Theater Allowing Cellphone Use Plans to Attract Younger Audience

Theaters all over the country are applying strict rules to prohibiting the use of cellphones and other electronic devices during the viewing of a film.

Washington’s Tateuchi Center on the other hand is promoting the use of electronic devices in their theaters.

To attract younger audiences, the Tateuchi Center is building a theater that will enhance the use of cellphones during shows.

“This is the wave of the future for people we worry about attracting. Simply forbidding it and embarrassing people is not the way to go,” said Tateuchi Center executive director John Haynes to the New York Times. "So we are wiring the building in anticipation of finding new ways to make it work over time."

The $160 million Tateuchi Center is expected to be open in 2014, and it will feature a 12-foot or 14-foot antenna to boost cell phone reception, a 2,000-seat concert hall and a very lenient cellphone policy.

Though lenient, the theater will encourage a “non-disruptive cell use” policy.

According to the Hollywood Reporter website, “Center execs believe that allowing audiences to text, Facebook and tweet during performances will engage patrons and reflect the modernity of the building, scheduled to open in 2014.”

To further promote cellphone use, the theater will distribute small screens to patrons to place on their phones and dim the light. In addition, artists booked there can request no phone use.

“I don’t think this is something that changes overnight,” said Mr. Haynes to the New York Times. “We didn’t want to build the last great concert hall of the Twentieth century, but maybe the first one of the 21st century.”

Those who are annoyed by fellow theater patrons text messaging or using Twitter during a show may want to stay clear of the of the Tateuchi Center.