Regal Cinemas trials anti-mobile phone gadget in movie theatres

Regal Entertainment Group, who make up the largest cinema chain in the US, are test driving a new gadget that will allow members of the audience to report others chatting on mobile phones or making other disruptions.

The device has four different buttons to alert cinema staff about various issues. One goes straight to the manager to report disruptions, like a fight over a mobile phone, while another alerts about faulty movie projection.

The third button lodges a complaint about the temperature in the theatre, while a fourth covers all "other" issues.

The gadget is being tested at 25 different locations, and are being given to regular movie goers who are more mature.

The move to try out this new method of customer service is as a result of fights breaking out in the theatres over disturbances from mobile phones.

"We had gotten to the point ... where we have had people getting into physical battles in theatres", said the CEO of Regal, Michael Campbell, at the Reuters Media Summit.

"One customer will say to another 'Shut off your cellphone', or 'Shut up' ... We've had people assaulted with bats, knives, guns."


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