MOBILE phone use in Australian cinemas is on the rise as cinephiles struggle to switch off during movies.
Regent Cinemas Albury-Wodonga sales manager Kelly Davis said the number of reports to management about people on their phones during films had increased during the past 12 months.
“It is a common courtesy that you don’t use your mobile phone in the cinema,” she said.
“We do have ushers checking our cinemas throughout movies – people on their mobile phones is one of the things they’re checking for.
“We encourage people to let us know if people are on their phones so we can try to do something about it.”
Ms Davis said mobile phones had become an extension of people’s hands, particularly those younger.
“Definitely check-in to the cinema or tag your friends while you’re in the candy bar line or in the cinema before the movie starts but once the movie starts you should switch to silent,” she said.
“It really comes down to common courtesy.”
As some metropolitan cinemas now let people order candy bar snacks on their mobiles, Ms Davis said it would be a shame to go down that track.
“Customer service is so valuable; human contact is so valuable,” she said.
Like many businesses, Regent Cinemas had a “phone box” in which staff left their mobiles during their shifts.