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New York City public performance cellphone ban


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 Rob Gardiner

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Posted February 13 2003 - 03:33 AM

From CNN:



Quote:
Talking on a cell phone, dialing, listening or even having one ring during a performance will constitute a violation punishable by a $50 fine.

The law covers concerts, movies, plays, lectures, dance performances, museums, libraries and galleries. Cell phone use would still be permitted at sporting events and in emergencies, and people would still be allowed to speak on phones in lobbies and during intermissions.


Discuss. Posted Image

#2 of 24 Patrick Sun

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Posted February 13 2003 - 03:39 AM

Enforcement is going to be a problem, meaning having the personnel available to catch the perp and read them the riot act, and giving them a ticket/citation for their heinous cell phone usage offense. And doing this without additionally ruining the rest of the show/movie/performance for others while nailing the disrespectful perps.

But I think it's a step in the right direction.
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#3 of 24 Mark Barnhill

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Posted February 13 2003 - 03:45 AM

It's time for something to be done. It is totally inconsiderate to even have the phone on in theaters, or restaurants for that matter. I think if you don't have time to eat a meal or watch a movie without talking on the phone, you shouldn't even go.
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#4 of 24 Zack Scott

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Posted February 13 2003 - 03:50 AM

Let hope that this goes nation wide. When my girlfriend and I went to see Catch Me If You Can this guy sat right next to me and his cell phone kept ringing every 20 minutes. It would have been great if he turned it off but he Ansewered it and talk for about three minutes!!!! We were both getting pissed off and almost ruined the movie. It was too bad too cuse we wereactually liking it and that rare for us a new speilberg.

#5 of 24 Patrick Sun

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Posted February 13 2003 - 03:52 AM

Logistically, how is this going to be enforced without adding more commotion/distraction in trying to take down the perp?
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#6 of 24 Eric Peterson

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Posted February 13 2003 - 04:02 AM

Yes!! Come on Illinois!!

I agree that there will be a problem with enforcement and added distraction, but I also feel that after the word gets out and a few people get busted that people will start taking it seriously and slowly the problem will be eliminated. Kinda similar to when the cops set up a speed trap in the same place for a few consecutive days and suddenly everyone starts slowing down in that area.

I for one am willing to put up with the distraction of some a-hole being thrown more than the distraction of hearing that same a-hole's cell-phone going off.

#7 of 24 Michael Reuben

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Posted February 13 2003 - 04:17 AM

I have edited the title of this thread to more accurately reflect what the city council passed. The original title was "New York City movie theater cellphone ban". In fact, the main target of the ordinance is not movie theaters but live performances. I made this point in the previous thread on this subject (subsequently closed), but no one seemed to listen. So let me repeat it:

The chief proponents of this ordinance are the sponsors of live events, e.g., The American League of Theaters and Producers and the New York Philharmonic. An important element is the attempt to regulate behavior that disrupts the ability of LIVE performers to concentrate on doing their jobs.

As for enforcement, the Mayor, who vetoed the bill originally, has said that the police have better things to do than enforce this. It's the theater owners -- that's live performance venues, not movie theaters -- who are saying that the ordinance will give them stronger backing in their existing efforts to stop cellphones from disrupting performances. They already make the request for people to turn off their phones (now frequently after intermission as well as before the performance). Now they can say that it's against the law to use them, and that patrons may be ejected for violating the law.

I doubt that many people will actually be asked to leave. OTOH, there are many noted occasions where actors have literally halted the show because of persistent cellphone abuse (I've actually seen this). The next time that happens, I suspect the offender(s) will be escorted to the exits.

I don't think you'll see a similar enforcement effort by movie theaters, but I may be wrong.

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#8 of 24 Mark Barnhill

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Posted February 13 2003 - 04:20 AM

I vote for stopping the movie (or performance), and making a public spectacle of the guilty party, before removing them physically from the theater. Posted Image I would stand and applaud if this happened. It wouldn't be long before the offenses stopped. Posted Image
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#9 of 24 Jason Harbaugh

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Posted February 13 2003 - 05:58 AM

Quote:
There are many noted occasions where actors have literally halted the show.
David Alan Grier did just that at a performance of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". It was after the opening number and someones phone went off and it was LOUD. Grier went to the front of the stage and the person was in like the 2nd or 3rd row. He asked for the phone, then turned it off and left it on the side of the stage. It was pretty funny and got plenty of applause from the audience.

#10 of 24 Michael Reuben

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Posted February 13 2003 - 06:54 AM

That's a great story. Posted Image

Forum is the kind of show that could accommodate a move like Grier's without spoiling the mood. I've seen the problem in shows where recovery isn't so easy, e.g., a one-man show consisting of readings from the diary of Holocaust survivor (a story similar in many ways to the one dramatized in The Pianist). The actor doing the reading did a very professional job trying to reestablish the mood and tempo, but he never fully recovered.

Here's today's New York Times story on the subject. (Registration is required, but it's free.)

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#11 of 24 Patrick Sun

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Posted February 13 2003 - 07:07 AM

We need a "Terry Tate: Movie Theater Linebacker!"
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#12 of 24 Seth Paxton

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Posted February 13 2003 - 07:35 AM

Posted Image

#13 of 24 John_Berger

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Posted February 13 2003 - 07:53 AM

Quote:
He asked for the phone, then turned it off and left it on the side of the stage.
Posted Image Too cool!

I remember reading of two other instances where actors ended up disrupting the show slightly. Dame Judi Dench simply froze in her position when someone's phone went off, and Kevin Spacey (I believe) looked out at the audience and yelled, "Do you think that might actually be for you?" I'm sure that there have been many, many others, but these were the two that I remembered.

#14 of 24 Rob Gardiner

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Posted February 13 2003 - 07:59 AM

Yes, I agree enforcement of this law in the movie theater will be difficult if not impossible.

Still, we can hope that it has a deterrent effect. If folks are aware of the law, they may be inclined to turn their phones off or to "vibrate", thus preventing the disruption in the first place.

#15 of 24 Patrick Sun

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Posted February 13 2003 - 08:09 AM

I know this is "pie-in-the-sky", but it'd be really cool if each theater seat was capable of dropping the patron through the floor if their cell phone went off and did disrupt the performances. Or the ringing produced a shock to the patron's bee-hind on each ring.
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#16 of 24 Matthew_Millheiser

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Posted February 13 2003 - 10:05 AM

Laurence Fisburne SCREAMED at a patron to turn his goddamn phone off once during a live performance, which resulted in rapturous applause from the audience.

These cell-phone slinging nutsuckers should stay home. Or learn to use the vibrate function, note the number on Caller ID, go into the lobby and take the call there.

Or better yet... STAY HOME! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

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#17 of 24 Jason Harbaugh

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Posted February 13 2003 - 10:21 AM

Quote:
We need a "Terry Tate: Movie Theater Linebacker!"

In all seriousness that would make for an awesome ad to play before any movie instead of the silly filmreel's telling each other to "please turn off cell phones and pagers." Plus I just want to see Terry Tate fly over a couple rows of stadium seating to tackle some shmoe with a phone. Posted Image

#18 of 24 Ted Lee

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Posted February 13 2003 - 10:46 AM

i love to use my friend's favorite quote: "the masses are asses..."

the solutions are so simple it's stupifyingly numb how people don't follow it.

1. put device on vibrate
2. go outside if you need to talk
3. be courteous to people around you
 

#19 of 24 Todd Terwilliger

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Posted February 13 2003 - 11:40 AM

I don't think they have to try to enforce this law. What it does is hopefully give pause to anyone walking in with their phone or pager not on vibrate. A nice sign at the door of each theater proclaiming a fine for their use should at least cut down on some of the interruptions.

If the theater wants to go above and beyond that by adding extra ushers, etc. they can but I don't think this law immediately forces them to.

I think this will work much like the anti-smoking laws.
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#20 of 24 Travis D

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Posted February 13 2003 - 06:04 PM

Quote:
In all seriousness that would make for an awesome ad to play before any movie instead of the silly filmreel's telling each other to "please turn off cell phones and pagers." Plus I just want to see Terry Tate fly over a couple rows of stadium seating to tackle some shmoe with a phone.

"Woo! YOu know you can't bring that weak-ass stuff up in this Humpy-Bumpy! You got a phone, it can't be on! You know that Baby! I hope you're ready for a long movie, a LONG MOVIE! Cause Triple T's up in this BIIIITCH!!!"

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