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Theater chain will reward moviegoers for not texting during film

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A movie-theater chain now has offers mobile phone app that rewards people for not texting in movies.

Moviegoers know all too well that manners in the theater have gone out the window. People bring in fast food. They put their feet up on the seats. They yell out warnings and jokes to the characters on screen. And in recent years, phone-addicted fans can't even seem to close out of Facebook or Gmail long enough to actually watch the movie they paid for.

Now a major movie-theater chain has decided to offer a little incentive for those who find their phones as fascinating as the feature film. Cinemark has announced a new program, CineMode, that will launch from inside Cinemark's cell phone app.

Once the app is started, the phone's screen dimmed and owners are asked to set their phones to vibrate. When the movie ends and the phone exits CineMore, a digital coupon for a discount on a future movie is sent to the app.

"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," Cinemark vice-president James Meredith said in a press release. "Now, through the Cinemark app, CineMode targets these courtesy issues through the very same devices that are causing the problems."

Theater texting has become a major issue in moviedom, as a new generation raised on mobile devices matures. Deadline.com reports that executives at theater chain Regal Entertainment have actually considered allowing texting during films, while other companies and fans hotly disagree.

 “Over my dead body will I introduce texting into the movie theater,” Deadline quotes Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League as saying at the CinemaCon convention earlier this year. “I love the idea of playing around with a new concept. But that is the scourge of our industry. … It’s our job to understand that this is a sacred space and we have to teach manners.” 

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