Missouri theater chain cracks on cellphone users - KMOV.com

Missouri theater chain cracks on cellphone users

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- A St. Louis-based movie theater chain is cracking down on cellphones.

The Springfield News Leader reported (http://bit.ly/ptkZQw ) that people watching movies at complexes owned by Wehrenberg Theatres soon could be kicked out without a refund if they're caught using their phones.

Patrons are being told to put their cellphones on vibrate and to leave the theater auditoriums if they need to talk on their phone. After an initial grace period, the policy will be enforced starting in early September.

"We're taking it to a different level," Wehrenberg marketing director Kelly Hoskins said of the new policy, which takes aim at a major gripe of theatergoers.

It isn't just the noise of ringing phones and talking that annoys people. Hoskins said large cellphone screens can be distracting when lighted.

Movie staff will watch for patrons violating the new policy, Hoskins said.

"If, in fact, they don't comply with our policies, they will be asked to leave without a refund," she said.

The policy is getting positive reviews.

"A couple of times over the weekend, we got standing ovations," she said of the reaction among moviegoers when they saw an on-screen announcement.

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