Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Jam Anyone?

I found the following article on Playbill today.

Ållo? French Approve Use of Cell Phone Jammers in Theatres
By Robert Simonson
12 Oct 2004

Leave it to the culturally sensitive French to finally come up with a practicable way to rid theatres of the irritating chirp of an active cell phone.

The French government's industry minister Patrick Devedjian, backing up a decision by the Telecommunications Regulation Authority, gave to go-ahead Oct. 8 on a motion to allow theatres, cinemas and concert halls install mechanisms which would jam cell phones.

The one proviso is that the hardware permit emergency calls to get through.

Cell phone use at theatres, movie houses, concerts, museums, libraries and galleries was banned in New York City in early 2003, despite resistance from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, even the law's supporters admit it is virtually unenforceable. Unwanted cell phone interruptions remain endemic in Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres.

Now why haven’t we thought of doing this yet? We’ve gotten along centuries without cell phones, so 2-3 hours without it during a movie, play, or musical is fine by me. When someone forgets to turn off their phones, they tend to ring at the most inopportune moment. When I went to see Spider-Man 2 earlier this year, there were two people who answered their phones in the middle of the movie, while another individual sitting behind me was playing a game on their phone…with the sound effects on. Where’s a good cell phone jammer when you need one?

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