There are few places left offering sanctuary from the ubiquity of mobile phones. Airplanes and underground stations were two such places, but even they are opening up to the networks.

Cinemas, in theory at least, should be safe-havens from the blips, bleeps and clicks that emit from smartphones. Until cinemas are constructed from pure lead, there isn’t likely to be any physical restrictions forced upon the mobile masses any time soon, but one cinema brand reckons it has found the perfect solution to this perennial problem.

American movie theater chain Cinemark has rolled out CineMode for its Android and iOS app, which lets moviegoers earn rewards for not using their handset during a film.

How it works

When the movie’s about to start, you launch the app and click ‘Turn CineMode On’. Your screen will then dim, and you will be prompted to set volume to vibrate.

Assuming you stay in CineMode for the duration of the movie, you will earn a reward each time you see a movie, for example a free drink when you buy some popcorn.

a13 520x428 Cinemarks mobile app now rewards patrons for not using their mobile phones during movies

“It is important to develop tools that maximize and preserve the movie-going experience,” said Cinemark’s Marketing and Communications VP James Meredith, in Deadline.

Meredith noted that patrons had asked the chain to develop “an alternative and creative solution” to stop visitors from disturbing other moviegoers with their bright screens.

An enterprising idea for sure, but it will be interesting to see whether this deters folk from texting and tweeting their way through a movie or not. If nothing else, it will surely tempt the majority of its customers who didn’t use their phones during movies to download the app and turn CineMode on, purely to get a freebie.

➤ Cinemark – iOS | Android