Keeping Idi Amin Safe From The Scourge Of Cameraphones

I know we’ve discussed this before, but I’ve reached my limit. Went to the Arclight for an advance screening of The Last King of Scotland last night. The movie is really good, and Forest Whitaker should clear mantle space for the awards he’ll get for playing the Big Crocodile, but that’s beside the point.

The screening started 10-15 minutes late. Because each individual person had to be searched for cameraphones. Not only was somebody rooting through each persons bag, but everyone had to spend some quality one-on-one time with a security guard and a wand.

To go see a movie.

About Uganda.

That opens on Wednesday.

Haven’t they taken things just a little too goddamn far?

Shame on you Arclight, AFI, and Fox Searchlight.

It’s been said many times before, but they don’t seem to get it, so I’ll repeat it in big capital letters:


If you’re so worried about the security of your movies, then just keep them locked up in a vault and show them to nobody.

Has anybody filed a legal challenge on this? Do the theaters truly have the right to search their patrons?


And the wonder why they have trouble getting people to the theaters.

btw – we both got our cameraphones in anyway. I was tempted to take flash photos all throughout the Q&A, to see if they’d throw me out.

7 thoughts on “Keeping Idi Amin Safe From The Scourge Of Cameraphones”

  1. That’s a regular thing now with advance screenings and Q & As. In fact, when Chicken Little was shown to the Disney animation crew and family, we were ushered in through metal detectors, a pat down, and wanded. Mario, my pat down artist, and I shared something special that night. A bond that will never go away. No matter how many shrinks I talk to.

  2. “advance screening,” i.e., you’re not a paying customer, you’re a guest to a free yet-to-be-released movie. I’m sure you could have asked for your money back. Also, fyi, Arclight and theaters in general have no say in the security around these pre-screenings. It’s all dictated by the studio.

  3. Amen, Jay.
    Its one thing to search for dangerous items, but to make me feel like a criminal for having a phone is irritating and shameful.
    I showed up once for a free screening – took a bus there – and they told me to put my phone back in my car. After I and a dozen others complained, they finally agreed to quickly figure out a way to hold onto our phones.

    Bobbo, I agree a little, but I don’t agree with being dismissed because we’re a “guest”. We’re not invited or granted access because the studios love us. But, bottom line, using security wands to search for CAMERAS and PHONES is offensive and, I agree with Jay, possibly a violation of our rights.

  4. Don’t get me wrong, the whole phone thing is completely absurd since the quality you’d get out of those is way too low for anyone to care. That said, checking for honest-to-goodness camcorders and such is pretty much their best bet at smacking down pre-release piracy, where ‘piracy’ is actually referring to the bad guys of the practice that are making a crapload of money by selling dubs on the street and not just Next Door Joe burning a backup copy of a DVD he bought.

  5. Jay…. I couldn’t agree with you more. I get so cranky about this that I intentionally hide my phone in a place they dare not go JUST to see if they will find it. One more irritating thing to deal with. I hope you complained!!!!!

  6. I was also at the screening. I had to sprint back to my car to put my cameraphone away. I wouldn’t have cared as much if they would have just “checked” my phone at the door or if they would have given me some advanced warning so I wouldn’t have had to arrive at the screening sweaty from having had to haul ass back to my car to put my phone away. Also, it wasn’t a “free” screening. The majority of the people who attended paid 10 bucks for each ticket.

    With that said, the movie was awesome and Forrest Whitaker siezes to amaze me.

  7. Every time I read a review of the film, I think of Dave Cercone. Are you still in touch with him?

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