Would You Consider Smartphone Usage During Cinema Pre-Show Rude?

We went to see a movie earlier today and I was interested to see that during the ads there was a notice asking for people to not use their smartphones during the show. This was not at one of the major cinema chains but at an independent cinema.

I know a lot of people usually have a browse on their smartphones or even tablets during the ads but turn them off once the actual movie starts. Of course, you’ll have the occasional nitwit who will keep going during the movie but they should be few and far between.

What I am interested in hearing is what do you think about people using their smartphone or tablet during the ads before the movie?

Personally, I don’t see any harm in it. The cinema isn’t completely dark during the ads and most people would keep their devices in front of them and below the eyeline of others behind them (although this depends on various factors such as the architecture of the cinema, where people are sitting, screen brightness, etc). Maybe it is just me but I don’t find the ads engrossing at all and I would think the horse has already bolted at least for the larger cinema complexes.

Perhaps the independent cinemas are catering for their audiences that aren’t as tolerant of smartphone usage in the cinema and I am just being rather insensitive about it. Ironically, after the notice asking people to not use their smartphones there was an ad during the pre-show inviting you to text your e-mail address to a number for the change to win an iPad.

Conundrum much?

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