/Film calls for boycott of Regal Cinemas

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/08/regalfilmtheft-thumb.jpgFollowing the arrest of a 19 year old for recording a clip of “The Transformers” at a Regal Cinema in Virginia, movie news blog /Film has called for a boycott of the national chain, including five theatres in the Los Angeles area.

A 19 year old girl named Jhannet Sejas was immediately arrested after she recorded a 20 second clip from the movie Transformers that she wanted to show to her little brother. She now faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine…

…A “zero-tolerance policy at the theater level” is ridiculous, and I encourage /Film readers to stay away from Regal until they decide to change their policy and reverse their decision.

After potting Sejas recording the screen with her PowerShot camera, a Regal employee notified his manager who in turn called police, who showed up minutes later. The officers confiscated the camera and ecorted Sejas and her date from the theatre and charged her with “illegally recording a motion picture.”

/Film defends Sejas by pointing out this was only a 20 second clip that she couldn’t have ever profited from.

On a side note, when I sarcastically commented that people like Sejas should be thrown in jail even for texting friends during movies, one commenter replied:

I dont know what kind of phone makes that much noise when people text that it would annoy you to the point that it should become a crime, people do it all the time here and no one hears a thing.

photo by Dan Tentler used under Creative Commons

11 Replies to “/Film calls for boycott of Regal Cinemas”

  1. Actually, given the zero tolerance signs posted at the entrance of theaters I am surprised no one else has been busted. How many people do you know, me included, that doesn’t grab a quick snap to share on a text message somewhere with their camera phone?

    The law is the law and the studios are doing all they can to put an end to piracy. Of course common sense tends to fly out the window while they try to find the perfect crime to prosecute. This silliness is hardly worth the bother of anyone involved. What was regal and the arresting officer thinking?

  2. A “zero-tolerance policy at the theater level” is ridiculous.

    No, it isn’t. I agree with (and applaud) the theater’s policy.

    Now if only they had a zero tolerance for babies…

  3. That818 guy….babies belong at the “Mommy” shows held monday mornings so the rest of us aren’t annoyed. Try tapping one on the shoulder and make that suggestion sometime. Just make sure you know which way the hormomes are flying at the time you make that approach.

  4. The arresting officer had to do it since Regal filed the complaint. It was up the theater to bust this young woman, just as it’s up to the theater’s patrons to decide if that’s a company they want to do business with. I wouldn’t, if that’s the way going to be treated.

  5. While I definitely think that her punishment was severe (why didn’t the manager just kick her out of the theater?) my sympathy for this young woman is extremely limited and not just because like so many other people I’m annoyed with the selfish jerks who have this deluded belief that their cell phone screens are magically invisible in a movie theater. (You wanna text during a movie? Stay home and rent a video.)

    The young woman in question was breaking the law and knew she was breaking the law. She wasn’t some freedom fighting breaking an oppressive law in the name of standing up for civil rights, she was yet another over-privileged child who thinks rules are those things that apply to other people.

  6. I do think it’s a little extreme, but no more than a boycott. What the hell are the boycotting? Should we boycott everyone who defends their legal rights? Will I be boycotted if I file charges against the guy who stole my car last year? (Don’t worry, I can’t! He was never found.)

    Oh, and to That 818 Guy- actual babies are fine at the movies. 99% of the time they nurse/sleep through the whole thing. I think your problem should be with small children who are old enough to be cognizant but too young for the specific movies.

  7. But wait! How did she damage the theater? Yea, she broke the rules and maybe annoyed the people behind her for half a minute. But really, what justifies facing a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines?

    Why does the punishment need to be more than banishment from the theater and forfeiting of their ticket costs? Would a year in jail make her more likely to be a model citizen, or more likely to be bitter at an unfair system?

    The MPAA spokesperson cited rampant movie piracy, but that’s not what’s happening here. This is a girl who shot 20 seconds of the movie on her cell phone so she could show her little brother.

    Ticket sales have been setting records year after year, yet theater owners and the MPAA want to send a 19 birthday girl to jail and/or fine her thousands of dollars. The punishment nowhere near fits any crime. I’m sure she’s learned her lesson.

  8. I’m sure she’s learned her lesson.

    Yeah, I think that’s kind of the point of making an example out of someone.

  9. i completely agree with ZEE.

    anyone who uses their phone in a movie theater needs to be removed immediately. even if it doesn’t make noise, the bright screen is VERY distracting to your neighbors.

    yes, being arrested was a bit harsh, although i seriously doubt she will be given the maximum penalty.

    i applaud the employees who spotted the phone usage and removed her. in an ideal movie theater, ushers should be there during the ENTIRE length of the film (except maybe in the mommy-baby screenings).

  10. The MPAA is BULLSHIT!!
    Boycot all movies and watch pirated copies until they come up with a fair ratings system.

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