Phoneless cinema screenings will soon be a thing

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Odeon will trial the new idea. [Photo: Getty]

It’s pretty anger-inducing when you’re in the cinema and somebody is sitting, face lit up light a Halloween pumpkin, looking at their phone.

You’re mid-way through the film, you’re engrossed and next minute you’re distracted by what the person in front of you is texting their boyfriend about dinner.

That’s why we’re all for Odeon’s new phoneless cinema trial.

The idea has been created to encourage people to switch off from the whole world available on their smartphones and focus on the film they’ve paid to see.

The UK’s first phoneless screening will take place at Odeon Greenwich.

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You'll be able to put your phone in a charging station. [Photo: Odeon]

The cinema has installed 60 phone lockers in the foyer - which also charge your phone at the same time.

This means people can securely lock their phones up before the film and more important can’t disturb you in-movie by taking a boomerang of the screen.

The novel idea will be available throughout December for films like Frozen 2, Jumanji: The Next Level and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

It makes sense, given that some people even record spoilers whilst in the cinema. With the level of hysteria around the latest Star Wars film, you can see why fans would prefer people left their phones at home (or in the charging stations).

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Odeon did a bit of research into our in-cinema film habits before trialling this new idea.

The survey found that one in three of us check our phones up to thirteen times during a standard 120-minute film. Perhaps the rise in people watching films through the likes of Netflix and being at home - therefore able to look at their phones as they please - has contributed to this more lassiez-faire attitude towards whipping it out in the cinema.

Currently, Odeon recommend you keep your devices in your bags or pockets and suggest you turn them off or on silent mode, but none of this is mandatory.

If the trial goes well, Odeon has said it will consider rolling this out country-wide and having specific no-phone cinema viewings.

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This step is in-keeping with the UK’s general views on smartphones at the moment.

You know the saying, you can have too much of a good thing? This seems to be the case with smart phones. In a recent study it was suggested that one in four children have “problematic smart phone usage”.

Odeon aren’t the first to come up with this idea. As early as 2015, Mumford & Sons banned smartphones from their gigs in a bid to protect their new music from leaking into the mainstream.

This was quite a bold move, since it came before Instagram stories (the home of shaky gig videos).

From cinemas to theatres, this move could certainly provide a reprieve from smartphone usage that we all seem to crave.

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