Japan’s Cheering Cinemas Goes Silent, Turns To Text Messages

Cinema etiquettes are simple. Phones must be switched off, or put to silent at least and don’t you dare use your phone throughout the duration of the movie. Talking is also strictly not allowed. Open a packet of chips or crunch hardened sweet popcorn and you can instantly feel everyone side-eyeing you. Let out a little cough and someone will immediately hush you. Well, not in Japan.

In some Japanese cinemas, you can scream, shout, or react in whatever way you want. In these ‘Cheering Format’ screenings, being noisy is highly encouraged. However, as cinemas reopen during the pandemic and welcome the public back into their soft, comfy armchairs, precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of moviegoers. So, what do they do instead?

Text messages superimposed onto the movie screen

Toho Cinemas in Japan is breaking theatre etiquettes by encouraging people to text during the movie. To take things further, they will be superimposing the comments on screen for everyone to see.

“In keeping with Coronavirus precautions, we will not be able to hold a shouting screening, as we’d originally hoped,” said a spokesperson from Toho Cinemas (via ItMedia) “We will be offering a new way to enjoy the movie while sharing your reactions and emotions by projecting the voice of your heart, in written form, onto the screen.”

Named Super Support Screening, Toho Cinema’s first session would be held on 11 September 2020 and will be screening the 2019 film Rambo: Last Blood.

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