The Majestic 20 is not in the Regal Entertainment Group theater chain. It'd be a lot cooler if it was, because we could really use some of these.
This week, Regal Entertainment Group will significantly expand a program to give selected patrons wireless devices to anonymously alert the manager of disruptions.
If I had one of those, I'd be calling in management every time a cellphone went off. On vibrate. If I were the device manufacturer, though, I’d add a laser targeting system so that theater staff (or better yet, cops) could come in wearing special glasses that would allow them to perceive a laser beam identifying the offender. I'd also re-label the buttons in the following manner to make them more relevant:
#1 - Boost Mobile - Person carrying on an entire conversation using the walkie-talkie feature on their mobile phone. ("Where you at?" "I'm up in the Majestic annoying the shit out of the whole theater!")
#2 - Sound - This one would remain as-is. I once sat through an entire movie at the Majestic where the sound was barely audible. I went and asked someone if they could check on it but I could tell she didn’t give a damn. I ended up sitting through what was a hare’s breath away from being a silent movie. With my version of the device, a member of the staff would be fitted with a belt that would administer an electric shock of ever-increasing voltage. This would only be turned off once I determine that the theater's sound is at an adequate level.
#3 - Baby - This one is self-explanatory. It will also automatically alert child services.
#4 - Dumb Girlfriend/Boyfriend - Someone continually explaining “what is going on” using a full-volume speaking voice to their date who can't seem to grasp a single plot point in the entire film.
The real trick to seeing movies at the Majestic is to know what movies you can and can't view without constant disturbances. I've found that if you select more serious fare, you can usually watch a movie in peace. (Although I don't put anything past theatergoers in Silver Spring, having been forced to listen to someone talk/phone through the entirety of Babel at the AFI.) Saw III, probably not so much. I have found that some movies are actually more enjoyable to watch with, uh, "audience participation".
The way things are going, you'll probably end up needing one of these babies, too. I was downtown Saturday Night and was disappointed to discover they didn't take my advice with regard to the use of armored vehicles, however they did have a paddy wagon parked outside the entrance to the theater. Seriously, someday someone is going to get shot and that area will seriously regress as a result. People won't feel safe taking their kids and Downtown Silver Spring could turn into an outdoor City Place. (Sorry, I mean Silver Plaza.)
UPDATE: Another possible solution - pipe in classical music.