AMC Theaters floated the idea of changing its policy to allow texting during movies this week, and it lasted about as long as a Snapchat message.
Speaking with Variety on Wednesday, AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron hinted that his company would make the move. "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,'" Aron told the publication.
Complaints poured in via social media and other channels in a matter of hours.
Do this and I'll NEVER go to an AMC again…
AMC Entertainment CEO Open to Allowing Texting in Some Theaters https://t.co/ypLRuczbQF
— Jeremy Conrad (@ManaByte) April 14, 2016
AMC open to allow texting in movies. Well, f*ck seeing and experiencing a movie, then!
— Kyle O (@DeLuxODonnell92) April 13, 2016
"I know! A theater where texting during movies is mandatory!" — AMC's next big move
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) April 13, 2016
— Andy Signore (@andysignore) April 15, 2016
So today, the Leawood, Kan.-based company essentially reversed course.
NO TEXTING AT AMC. Won't happen. You spoke. We listened. Quickly, that idea has been sent to the cutting room floor. pic.twitter.com/JR0fo5megR
— AMC Theatres (@AMCTheatres) April 15, 2016
Indeed, it's been a whirlwind week for AMC, as it tries to attract young consumers who'd rather stare at their smartphones than look at the big screen.
Meanwhile, the brouhaha also exposed the fact that some folks on Twitter believe AMC Theatres is doing a bad job policing texting during movies. The brand can't catch a break.
As far as I can tell, they've been tacitly allowing texting in AMC cinemas for years. Why bother making it official? https://t.co/IsZGgV8cI6
— Keith Calder (@keithcalder) April 13, 2016
AMC might allow texting in the future. As opposed to their fiercely enforced policy against it now, I guess?
— Brian Collins (@BrianWCollins) April 13, 2016