the right to talk on the phone during a movie shall not be infringed

Cinema banned from blocking mobiles

[...] Mr Anderson was told it was illegal to have a blocker, let alone put one into operation. The offence carries a fine of up to 25,000 euros (£17,400) or a maximum prison sentence of a year.

"It has been disposed of, essentially thrown in the bin," Mr Anderson said. "I am disappointed. I think it is an injustice not only to the Savoy but to patrons of cinemas all around the country."

No one had lodged a complaint to ComReg.

Ward Anderson spent £499 to import the signal blocker from the US to the Savoy, its flagship cinema in Ireland. The blocker works by emitting a low-power signal that occupies the broadcasting spectrum used by mobile phone operators. It keeps out calls within a 30m (100ft) range.

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9 Responses:

  1. *cell phone rings*

    "Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That... is the sound of inevitability."

  2. mapzter says:

    If it wasn't so expensive, he could always build a faraday cage. I'd like to see them try to ban that.

  3. waider says:

    If the Savoy is their flagship, they don't have much of a fleet. It's a dump.

    I suspect ComReg's reason for the ban on blockers is to do with people who have phones for life-or-death reasons, such as doctors, etc. but really, I'd be happy if they just hired an 800lb gorilla to wander over to people using their cellphones and politely explain to them that it's not nice to interrupt other peoples' moviegoing.

    • curgoth says:

      I'm not quite convinced by that argument; most doctors I know in Canada wear pagers when they're on call, so emergencies come to the pager, not the phone. I know that pagers work in a lot of places that cell phones don't (like my apartment, for example). I wonder if it's possible to block cell phones and not pagers?

      Even if it isn't, the simple answer to that is, if you're on call, and your need to be contacted is that important, don't go to the movies!.

      • tfofurn says:

        The Little Theatre in Rochester NY has an on-screen advisory to leave cell phones and pagers with staff so they can come find you when a call comes in. Of course, they only advise this if your incoming call is going to be important. I have no idea if anyone takes them up on it.

  4. cypherpunks says:

    I've never understood why talking during a movie is almost universally reviled but many people go apeshit if you ask them to shut up during a concert. I mean, you can always see a movie again but most concerts are unique performances.