Technology locks up cell phones

- On Chris Rock’s Total Blackout Tour, cell phones are going dark.   The stand-up comedian, who will perform at the Dr. Phillips Center on Sunday and Monday night, is requiring ticket holders to lock their cell phones in a Yondr case during the show.

“The nature of his show is that he wants people to be paying full attention, not looking at him doing his comedy routine through screens,” said Dr. Phillips Center spokesman Robert Jones. 

According to the Yondr website, people receive a case when they enter the venue.  Upon entering the cell phone-free area the cases automatically lock. 

“They will keep them on their person and then once the show is over there will be stations where they can unlock them afterwards,” Jones said.

At Sak Comedy Lab in downtown Orlando host Dale Smith said he understands Rock’s desire to eliminate electronic distractions. 

“When [the audience is] disengaged it shuts down some of the energy,” he said.

But he says for performers who aren’t super stars, there are times when seeing cell phones can be a good thing, because it means the audience is happy and “they want to share this with someone else.” 

Jones said the no-cell phone policy was a requirement to book Rock and the  Dr. Phillips Center has no plans to go cell-phone free altogether.

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