Will “tweet seats” in theatres be a thing?
Although most theatre patrons will be subject to an obligatory “switch off your mobile phones” notice upon entering a performance, a movie theatre in Minnesota has flipped protocol on its head by actively encouraging the use of mobile phones during productions.
The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis will be designating a specific area in its theatre to patrons that can’t manage to keep themselves offline for the duration of a production. Designating the special seats “tweet seats”, patrons will be encouraged to tweet during performances from an area in the theatre specifically placed so other patrons are not disturbed or distracted.
When regard is had to the widespread occurrence of live blogging and tweeting during fashion shows and other events, the introduction of a similar protocol in theatres doesn’t seem incongruous — most would denote it as a pretty savvy publicity tool that should be taken advantage of.
Others have queried the propriety of condoning the use of smart phones during a live performance, and questioned how far the trend will extend. Will cinema patrons soon also be subject to live tweeting in the cinema?
Whatever the case, dissuading the use of smart phones in theatres and cinemas is likely to be pretty useless, so it seems wise that the Guthrie is cutting ahead and advertising that it encourages live tweeting…at least before the trend becomes so normal and widespread that it barely merits a mention.