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Should cell phones be banned?


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#31 Manhattnik

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 05:29 PM

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

#32 Alexandra

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 05:49 PM

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.

#33 dancermom2

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 06:43 PM

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:

#34 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 07:51 PM

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.

#35 Estelle

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 03:43 AM

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!

#36 KayDenmark

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 06:59 AM

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.

#37 E Johnson

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 07:08 AM

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.)

#38 Old Fashioned

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 05:46 PM

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.

#39 carbro

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 07:37 PM

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.;)

#40 Mel Johnson

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 08:00 PM

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

#41 carbro

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 08:52 PM

Sorry. It didn't work when I tried to go back there, either, Mel, but here is a different link you can copy and paste to your browser:

http://www.theaterma...nt_news_id=3129

Good luck, all!

#42 citibob

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 02:48 AM

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).

#43 Mel Johnson

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 03:08 AM

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.

#44 carbro

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 10:13 AM

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.

#45 citibob

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 10:14 AM

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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