The "common sense" Park Place approach might be characterized as the polite warning followed by the heave-ho.
"We're going to nicely ask you to refrain from it -- whether it be cellphones or talking. But if you don't obey us, we're going to ask you to leave."
Part of the problem is that some customers seem to think texting is less objectionable than talking on their phone "because it's silent and they're not disturbing the people around them," Pauley said. "But some of these phones have the light intensity of '57 Chevy headlight."
The rise of theaters with stadium seating accentuates the problem, he said. "Every one behind you is higher, so when you lift your cellphone to read a message you're basically shining a flashlight that everybody behind you can see."
This March, Park Place will convert to all-digital screens and stronger warnings about cell phone usage are coming, said Pauley. "We will have stronger ads as a reminder to silence your cellphones before the film starts."
Cinemas have staff check in on each movie auditorium a couple times during the course of a particular screening to see if cellphones are in use.
"We check them a minimum of twice every show. That's part of their job requirement -- to police the theater," said Tina Humphries, one of the managers at Marquee Cinemas at Southridge.
"Normally, we tell people to put it away and they put it away. Usually, once you go in there and tell them to put them away they do. Every now and then you'll have someone get belligerent."
People who text may think they are not disturbing nearby filmgoers since they are not talking, she said. "Honestly, it doesn't occur to most people how irritating the light is."
Cellphone luminosity is especially distracting in 3-D movies, she added. "It's not only the glasses. There's something about the way 3-D is projected, it looks darker."
An usher staring or pointing out a first-time offender usually works, but a second warning can mean the movie is over for that person, said Humphries.
"We try not to be real hateful with it. It's seldom we have to go back more than once."
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.