By Simon Vozick-Levinson
April 17, 2009 at 07:38 PM EDT

Once upon a time, legend has it, the movie theater was a sacrosanct place of sorts. Not anymore. In St. Charles, Ill., a Twitter-inspired service with the ridiculous name MuVChat has been allowing the audiences at movies like Zoolander to text-message their thoughts directly to the big screen, where they’re displayed for all to see. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Most viewers make about 40 [!] comments per movie.” This sounds super-annoying, but it’s actually not the most controversial instance of multiplex texting that I’ve read about today. That would be last night’s “#Twitflix” experiment, in which a group led by Human Giant‘s Aziz Ansari, Paul Scheer (both pictured), and others used Twitter to live-blog a screening of Crank 2: High Voltage. Their totally hilarious tweets drew the rage of Ain’t It Cool News maven Harry Knowles, who spewed some Twitter bile of his own about how inappropriate this behavior was. Movie Theaters are places to leave the outside world behind,” fumed Knowles. If there was even one person not a part of that…group whose experience was less because of annoying lit screens, it damns everyone that did it.”

Okay, Knowles is right that it can be distracting when the dude sitting next to you is straight textin’ his pals while you’re trying to watch a cinematic masterpiece like Crank 2. But you know what? If I went to see Crank 2 — or even The Godfather, Part II — and realized that Ansari and Scheer were posting uproarious things to Twitter a couple rows ahead of me, that would not bother me. At all. It would be awesome! I’d far prefer that experience over going to one of those MuVChat screenings and having to sit through the instant commentary of people who are not professional comedians (though it’s true that the MuVChat experience is one you sign up for at the door, whereas Knowles was defending innocents who never asked for a side of Twitter with their cinema). Maybe that’s just me, though. What do you think? Do things like MuVChat and Twitflix make it acceptable to text in a movie theater, or is that never okay? Has the Twitter infatuation just gotten completely out of control?