Connecticut is looking to limit the noise at movie theaters and the Motion Picture Association of America has taken notice of their plans. If a proposed bill were to go through, Connecticut will be the first state to put a limit on noise at the movies. This is where some might argue that the loud noise is half the fun of going into a theater.
According to CBS Local on March 9, it’s the Connecticut legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee that is considering a new bill, as they are looking to put a cap on the noise in a movie theater. If this does make it into a bill Connecticut will opt to go with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s recommendation of keeping the noise under 85 decibels.
But that recommendation is for workers to minimize hearing loss, you aren't in the movies for eight hours and the loud noises are fleeting. It seems as if the recommendation would have nothing to do with movies.
The Motion Picture Association of America is in opposition of this proposal. In New York, a lawmaker unsuccessful pushed for movie theaters not to play trailers and ads at a higher decibel than the movie. Keeping noise down while working in a factory or on a construction site with a constant loud noise is one thing, but the movies noise limit goes up and down, there’s no prolonged exposure.
As with anything else that folks are attempting to change, there are pros and cons being debated with people adamant this needs to change and others saying leave it alone.
The Motion Picture Association of America said that a bill such as this would violate the First Amendment right to free speech. It is also saying this is discriminatory because it is just the movies being targeted. What about rock concerts that actually do have ear drum blowing noise levels at times?
Will this bill ever materialize? It is hard to see how it can. Part of going to the theater is the sound effects and yes, that has to do with the sound getting higher and lower to accentuate what is seen on the screen.
Connecticut is a small enough state that traveling to a neighboring state is usually within an hour's time from most anywhere in the state. Folks aren't going to shell out the high price for a movie today just to have the sound effects come in softer than the movie planned for.
Since it is only a hop, skip and a jump to New York, Rhode Island or Massachusetts, passing a bill to limit the movie noise would send many across state borders to see and hear the movie the way it was meant to be seen and heard! What do you think?