Tampa, FL: Following the latest fatal shooting in a movie theater, executives at AMC, United Artists, Regal Cinemas, and National Amusements have begun to take matters into their own hands to stifle violence in the movie theaters. The plan involves bringing back the audience etiquette guide, and adding a “No Shooting People” graphic to its roll of “Do’s” and “Don’t” that make the theater experience enjoyable for all.
“To be clear, theater management does not believe it is at any fault regarding these shootings,” explained public relations representative John Stumpt. “But they are willing to do anything to help, and if that means putting a giant text graphic on the screen that says “Don’t Shoot People During the Film,” so be it.”
The idea came from a time when movie theaters used graphics to help the audience enjoy the film, and keep from hindering the enjoyment of others. Graphics such as “No Talking During the Film,” “Turn Off Cellphones,” “No Kicking the Back of Seats,” and “Buy More Popcorn and Soda” were commonplace leading up to the feature presentation. Unfortunately, these messages have been deleted from preview rolls, or at least lost in a barrage of commercials. This is believed to have lead to more talking during the film, continuous cellphone activity, the kicking of the backs of seats, and less purchases of popcorn and soda.
“People are basically children when it comes to entertainment,” explained Stumpt. “If they’re not told to do not do something in a movie theater, like shoot someone, they have a 5% chance to do it. But when they are specifically told not to do something, that percentage goes down to about 0.05%.”
The latest shooting in a movie theater involved former police officer, Curtis Reeves, 71, who allegedly shot Chad Oulson, 43, during a confrontation during the previews. Reeves allegedly confronted Oulson when he was texting on his phone during the movie previews. After being attacked by a piece of popcorn, Reeves opened fire, shooting Oulson in the chest. Oulson was later pronounced dead at the hospital. It is believe that the “Stand Your Ground” defense will not work in this case.
“Audience conduct rules are placed throughout movie theaters, but bringing back these giant images telling people what not to do, like shoot people, will make it as obvious as possible,” stated Stumpt. “They’ll probably be displayed on the screen before and after previews to make sure people see them. Maybe even during the movie, just to be safe.”
George Zimmerman was unavailable for comment.