Entries in Theater (2)


At Movies, CineMode App Makes It Pay to Be Polite and Stop Texting

Ryan McVay/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- “Shh!”

“Put your phone away. ”

“Excuse me, can you please turn off your phone?”

We’ve all done it once, twice, a hundred times before. You’re sitting in a dark movie theater when, minutes before the film begins, you have a sudden urge to check your phone, update your Facebook status, or text your friend in the lobby to get you a large popcorn with extra butter.

It’s a growing issue at theaters across the nation — movie goers texting during a movie.

Now, a smartphone app is enticing repeat theater texters by offering a reward for switching their phones to vibrate.

CineMark, a major operator of movie theaters, is launching a feature on its app called CineMode.  It encourages movie lovers to stop clicking “Send” in a movie theater by rewarding them with digital coupons directly to their smartphone.

The app is available for download on iPhones and Android smartphones.

After smartphone users download the app, they will be asked to launch CineMode. A brief message will flash on the theater’s screen just before the movie begins. If CineMode is in full use, the screen on your smart phone will dim instantly and customers will be prompted to turn the phone’s volume to vibrate mode.

If moviegoers remain in CineMode for the entire length of the film, they will earn a digital coupon through the app. Users can find their coupons in the ‘Rewards’ section.

Each time moviegoers watch a movie at a CineMark theater, they’ll earn rewards while being courteous to those around them. It’s a win-win.

“At Cinemark, our number one priority is the comfort of our guests,” said James Meredith, Cinemark’s Vice President of Marketing & Communications in a press statement. “It is important to develop tools that maximize and preserve the movie-going experience. For a while, our customers have asked us to design an alternative and creative solution that addresses texting and cell phone issues in our auditoriums.”

According to a recent Pew Research study, 85 percent of U.S. adults own a cellphone. Of those, 53 percent own smartphones.

Of those 53 percent, a whopping 96 percent send text messages. Just how many of those are texting inside a movie theater is tough to say.

Regardless, this new app proves it pays to be courteous.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oscars Theater No Longer Named Kodak?

LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Cameras are certain to flash and stars to flood the streets of Hollywood for the Oscars a week from Sunday, but the name of the theater where the stars will gather is unclear.

That’s because a court on Wednesday authorized to The Eastman Kodak Co. to end its sponsorship of the Kodak Theatre, the venue for the Oscars. It was unclear Thursday when the sponsorship would cease and the name of the theater would officially change.

“Kodak is a company that has been transforming,” Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda told ABC News. “It was part of the bankruptcy court proceedings. We are taking a number of actions to reduce the cost that we undertook.”

The 20-year sponsorship agreement was signed in 2000 and was worth $72 million. New York bankruptcy court judge Allan Gropper turned down the plea by CIM/H&H Media, the landlord of the theater, to force the Eastman Kodak Co. to continue the contract.

ABC News contacted CIM but the company declined to comment.

Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, and has since made cuts to save money. This month, it released a statement announcing “plans to phase out its dedicated capture devices business -- comprising digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.”

The push to end the theater sponsorship was another move to cut back while the company tried to rebound from debt. If it had stuck to the contract, Kodak would have had to pay about $3 million each year.

The Kodak Theatre laid out the red carpet and opened its doors at the Hollywood and Highland complex in November 2001. Since it opened, 10 Oscar ceremonies have been held there.

Veronda insisted that although the sponsorship had to end, Kodak’s relationship with the entertainment industry will continue.

“Kodak is proud of its important role in the entertainment industry and our longstanding relationship with filmmakers,” Veronda said. “We continue to play a big role in the entertainment industry.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio