(NEW YORK) — “Shh!”
“Put your phone away. ”
“Excuse me, can you please turn off your phone?”
We’ve all done it once, twice, a hundred times before. You’re sitting in a dark movie theater when, minutes before the film begins, you have a sudden urge to check your phone, update your Facebook status, or text your friend in the lobby to get you a large popcorn with extra butter.
It’s a growing issue at theaters across the nation — movie goers texting during a movie.
Now, a smartphone app is enticing repeat theater texters by offering a reward for switching their phones to vibrate.
CineMark, a major operator of movie theaters, is launching a feature on its app called CineMode. It encourages movie lovers to stop clicking “Send” in a movie theater by rewarding them with digital coupons directly to their smartphone.
The app is available for download on iPhones and Android smartphones.
After smartphone users download the app, they will be asked to launch CineMode. A brief message will flash on the theater’s screen just before the movie begins. If CineMode is in full use, the screen on your smart phone will dim instantly and customers will be prompted to turn the phone’s volume to vibrate mode.
If moviegoers remain in CineMode for the entire length of the film, they will earn a digital coupon through the app. Users can find their coupons in the ‘Rewards’ section.
Each time moviegoers watch a movie at a CineMark theater, they’ll earn rewards while being courteous to those around them. It’s a win-win.
“At Cinemark, our number one priority is the comfort of our guests,” said James Meredith, Cinemark’s Vice President of Marketing & Communications in a press statement. “It is important to develop tools that maximize and preserve the movie-going experience. For a while, our customers have asked us to design an alternative and creative solution that addresses texting and cell phone issues in our auditoriums.”
According to a recent Pew Research study, 85 percent of U.S. adults own a cellphone. Of those, 53 percent own smartphones.
Of those 53 percent, a whopping 96 percent send text messages. Just how many of those are texting inside a movie theater is tough to say.
Regardless, this new app proves it pays to be courteous.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio