Regal Theaters: Free Popcorn for Ratting on Cell Phone Users

From IMDb:

    Regal Theaters, the nation’s largest theater chain, has begun testing devices in 25 of its locations that allow patrons to summon ushers if audience members use cell phones or become unruly. Regal Chief Executive Michael Campbell told the Reuters Media Summit in New York Wednesday that a second button will notify management of faulty projection, a third about uncomfortable room temperature, and a fourth about any other problem. Campbell said that ordinarily customers won’t say anything such problems while the film is running. “They just will complain on their way out or, in the worst case scenario, they don’t come back.” He said that he expects the device to be available nationwide next year and that it will be given to “mature” audience members, who will receive free popcorn for their efforts.

That’s awesome. Grandma’s got the button and she’s not afraid to press it.—MEGHANN MARCO

Theater Gets Tough on On Cell Phone Users [IMDB]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ElizabethD says:

    Ooh, boy! Let me have one of those suckers, stat. I hate it when obnoxious movie-goers mess up my cinema experience by blabbing their play-by-plays right behind me.


  2. Ugh gawd can you imagine a bunch of guys and girls fighting over the “comfortable temperature” button? That’s a nightmare waiting to happen

  3. MeOhMy says:

    I can’t wait until the first lawsuit is filed by someone who gets ratted out :-)

  4. CMPalmer says:

    I’m going to start bugging our Regal Theater every time I go there until I get one. Awesome! Plus, the free popcorn is worth, what, $50?

  5. RandomHookup says:

    Free popcorn, soda will cost $12. Everybody wins!

  6. DougDascenzo says:

    Wish I had one of those at “Casino Royale” on Tuesday night, when a guy threatened (at least 4 times, loud enough for the whole theater to hear) to murder a guy with his kids, because the guy asked him to stop talking on his cell phone during the movie.

    The most memorable quote was, “You dead you white mothafucka. I’m gonna kill you, but I’ll respect the kids and wait for you outside.”

    Definitely just as entertaining as the movie though.

  7. acambras says:

    So wait — was Samuel L. Jackson in Casino Royale?


  8. Chione says:

    How do you prove you’re “mature” enough for these devices? Do you have to take, like, a test, or something? =D

  9. acambras says:

    LOL — my mother would probably press each button at least 50 times, worrying that the device didn’t work.

  10. Ben says:

    This is so much better than, say, having an employee monitor the auditorium. I can’t imagine anybody abusing the “push a button and somebody comes running” privelege.

    Why don’t they just give out a phone number so I can call on my cell phone to tattle on somebody else on their cell phone?

    (insert rant about theaters going even further downhill, along with lack of original movies, etc)

  11. DeeJayQueue says:

    give the tattle tale button to the mature patrons?

  12. aka Cat says:

    Yeah, the room temp button is a pretty dumb idea. Put my mother in charge of it, and we’ll all be broiling at 85f.

    But I love the rest of it. They don’t even have to give me popcorn, I’ll happily narc on the cell phone users for free.

    Especially if it means my work emergency beeper (on vibrate!!) doesn’t get jammed. No movie for me if work can’t reach me.

  13. RumorsDaily says:

    Jeez, I’d pay an extra dollar or two to have one of these. Don’t worry about the free popcorn. The crowd at theaters has turned me off to going in the last few years. I’d love to be to ratt on people without, you know, being threatened with murder.

  14. varco says:

    Speaking of cell phones, what about the folks who think that it’s okay to sit in the front row and text their buddies for the whole movie. Those cell phones tend to be brighter than the movie screen and are as distracting as all hell.

  15. pestie says:

    I see no reason why Congress shouldn’t pass a law making it legal to shoot people dead in movie theaters for talking on their cell phones, with a lesser penalty of shooting them in the leg for allowing the phone to ring in the first place.

    This is why I don’t go to theaters any more. Well, OK, it’s also the fact that they charge way, way too much for shitty movies, but the #1 reason is cell phone abuse. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a movie in a theater and a cell phone didn’t ring at least once. Fuckers.

  16. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    And yet another situation that could easily be solved with a simple 5-Megawatt laser.

    “Rrrrrring Rrrrring Rrrrring!”



    Problem solved.

  17. Antediluvian says:

    I’d like to complain when the projectionist fucks up and doesn’t notice — which is ALL THE DAMN TIME. I’m not talking about just out of focus — I mean film aimed too low, too high, the masking curtains on the sides too close, etc. That stuff really makes for a poor experience filmgoing.

  18. zentec says:

    Which button is for fast-fowarding through the 20 minutes of commercials so prevalent in Regal Cinemas?

  19. FLConsumer says:

    Kick ass! I also say they should post two employees in the theater: 1 manning a spotlight, 1 manning an Oozinator.

  20. jwissick says:

    About time someone came out with this…

    Movies have sucked since cell phones became popular…

    Oughta just make the back of the seat sensitive to a lazer and activate a cattle prod under the seat…. 3rd shock is set to kill.

  21. Trai_Dep says:

    You know, if they’d give me a stun gun instead, they can keep their popcorn…

  22. trixare4kids says:

    RANT: I really wanted to see The Departed (and it was a kick ass but that’s another story) so I went to the theatre for the first time in probably 2 years. It only took this one trip for me to remember why I love my netflix subscription so much.
    1) Prices. I’m officially old because I was shocked at how much they’d gone up and I thought myself thinking, “Damn, I remember when movies were only $6.50 and you had to walk both ways uphill in the snow to get there.”
    2) It would have cost me $3,456,869.99 for a small popcorn and small drink. (I snuck in my own bag of microwave popcorn and sodas for us, though.)
    3)The floor was super sticky.
    4)The woman sitting in the front of us yakked loudly on her cell phone before the movie and into the previews. I wanted to reach over and strangle her. Dear Obnoxious lady on the cell phone: I don’t care OMG! who is sleeping with whom and it sounds like YOU were the one being the bitch to your co-worker. Also, that thing you did with your boyfriend the other night was just grody, why would you admit that to anyone, let alone a theatre full of people? Hint: There’s no need to project your voice on the cell phone, they can hear you just fine.
    5)Commercials. Okay, so Previews I get ~ but 20 minutes of commercials even before the previews? I’ve PAID to be here people, enough with the advertising.
    6)An usher came into the theatre to do checks. He came down the isle with his stupid light stick about 5-6 times during the movie which was totally distracting and annoying. He seemed to always pick the moments when something intense was happening and I missed a couple things. Get the HELL out of my way, Mr. Usher.
    7)To the man behind us who kept saying, “What did he say?” and “Why did he do that!?” to his wife and to his wife that kept answering by explaining the whole story: You are NOT at home so HOW ABOUT A BIG, FROSTY MUG OF SHUT THE F!CK UP? If you cannot understand what is being said, wait until it comes out on video. You and your wife can discuss the movie as you are watching it AT HOME.
    Also, for the record, it is NOT NOT NOT okay to say, “Oh, he’s going to Shoot the guy?” or “OH, he’s going to break his leg?” every three seconds. No need to guess, sir, we are all about to find out if you would just shut the hell up and watch the freaking movie.
    8) To the person who’s cell phone went off not once, but twice during the movie: There is a special place in hell for people like you.

    …boy that felt good.



    as has been said, the temperature button is dumb and there are any number of problems with theaters that these devices won’t address, but it’s a start. but unless they can back it up with staff who actually have the balls to kick people out for their sins, the idea could backfire.

  24. valkin says:

    a handheld device? I’ve been saying for years that there should be a call button (like on airplanes) in the theatre to request an usher to deal with bad sound, projector, etc. Put a button by the door, have it for specific scenarios so the person can sit back down and end of story.

  25. Nextlevel says:

    How about a rewind or pause button..

    joke for those with no sense of humor.
    but it is nice to have that option at home, isn’t it.. ISN’T IT..

  26. I actually wouldn’t mind that button…