back to article Vue denies cinema phone ban plan

Vue Cinemas is distancing itself from claims that it may shortly ban mobile phones from its auditoria. A company representative last week told blogger Dom Hodgson that Vue was pondering such a ban, the better to reduce piracy. It already bans other kit capable of recording sound and/or video. "I do fully recognise your …


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  1. DominicT

    Piracy? Who cares - ban them anyway.

    I don't care whether it will stop piracy or even be that effective - the more idiots who insist on talking on their phones in the cinema who get chucked out, the better. Ban them!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please do

    Please ban mobiles. It'll stop me sitting and seething when someone three rows in front pulls their phone out to reply to texts every five minutes through the film. Wasn't so bad with the old green-backlit phones but the big screened colour smartphones can't help but distract... I can't see that anyone *needs* to use their phone while watching a film.

    1. Daniel B.
      Thumb Down

      If you're distracted by someone texting...

      ... you're not watching the movie at all. Unless the bloke raises his phone way above his eye level, I can't really be annoyed by that.

      Also, it seems you do not have any kind of emergencies at all, do you? I keep my phone on vibrate mode, so that I can check who's calling, or recieve texts. Emergency situations will usually mean that I have to answer NOW NOW NOW either in text or in the phone itself. The latter situation will make me move outside the screen, so I don't distract anyone else.

      1. Sampler


        You have emergencies that can be replied to by text?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        What happened in emergencies in the days before you had a mobile?

        You're probably not as important as you think you are. Switch it off for a couple of hours.

        1. DavCrav

          Not really an argument

          "What happened in emergencies in the days before you had a mobile?

          You're probably not as important as you think you are. Switch it off for a couple of hours."

          If your argument is sound, replace "mobile" with "computer", "telephone", "car", "electricity", and so on.

          Society adapts to take advantage of the technology available. If a family member gets taken ill, I would be told this now, rather than amble home after the cinema to find out that I was watching a movie while <insert family member here> was dying in hospital. Just an example of an actual emergency that doesn't require you to be important.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Another title.

        "... you're not watching the movie at all. Unless the bloke raises his phone way above his eye level, I can't really be annoyed by that."

        Maybe it's just my local cinema. But with the positioning of the seats - yes, if anyone in my field of view gets their phone out, there's a sudden glare of several square inches of glow waving about while they check facebook, and that does catch my eye, no matter how hard I'm trying to watch.

        "Emergency situations will usually mean that I have to answer NOW NOW NOW"

        If I'm in a position where I'm likely to receive urgent calls - paid to be on call that night, wife about to go into labour, I probably wouldn't go to the cinema. Anything else can probably wait 90 minutes. I don't think I'm the exception here? Perhaps I'm fortunate in that while I'm technically on call 24/7, anything outside core hours is best-effort, leave a message and I'll get back to you.

        Of course, I've not started on the row of foreign kids who talked most of the way through Avatar, including one who answered her phone during the opening titles...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sounds like the git at work who marks all of her email important

        Unless you consider a question about what you want for lunch the next day to be an emergency then no. If I have to answer NOW, then I'm at home on call watching a DVD, not at a theatre.

        Do everyone a favour and buy your self a nice TV and stay home. Then you can play with your phone all you like.

        1. Danny 14


          I leave my phone on vibrate, we use a babysitter for our youngish children. I do take great care to shield the screen when checking a text/ignoring a number.

      5. Wize

        "If you're distracted by someone texting you're not watching the movie at all."

        Not heard of peripheral vision? The eyes are drawn to things like that.

        Although I can see a need for having a phone on. I've been on-call for factories. You carry a mobile that can go off any time in the next week. It sits on silent in my pocked when at the cinema.

  3. Neur0mancer


    Let's not forget that they would search you on the way in and collect phones, then when they went missing they wouldn't be responsible for any losses.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      Exactly. I'm not handing my expensive phone over to some cinema employee who could just steal it.

      If people using their phones is such a problem, how about pausing the film every time someone starts using one and the usher then asks them to leave in front of the whole audience?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        leters? didgits?

        "If people using their phones is such a problem, how about pausing the film every time someone starts using one"

        you are taking the pi$$ arent you?

        If i wanted to watch a film stop / start then i would wait for it to be shown on TV.

        fortunately for me I am a big chap and not many people argue with me. Last time I was in the cinima the nob in the next seat pulled his phone out to answer his phone... lets just say his phone slipped from his hand and in the hunt for the phone on the floor it got stood on....

        Switch the damn fone off assholes...

        1. DavCrav

          Big chap

          "fortunately for me I am a big chap and not many people argue with me...."

          Sensing story about how "big chap" was inconvenienced and used physical violence to cause personal harm and/or material loss to another human being, because he's powerful and therefore more important, or in reality a bully who needs a short stint in jail to sort him out.

          "lets just say his phone slipped from his hand and in the hunt for the phone on the floor it got stood on...."

          Yep, there it is.

          I'm quite a "big chap", but I've managed to evolve past the level of conflict-resolution techniques that are seen in school.

    2. Asgard

      @"they would search you on the way in and collect phones"

      Also just the hassle of being searched and possibly loosing your phone would make some people not bother going to their VUE cinemas, so people will just wait until its out later in the year on DVD or find another cinema. Even just say a 10% reduction in VUE takings plus their extra running costs of creating and running a phone cloak room would seriously cut into their bottom line profits.

      I can't see them doing it and anyway as for stopping piracy, it would still fail. After all, its only going to take one leak of a film for it to be out on the Internet, plus it could even be sometimes leaked by just one cinema low paid member of staff who wanted to earn some more money on the side by working with pirates to sell films on DVD. Pirates will find a way to get the film, no matter want VUE do and anything they try to do will simply reduce their profits.

  4. Nathan 13
    Thumb Up

    Go one step further..

    And ban customers. Then there will be no risk of someone sneaking in a mobile phone or camcorder whatsoever.

    Problem solved.

    Actually several problems solved at once. No more rip-off prices for the ticket, the food, the drinks and even the car parking at my local cinema.

    And then Vue can sit back and congratulate themselves that no one will be uploading their movies, and everyone will now have to download the higher quality screeners and DVD rips.

    And it will save me and the missus £57 next time we think about going to the cinema.

    Thats a Win Win Win situation as they say.

  5. JaitcH

    Given todays movies ...

    it's hardly worth the bother.

    Besides, as soon as the DVD is out it's available for download by Bitorrent.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re "Given todays movies .."

      For once I agree with Pillockzilla above. The shock is a bit much. He's not even foaming at the mouth- has the account been hijacked?

      It's a rare film indeed that's worth putting put with the cost and unpleasantness of a cinema, these days.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I guess cinemas will soon go the way of the record store then.

    Wow, this sounds so much like the music industry declaring war on it’s best customers it’s crazy.

    If I’m going to the cinema after work there is no way I’d leave my laptop in the car. There is also no way I’d hand any of my tech over to some oik in the hope it was there (probably after a major queue/hassle) on my way out.

    I guess in future when I want to see a film I’ll just have to watch it at home…. probably in better quality and with the only possible interruption from a mobile being my own…. except that I can’t seem to buy new releases at Amazon…. Guess I’ll need to download them then… ah…

  7. Shadowmanx2009

    Ban the Phone!

    I'm with the majority of *sensible* people here, if I've paid my money for a (expensive) ticket to watch a film I really, really, really don't want to listen to some teenager with verbal diarrhoea talk crap on their phone. BTW., it is usually teenagers, but I've noticed a growing number of adults as well.

    I've always said to friends and family: if it's an emergency (fire/medical/crime) dial 999, anything else it *can* wait!! My phone its firmly switched off when inside and turned on once film is finished, for the social idiots it's called being considerate! And no, I wouldn't hand over my phone to a total stranger!!

    Better, they should implement some sort of electronic blanking system which would switch of in the event of an emergency. That way the social retards would realise that they're there to watch the film!

    Sadly, can't see it happening any time soon!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've stopped going to my local Vue

    The constant talking, texting and rustling of popcorn bags finally took its toll. My worst experience was Avatar. Leaving the merits of the film to one side, what kind of moron takes a 2yo child to a movie which is over two and a half hours long? I don't blame the child; I'd have cried too. I blame the idiot who gave it a 12A rating, allowing any moronic parent to take a child of any age.

    Now I just watch blurays at home on a 7ft wide screen using my HD projector with surround sound. That way, my friends and I get the cinema experience without the cinema experience. The sofas are comfy and we can have a beer too.

  9. Iucounou

    A word of support from a cinema employee

    I'm in total agreement with the sorry state of cinemas these days. As a projectionist, there is rarely a time when I glance through the porthole from my lofty eyrie and not see the glow of a mobile phone screen glaring up at me. I personally would favour the use of a phone signal blanking generator. Such things are available but, frankly, never likely to be used by any cinema in the country. Unless all cinema chains adopted them at once, they'd be too concerned with loss of revenue from cinema-goers going elsewhere to use them. Likewise, how long do you think it would be before someone sued a cinema because "They missed an emergency call which led to increased stress and trauma because Auntie Doris had to be rushed into hospital after a fall."?

    On mobile phones in did we become such slaves to the machine? I carry a mobile phone for emergency use emergency case my car breaks down or something. I don't carry it so that every herbert in creation can phone me at any time of the day or night, no matter where I am. In that, sadly, I seem to be in a minority. And is it just me that finds it rude that, on receiving a call/text/whatever, the person I was interacting with immediately ignores me as if I've suddenly ceased to exist in order to slavishly attend their electronic master's whim?

    I won't go into the people who seem to find it necessary to shout into their phone like it was some kind of wind-up handset from the 30's, nor will I moan about the sometimes entirely inappropriate ring-tones that people use - I'm sure the small kids in the foyer don't mind some rapper effing and blinding suddenly from the back-pocket of some brain-dead imbecile.

    Yeah....I don't like mobile phones generally!

    1. max allan

      As a film watcher....

      As a viewer of films, I'd like to ask a projectionist :

      Why are films never in focus these days?

      Why do you leave the blooming lights on?

      Why do cinemas insist on charging 15quid for a tiny portion of popcorn that drives everyone else mad with the rustling through the film? (OK, so maybe this one isn't for projectionists)

      And, I agree about phones :

      Faraday cage the whole building and then stick a small signal jammer inside.

      Provide "house phones" that connect direct to 999 (or 911 if you're mercan) for genuine emergencies.

      If it's not 999 level, it can wait an hour or so.

      If you're expecting an "emergency" call, don't go shut yourself in a room with a bunch of people who want to concentrate on something other than you playing with your phone and walking in and out of the room.

  10. tigoda

    this is a title

    I’m struggling to think of a single film that couldn’t be found on bit torrents before the UK release date,

    I’m sure its been said before, but when I start reading rave reviews and people saying how amazing a film is from America only to find I have to wait a month and a half longer to watch it here that’s what makes me mad, that’s why people go and get it from the pirates

    And as for taking phones off people because there an annoyance, why not go for a faraday cage?

    just go and get each room covered in thin wire mesh, if its done well it will be invisible, you wont even need to coat the whole room just the ceiling and the walls at the end of the rows of screens,

    Turn the whole place into one hell of a faraday cage, and its problem solved, staff radios will still work as there all going to be inside the cage, but there will be no signal for texts or calls, and certainly none for mobile internet

    ta da!

    Incidentally, anyone know what happened to the plans a while back to develop an camera and laser system that could spot a camera lenses (or its CMOS or something like that) by its reflection and shine a laser in to it to make the recording unusable?

    Or what about just stringing up a garland of IR LEDs around the screen? Eyes will see it with no problem, cameras not so much

    All these will cost money its true, but annoying the hell out of your customers by forcing them to hand over phones will just loose you it in the first place

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      You beat me to it...

      ..I was going to suggest the Faraday cage for all theatres too. Won't stop the pirates but to be honest most of OUR grievances about mobiles is not related to piracy is it. Then again, indirectly the gripes about the use of mobiles in cinemas does lean people more towards home viewing, and indeed piracy.

  11. Keith 21
    Thumb Up

    PLEASE ban mobile phones, Vue!

    Here's the deal.

    If you ban mobile phones inside the auditoria (AND police it efectivly), I pledge that I and all my friends will exclusivly use Vue cinemas from that point on!

    To be able to watch a film without midless, ignorant fucktard MORONS using their phones (be it for calls OR texts, neither are justified EVER) ruining the film for everyone else would be fantastic.

    You know what, if Vue did have the balls to go down that route, their ticket sales would rocket as people who actually wanted to watch the films woudl all flock to Vue cinemas.

    Do it, Vue.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What really nips my tips is folk with "smart phones" checking their fackin' facebook every 10mins during a film.

    I take my phone to the cinema as its a 25mile drive to the cinema and I aint leaving my phone in the car. I do however follow the cinema guides and as soon as my ass hits the fold down seat I root my phone out, switch it off and stick in back in my pocket.

  13. Jayw

    Cant They...

    Can't they just use a cell phone jammer? No need to search people and confiscate their phones. They just wont receive any texts or calls while in the cinema.

    I'd absolutely use a cinema that did in preference to one that didnt. Just like anyone that desperately needs to receive calls during a film is free to use another cinema chain.

  14. DaveyP


    There's some chav dodging to do, but I recommend Showcase at Bluewater.. No reception in there, and I've never had a film interrupted by morons..

  15. Martin 50


    Why can't cinemas have this phone blanking tech once a week or on a choice of screens or times. Then customers have the choice, and cinemas may be surprised...the mobile-free screenings could be more popular. (I guess I'd be pushing it to suggest no food/drink either...).

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