Tweet Seats: Good Idea or Bad for Business?
The power of social media continues to make its presence known everywhere from the White House to local businesses. Twitter, one of the largest and well-known social media outlets, might soon be making its way to a theater near you. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, a theater in Minneapolis, MN is following a growing number of performing arts theaters who are offering “tweet seats” to those who just can’t part with their smartphones. Tweet seats are designated seats offered to those who plan to live tweet during a show.
Whether fueled solely by Twitter addiction or the desire to discuss and promote the performance they are viewing, audience members are given the opportunity to freely use their phones without fear of repercussions. In an attempt to engage spectators and bring attention to their shows, some theaters are going as far as offering tweet seats free of charge as long as they agree to tweet about the performance.
While some see tweet seats as an ingenious idea, others see it differently. Tim League, founder and CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, wrote a scathing open letter expressing his dislike for the concept. When the idea of tweet seats in movie theaters started to emerge peaking the interest of both IMAX and Regal Cinemas, League took a hard stand against it. He wrote:
“By introducing screenings where people are free to text during the movie, you will be creating unhappy customers at every single session. It really boils down to the undeniable fact that texting in a movie theater is rude, selfish, and adversely affects everyone within view of your glowing device.”
League is not alone in his sentiment. According to another article in the New York Post, some people feel that this type of technology has no place in theaters. The New York Post states:
“Some insist the theater should remain a sacred, technology-free place and that allowing the use of phones during a show — even discreetly — only serves as a potential distraction for other patrons.”
With social media being the new pathway to advertise and promote products and businesses, theaters and audience members may have to come to a happy medium so those Twitter lovers can do what they do best and theaters can continue to capitalize on the Twitter phenomenon.
Tell us what you think. Are tweet seats a good thing or do you agree that theaters should remain a cell phone-free zone?