Does this genius idea exist at all and if not why not?

I really hate people talking in the movies and will generally now tell people to shut up. Yesterday I saw Spiderman 3 with my son and it was the most talked through movie I have ever attended. There must have been a dozen different groups talking and another dozen 'shhhhhhhh’ing them.

It brought to mind an idea I have had before. I have a transmitter for my MP3 player that lets me pick up what’s playing on it with any FM radio, usually the one in the car but often the ones around my home. Why can’t the cinemas broadcast the soundtrack of the movie on an unused FM band like they do at the drive-in? There are enough unused bands for the biggest multiplexs, the broadcast distance is tiny so presumably the cost would be low. Unlike the airlines they wouldn’t be expected to provide headphones but irritable types like me could their MP3/FM radio stick in the headphones, tune in the movie and tune out the idiots.

I want one! I myself saw Spiderman 3 last night and also found that the amount of audience-noise was a lot higher than usual. I didn’t mind so much as I largely went as company with someone else who has more of a thing for superhero films than I do. But there was noise everywhere and all through the showing. A group of boys played the ‘Penis’ game for the first 5-10 minutes and then intermittently throughout the showing, the couple behind me talked constantly with voice levels that sounded like they thought they were alone in their living room, various other interruptions persisted… etc.

Anyway, if the devicey-poo you propose exists or can exist - I want one.

Either that, or they need to hire some non 14-yr old cinema employees who have the ability to actually kick out people who are disturbing other patrons.


What’s the Penis game?

Here is the key. Hire some very big, very calm thugs to keep the peace in the theater. With the price of tickets, they ought to be able to afford it. Place big signs at the front door telling everybody that talkers will be ejected, then start enforcing it. Word would get around quickly.

First person says “penis” very quietly. Next person says it a little louder than the first. Back and forth it goes until the two are screaming “PENIS!!!” or one loses their nerve to continue.

One person says the word “Penis.” The next person has to say the word louder. if you chicken out or don’t say it as loud, you lose the game. The winner is the one who can shout “Penis” in the loudest voice. And the idea is usually to say it really quickly so it sounds like an indistinct shriek, but to be as loud as possible.

Unless there’s another penis game I’m not familiar with. I’m sure there is.

[sub]…or, what the person before me just said.[/sub]

I’m not sure that’s true here. There definitely were not enough unused bands to make one of those car transmitters a workable option for me. Up and down the dial, at every interval between the major stations, there was apparently some little hole in the wall preaching, ranting, playing gospel, or playing country.

Might work OK in Australia, though.

Would a radio band even be necessary? Couldn’t they just wire some jacks into the seats like an airline movie?
Funny about the Spider-man experiences. The scariest time I ever had in a movie theater was during the first Spider-man. This gangbanger wouldn’t stop talking on his cell phone and a guy in front of him asked him several times to turn his phone off and the gangbanger told him to fuck off. So the other guy finally gets a manager who has his security guards forcibly remove the guy while he’s making threats and cursing a blue streak. Oh, and the theater was packed with 10-year-olds at the time. Classy. They had security guards posted at the door through the rest of the movie. When the movie ended, the manager gave everyone in the theater a coupon good for a free movie ticket. Ever since then, I’ve watched a lot less movies in the theater.

Well now it turns out there is almost such a thing here in Australia :

*Provisions for Patrons with Disabilities
High quality “Ultra Stereo” infra red hearing aid systems in each cinema - headphones are available on request. *

So I could go there and say I’m deaf.

The headphones for the hard of hearing are a common feature of the larger theaters in the US. I’ve never tried them, though.

I tend to go to late night showings when the obnoxious tweens aren’t usually present.

I think there might be.

Yeah, but that other game got in legal trouble because Penis Ensued.

I imagine studios would have concerns about protecting of their copyrights should someone ever propose this. It’s a lot easier to record audio coming from a source like an audio jack or other device within reach than it is off speakers twenty feet off the ground.

The cost of installing and replacing such devices should they be vandalized or stolen is also likely a prohibitive factor.

Actually, in the US, as a result of the Americans with Disabilities Act, most theaters already have such a system in place, although it uses the theater’s own infra-red receivers, not your radio. Just ask an usher for an assisted listening device.

Possible downsides: not all screens in every theater are so equipped; where these systems are present, they are often used only rarely, and may not be in good repair; audio quality is not as high as your portable sound system, and not stereo; some people may prefer not to put something in their ears that other people have used (although the earpieces are supposed to be cleaned or replaced between uses).