Odeon is trialling phoneless screenings. In news that will be a big sigh of relief for serious moviegoers, it looks like we might actually get mandated phone-free screenings in future.
The trial is taking place at Odeon's Greenwich cinema where the chain has installed 60 phone lockers provided by ChargeBox. The trial lasts for the duration of December and will include showings of Frozen 2, Jumanji: The Next Level and the long-awaited conclusion to the Skywalker saga in the form of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (out 19 December).
Odeon says that almost half of Brits (47%) go to the cinema to relax but don’t fully ‘switch off’ when watching a film. Almost one in four of us look at our phones during the showing, too. The research surveyed 1,000 cinemagoers.
Chris Bates, a director at Odeon, says that "We deserve the chance to escape into new worlds from time to time. We all have too many distractions, so we’re excited to trial this new initiative at Odeon Greenwich.”
Odeon has 120 cinemas with 950 screens across the UK and Ireland, although it's now owned by the US-based chain AMC, which is the world's largest cinema group with over 1,000 locations and 11,000 screens.