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Alexandra

Should cell phones be banned?

47 posts in this topic

I think talking during the intermission or before the performance has started is ok. I mean it could be important. But I don't think people should have cell phones on during a performance. It's rude. People should turn them off like they do at movie theaters. Though making it a law is a bit harsh I think. I think people should be asked nicely to turn off their phones and if they don't that's their problem.

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Unfortunately, primaballerina13, it's more than just "their" problem. When a phone rings during a performance it affects everyone within earshot, and is extremely annoying. Having them turned off should be a law. Banning them would be extreme, and certainly almost unenforcable. People have them, and they need them, and you can't ask them to come from work or wherever and not even have their phones with them. But, you can ask them to turn them off, and that could be a law with a punishable fine for not doing it! :)

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The New York City Council just overrode the veto of the cell phone ban at public performances. http://www.ny1.com/ny/TopStories/SubTopic/...tentintid=27905

It bans talking, listening or ringing of a cell phone at public performances (other than sports events or during an emergency). Violators are subject to a $50 fine and eviction from the venue! It goes into effect in 60 days.

Of course...who is going to enforce this? The ushers?????

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I went to "Hairspray" today and there pre-performance cell phone spiel

"Hairspray takes place in Baltimore in the 1960's, a time when there were no cell phones, let's keep it that way"

:)

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Originally posted by dancermom2

Of course...who is going to enforce this?  The ushers?????

Presumably the same Met ushers who took what seemed like the whole White Swan Pas de Deux (and a few minutes before) before ejecting a loudly disruptive kid (heard throughout the house) and his mom during Gillian's and Jose's Sat. Mat. Swan last June. :)

Of course, some of us know that the ushers can enforce the rules regarding standees to the letter when they so choose or are so directed. :)

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I like what the Trocks say: "Please turn off your cel phone or ve vill turn zem off for you."

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Not wanting to let Rockville leave them in the dust, New York's City Council has banned cell phones at performances -- it was on ABC news tonight.

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Not just the Met ushers...the State Theater (NYCB) ushers are pretty fierce in applying the standing room rules when there are jillions of 4th ring seats available. Ah...do you think maybe if there is a law about cell phones they would be as persnickety about enforcing it? :rolleyes:

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Hey, at least the State Theater ushers will let you sit when the performance starts! The Met is far stricter, probably because someone who paid more than $100 for a seat might be peeved when you sit next to them, having paid $20.

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Yesterday evening at the Opera Garnier, a cell phone rang no less than three times at the beginning of "Emeralds"... :rolleyes: I wish there were such laws in Paris too!

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I agree that it's often a matter of simply forgetting to turn the phone off, but occasionally people feel that they are expecting a call so important that it is worth inconviencing the rest of the audience.

A couple of years ago, I sat behind a "celebrity dance couple" at the State Theater, and their phone rang repeatedly during the performance. At the intermission, they explained to those nearby that they had a sick child at home who needed comforting.

I don't blame the kid. Mom or Dad or both, however, might have skipped the premiere for a little parent duty.

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Many phones also have the wonderful "vibrate" feature, if one really must be aware of calls received durign a performance. One can then leave the theater and deal with the call in the lobby, especially if one is considerate enough to sit on the aisle. (This is what I do at the movies in case there is an emergency with my son.)

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I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned this already, but I picked up an OperaCues magazine from the HGO booth at the Houston International Festival, and inside it says that the New York City Council has just passed the first law for banning the use of cell phones during public performances in the US. Dancermom2 said something about it being debated over and being vetoed by the mayor, so I'm not sure if this information is true.

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This AP report will give you the gory details on the Council's override of Mayor Bloomberg's veto. The mayor thinks the legislation is unenforceable (he's probably right), but the Council has asserted its proud role as the Voice of the People.;)

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Carbro, could you check the URL on that report? All I get is an error message "Cannot find 'http'".

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I don't think a law is needed. Theaters already have the right to ban cell phones, and confiscate any cell phone that rings. As far as I know, this has never been challenged in court; hence, no need for anything stricter.

Problem is, theaters don't want to anger their patrons, so they have to be very nice, even when people get rude with cell phones.

We remind our patrons to turn off their cell phones. And if someone comes in with a camera, we confiscate it at intermission. As a dancer on-stage, I help out by providing reports of exactly where the camera is, and who has it (the people managing the house have a view of the audience from behind, and can sometimes miss things like cameras for that reason).

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Originally posted by citibob

I don't think a law is needed.  Theaters already have the right to ban cell phones, and confiscate any cell phone that rings.  As far as I know, this has never been challenged in court; hence, no need for anything stricter.

Not in the State or City of New York. The fourth and fourteenth amendments to the US Constitution, as well as parts of the State Constitution and the City Charter limit search and seizure and provide that no person shall be deprived of property without due process of law. Now, a jurisdiction may regulate and limit the use of property, but a taking is a slam-dunk for a trial lawyer! The theaters may possibly provide the offender with a check and an instruction to pick up the stuff at the checkroom after the performance and remain within the law, but outright confiscation is clearly illegal.

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But theaters do have the right to evict disruptive persons. It's just a matter of how far they're willing to go to deem someone disruptive.

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Of course I meant that you give back the stuff at the end of the evening. If you want to see this mechanism in action, just try bringing food into the theater. 9 times out of 10, they'll ask you to either leave the theater, or leave the food with them.

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I live in a suburb of Detroit where the city council must have passed a law making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle unless one is talking on the phone. It is maddening.

My solution regarding my cell phone is to not turn it on. It stays off unless I call someone, which isn't very often. Since I haven't bothered to learn how to answer a call I just make sure I don't get any.

The humming problem is more pernicious, because generally the person humming isn't aware (or at least fully aware) that he is doing it. Especially during the warhorses--"Swan Lake", for example in ballet. Or most Puccini operas and many by Verdi or Mozart, Beethoven symphonies, the big 19th century violin concertos, most Mozart piano concertos.

Anything with a great melody line, particularly if it has been used in commercials or movies.

And very often the hummers are doing so almost unconsiously, so even if they stop they will start again.

With cell phones in theatres, the offenders usually know they are being loutish and don't care.

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Was anyone else at that unforgettable "Sing-along" matinee at City Ballet in the 80's when the program -- Vienna Waltzes and Who Cares? -- seemed designed to encourage audience participation? And, sorry to report, they complied. Or at least the people around me did.

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