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Are Movies Too Loud? Bill Would Limit Theater Noise

Connecticut is considering legislation that would restrict how much noise can come from a movie or film preview.

File Photo
File Photo
Have you ever found yourself covering your ears in a movie theater as the thunderous sound system blasts you endlessly with explosions and other loud noises?

If so, then Connecticut could be the state for you. The state is considering legislation that would restrict movie theater noise. Fox News reports that the measure would prevent theaters from showing a film or preview that exceeded 85 decibels.

The restriction would be in line with what the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends for safe working conditions over an 8-hour period.

Stamford resident William Young has pushed for the measure. Young told msn.com that he hoped the proposed legislation was a wakeup call for the film industry: "Why they need such loud sounds is beyond me."

A movie theater sound expert, John Allen, told WPNR that 85 decibels in a movie theater is dialogue-level noise. Allen said the problem is more about noise distortion and sound calibration in the theaters themselves, WNPR reported.

Allen was critical of the legislation, noting "There's no way to enforce it."

Robert Dobie, a professor at the University of Texas and expert in hearing loss, told msn.com that the 85 decibel restriction for workers was for prolonged exposure. Dobie said noise spikes in movies are brief enough that he does not consider them hazardous.


Igor March 12, 2014 at 07:43 AM
I thought a law was passed that they weren't supposed to do that on commercials.
Bryan Harz March 12, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Igor, nice catch. Per FCC website - "Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) rules require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany. In the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, Congress directed the FCC to establish these rules, which went into effect on December 13, 2012". I have not seen the actual rules.
Michael March 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM
Most people truly have no idea how the extreme noise of today's world is affecting their health. Our society is one of unabashed excess and yes, NOISE is one of the most unbridled areas. Indeed, the volume in movie theaters is much, much louder than needed and it does cause eardrum damage. There needs to be strong legislation (and enforcement) of volume limits in theaters, as well as for other damaging noise -- such as the unwelcome extreme noise coming from motorcycles.
Jeff Cocco March 12, 2014 at 02:58 PM
William Young needs to get over himself. Why are we wasting our legislators time with foolish, nit-picky crap? They have much more improtant things to worry about than how loud noises in the moviwe theater can't be regulated! Give me a break!
Jeff Cocco March 12, 2014 at 03:10 PM
Nonoise. Society is not all about YOU. It is comprised of many people not just YOU. This is a waste of our Governments time becasue of whinny, control freak people, like YOU. Don't go to movies if you don't like it. Turn you volume down on your TV if commercials are too loud. Don't live near a church. Don't go to resturants that play music. NEWS FLASH. The world is a noisy place deal with it! Get a grip.

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