Posted at 3:07 PM on December 13, 2006
by Euan Kerr
Last night I attended a sneak preview of "Eragon," the new adaptation of teen wonder writer Christopher Paolini's best-seller. I've always had a soft spot for dragons so I was quite looking forward to it, as was Malcolm the 16 year old who read the book when it came out.
As often happens at these screenings we were greeted by a trio of polite but large security people at the door who reminded us of piracy concerns and asked if we had cameras in our cell phones.
So I was politely (and largely) asked to go stash the phones in my car, as Malcolm went to get seats. It was quite a hike because it seems like the Eden Prairie Center is quite popular at present, so could only find a spot very close to the end of the earth. Anyway, skidding all the way in my slidey shoes I got back in time to see the one and only Jason Matheson from TV station Fox 9 introduce the film.
And that's when he dropped his bombshell. Not only did he tell folks to make sure they had their cell phones off, but he also warned that the security folks would remove anyone caught sending text messages during the film. "It's a new rule," he said.
I am not a huge text message user, and the idea of doing it during a film seems just silly. Yet I can't for the life of me work out what the problem is with texting during a film other than it's just rude to light up a screen in a dark theater.
I called over the the agency which set up the screening to ask what this was all about. They were mystified too.
"Perhaps he was joking?" was the best answer, although they are checking.
I'll let you know what I find out....
Maybe texting wasn't the issue; maybe the issue was that many cell phones take photos & videos. There may be proprietary concerns & piracy risks--especially screening a hot movie not yet in wide release w/ a target audience of tech-savvy youngsters.
Video cameras aren't allowed in theaters, so maybe banning cell phones is the next step?