It shouldn’t take more laws for movies to start on time

Published 4:03 am Monday, June 6, 2005

By Staff
State Sen. Gilda Jacobs, D-Huntington Woods, fed up with sitting through advertising before the start of a movie, wants to legislate that theaters post the precise time shows start.
She introduced legislation May 31 that would require theaters to post two times - one when advertising, previews of coming attractions and public service announcements start and another for the start of the actual film.
Jacobs is an avid moviegoer. She said her goal is to give people more choice so they arrive at the theater and avoid sitting through what the motion picture industry euphemistically refers to as "pre-show entertainment."
She singles out ads in particular as a nuisance to moviegoers.
Jacobs says theaters should voluntarily post the actual start time to make legislation unnecessary.
Loews Cineplex Entertainment in May began advertising show times with a note stating most movies actually start 10 to 15 minutes later in response to complaints.
Maybe that's all it would take if it's that big a deal to people.
Why would a theater want to ignore such input from their customers?
A spokeswoman for AMC Entertainment, the country's second largest movie theater chain, said movie ads now account for less than 3 percent of the complaints or comments received.
Consumers' biggest objection has been distractions, such as ringing cell phones.
Most moviegoers like the trailers previewing coming attractions.
At any rate, we suspect Jacobs' bill is not on the fast track in the Legislature, where there are bigger fish to fry, such as balancing a $400 million budget deficit.
Movie start times just aren't a pressing issue in Lansing.