'No texting, talking or tapping': Dubai cinema launches new 'distraction-free' movie screenings

Vox Cinemas are rolling out the rule-bound screenings to several of its outlets, starting at Mall of the Emirates

Vox Cinemas is bringing its 'distraction-free screenings' to Abu Dhabi
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It's a true sign of the times when a cinema chain has to publicly announce that it intends to outlaw phones and chatting from a movie screening.

But Vox Cinemas has done just that, as it revealed new "distraction-free screenings" will be coming to a movie theatre near you.

In an announcement regarding the quieter viewings, the UAE cinema chain said: "No texting, talking or tapping – It’s an all-new experience made to immerse you in your favourite movies."

The fact this has been deemed an "all-new experience" makes us lament even further at the behaviour of some of our fellow audience goers.

Vox says One Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, The Current War and The Kitchen will be the first films to be screened sans distractions.

Just one screen will have the honour of being deemed "distraction-free" for now, in Vox at Mall of the Emirates, but the cinema chain says more will be rolled out across its locations.

As expected, social media had rather a few things to say about the idea.

So, Vox held something of an impromptu Q&A about the move on Twitter. Here are the highlights:

Q: How are you guys planning to ensure people abide [the rules]?

Vox: "Good question! Our dedicated ninja-like staff members will be surveilling the audience at all times. Anyone who doesn't comply will be asked to leave."

They then said the cinema chain would soon release a more "in-depth article" with everything people need to know about the screenings.

Q: Isn’t it just how the cinema is supposed to be? Can’t the dedicated ninja-like staff members make this experience consistent?

Vox: "Distraction-free screenings are an express commitment between cinemagoers and Vox Cinemas in creating the distraction-free environment. It will be enforced by the moviegoers themselves who have signed up to and selected this initiative."

Q: Can you please include crying to no texting, talking or tapping? That's for the babies mostly.

Vox: "It's going to be an 18+ experience, regardless of the film's rating."

Q: Do you like take our phones?

Vox: "No, phones will have to be switched off or on silent at all times during the film. Anyone who uses their phone will be asked to leave. If you have to take an urgent call, you can step outside the cinema and come back in once you're done."

Q: Will this be in all of your cinemas? Do you intend to charge more? 

Vox: "We are currently in the early stages of distraction-free screenings. It will currently be applied to a dedicated screen at Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates. However, we plan on rolling out more across various locations following the launch."