My God this man is a gem.
Former Sixers CEO and current AMC Movies CEO Adam Aron – a roving executive who knows his intended audiences about as well as a pressed shirt knows harmonic chord progression and the man behind such hits as Phil E. Moose, Andrew Bynum’s ridiculous press conference at the Constitution Center, and driving to Hershey to pick up the court Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points on because, yeah, that’ll distract from the on-court product – has somehow managed to screw up running a movie theater chain, which has to be one of the easiest chief executive jobs on Earth. Sure, viewing habits are changing, and that means some enhancements to bring a Movie Tavern-like experience are probably necessary. But generally speaking, people like movies, and eating gross food, and drinking gross drinks, and paying $45 for the right to do so. It’s a pretty well-established framework. You just have to, like, keep the lights
on off and make sure the screen looks better than what most people have at home.
But that didn’t stop Aron from trying to tinker with the time-honored tradition in an attempt to appeal to KIDS THESE DAYS, who just won’t get off their damn phones.
Two days ago [interview with Variety]:
Would appealing to millennials involve allowing texting or cellphone use?
Yes. When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.
At the same time, though, we’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences. There’s a reason there are ads up there saying turn off your phone, because today’s moviegoer doesn’t want somebody sitting next to them texting or having their phone on.
Would you have a certain section for texting?
That’s one possibility. What may be more likely is we take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly.
Classic Adam. The dude manages to generate head-shaking press snippets without actually doing anything. Step 1: Open mouth. Step 2: Float horrible idea. Step 3: Bad press. Step 4: “Just kidding!” I feel like we’ve seen this before:
If there’s a Step 5 in Aron’s latest debacle, it’s that his laughable, anti-texting statement just stated “loud and clear” (that phrase and the tactic of couching mistakes in listening to the audience wording is straight out of his Sixers playbook), IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS, that no, millennial, you may not bring your phone into our movie theater. I mean, like everyone knows you’re not supposed to text during movies, but we all do it anyway. You just have to be polite about it and turn off your ringer. But now here’s the FRIENDLY TO MILLENNIALS CEO shouting at you to turn off your phone and get off his lawn. Wellllllllll done, Mr. Aron. Well done.