Zero Tolerance Cell Phone Rule Now at Cedar Rapids Movie Theater

By Kathleen Serino, Reporter

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By Kara Kelly

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Forget bringing your cell phone to the movies. The only screens the Wehrenberg Theatre wants movie-goers looking at are their own.

Staff at the Cedar Rapids Galaxy 16 Cine, at 5340 Council St., recently started passing out fliers to customers at ticket counters warning of a new “zero tolerance cell phone policy.”

The flier asks customers to turn their phones off completely or silence them, or to leave the auditorium if they must take a call. The note also says regular checks will be made by theater staff and security in the auditoriums to ensure the policy is upheld.

“I think it’s an addiction with cell phones,” said 55-year-old Maria Camarotti, on her way out of the theater Thursday night. She had the flier with her, which she said was given to her when she purchased her ticket.

Camarotti, a Cedar Rapids resident of 12 years, said it bothers her when people take their phones out during a show, but that she didn’t notice anyone using their phones.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Olivier Derieux, 30, of the no cell phone warnings posted around the theater.

Marion residents Diane Wisgerhof and Kathy Krambeer said they go to movies at Wehrenberg almost every week and noticed the fliers.

Wisgerhof, said she used hers tonight. “Isn’t that the whole point why we’ve all got these phones now – that we’re accessible?” she asked.

The 66-year-old noted that she will continue to use her phone in movie theaters if she really needs.

Collins Road Theatre in Marion prohibits “anything that produces light,” says staff member Ashley Reed, 16. The Marion teen added audiences are issued one verbal warning at the start of the movie before being asked to leave.

Reed, who has worked at the independent movie theater for about a year, said most customers are grateful for the no cell phone usage policy, which she said was instated about a month ago.

Cedar Rapids Galaxy 16 Cine is the only one Wehrenberg Theatre operates in Iowa. There are 14 others around Missouri, Illinois and Minnesota.

Wehrenberg Theatre was unavailable for comment.

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