And, people that don't really know how to use the newer smartphones that are out there. It also stated that younger people know not only how to turn their phones off, but know to do so when in the theatre.

Personally, I feel that while it is easy to say that if you don't know how to use a smartphone you shouldn't have one. I feel that it is more complicated than that. I think that there are people who are older that get frustrated over not knowing how to use the newer technology and that admitting defeat in that regard can be a bitter pill to take.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
Rhoda4
Swing
joined:6/13/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:32am
I completely agree Artc3 - - - -something really has to be done! A good start would be for theatres to go back to the old rule of "No food or drink allowed to be brought to your seat." It is very simple - a Broadway Theatre should not be a place to eat - talk - or be on any kind of electronic device!!!
KathyNYC2
Broadway Star
joined:12/2/10
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:39am
"Of course I don't condone the recent shooting in a movie theater over texting, but I have to admit, I almost understand."

Sorry, can't compute that. The two events should never even be in the same sentence.

While I agree it's an annoyance and a huge problem for performers AND for audience members to deal with phones, IPads, etc...and it certainly needs to be dealt with, it's a little daunting to read that while you don't condone what happened of course, you could almost understand it. You almost understand wanting to blow someone's head off...shooting them in the face in front of his/her spouse...killing them... because you are distracted in a theater?

I am sure you didn't mean it literally but still - there is enough violence in the world without "almost understanding"(even in jest) another gun tragedy.

Sorry if I have offended..you just hit a sore spot with me.



Updated On: 1/15/14 at 10:39 AM
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:43am
"I believe this is a far more serious issue than many people might care to admit."

Get a grip. THIS IS NOT A LIFE OR DEATH ISSUE. You will survive. You will be okay. You will carry on. Jesus Christ, life is so much more than two hours in a Broadway theater. I hate the behavior just as much as you do, but you're teetering on obsession by demanding that producers install cell jammers and signal blockers and new, dictator-like rules & policies. It's not feasible, it's not appropriate, and it's overreaction. Scott Briefer, you do a great job at pissing me off to no end.

/ Rant over
It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:46am
winston89... I disagree with your post 1 million percent. The woman sitting next to me last week was a 30 something. The woman sitting next to me a few weeks ago, who actually made a call during the performance was also a 30 something. The young man who refused to turn off his game on his smartphone was barely a teen. The young woman in front of me who kept texting was also a teen. The list goes on.

It may be true that older people struggle with the technology and perhaps those incredibly inappropriate moments when a phone goes off may be attributed to those who don't understand the technology, from my experience, the vast - as in ALL - of those who believe that keeping their mobile devices on during a performance are young seemingly tech knowledgable people.

If you extend this to other inappropriate usage of mobile devices and texting outside of the theater, it is my three 20 something nephews who can't seem to turn off their phones, even when driving. I have never been in my father's car when he took out his phone while driving!

I love my iPhone. Professional, I actually design apps for the device. I am a strong believer in technology. I am an early adapter. I just think there is a time and a place and after years and years of hearing that the etiquette of such devices needs time to work itself out, I have lost my patience as things seem to be only getting worse.

It is time that we - the culture at large - have a debate about such issues and take appropriate action. Either I have to give up my passion for the theater and accept that I am in the minority and texting in the theater is here to stay, or universally we have to educate those who haven't had the appropriate upbringing.

ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Updated On: 1/15/14 at 10:46 AM
MarkBearSF
Understudy
joined:1/25/11
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:50am
The only recent occurrences of cell phone interruptions I've experienced were at shows mostly frequented by "seasoned" audience members who are likely to be very familiar with theater etiquette. (A play at MTC and Encores). Yes, I expect it was more a factor of their age and inexperience with the device itself rather than poor manners.

Updated On: 1/15/14 at 10:50 AM
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 10:53am
Perhaps I am just the unluckiest person, as I am often seated next to the person who can't seem to turn their device off.
ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 11:16am
Between poor projection (image and sound) and people eating and using their mobile devices - making noise

You don't like people eating in a movie theater? As in the concessions like popcorn? As in the theater's primary means of making an actual profit? Also, as in a tradition that has been in movie theaters for decades?
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 11:21am
I actually have often purchased and consumed popcorn, candy and soda at a movie. I have no issue with this at all and having worked as an usher at a movie theater when I was a kid, so I am well aware that the concession is the primary source of revenue for a movie theater.

I was referring to those patrons who arrive at the theater with a concealed 20pc KFC dinner and proceed to turn their movie experience into their home dining room table experience despite the theater being quite full and their actions spilling over to all those around them... Can you please pass me a leg and some of those fries. YUM!!! Oh... I could use a napkin. Ugh. What am I going to do with these bones? I'll just throw them on the floor.







ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Updated On: 1/15/14 at 11:21 AM
Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 11:24am
Goosfraba...
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 11:27am
^ I didn't know the word... Just did a google search... cool. Thank you Wynbish. I'm off to learn about "goosfraba"
ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Turn Your Phone OFF!!!!!
Posted: 1/15/14 at 11:33am
KathyNYC2... I'm sorry, I didn't see your post until just now rereading through. I am genuinely sorry if I hit a sore spot, and of course I agree with you. I think the shooting was horrible and inexcusable.

ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Updated On: 1/15/14 at 11:33 AM

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