You are welcome in any Detroit-area theater – as long as you leave your camera phone in your pocket.
That’s what a friend of mine recently discovered when he visited The Detroit Opera House. He was there with his wife and friends during the popular run of the punk musical, “American Idiot.” He did what any Detroit-loving guy might do – he felt so inspired by the performance that he decided he would snap a quick shot, post it to his social-media sites and let the world know how impressive the event was.
Unfortunately, the security guys noticed. And they were not very happy. They grabbed my good-natured friend and insisted that he cease and desist. They actually detained him for taking the picture – something that he was quite upset about in the hours following the incident. In his mind, all he was trying to do was promote the show and let people know that the entire event was a smashing success.
Ultimately, he learned that you cannot take a photo ever in such a professional event. That the old adage of “the customer is always right” only goes so far. And that you will be detained for taking a photo, making you miss some of the great event that you were originally so excited about. I’m glad I got to learn this lesson through his experience instead of going through it on my own.
Truth be told, I’m glad that there is some protections in place for the performers, the venue and the audience. I take my children to age-appropriate performances most of the time, but I did take my 4-year-old daughter to see a high-end ballet performance at the Opera House about six months ago. I would have been tempted to take her picture there – but I was too busy handing her Goldfish and ensuring our neighbors were OK with having her there. We left after one act, so everyone was happy with our behavior. But the employees there that night could not have been nicer to us, and they were very kind to my little Diva during her visit.
So be warned: Keep your friends close, your Playbill closer and your camera phone in your pocket. There apparently will be no exceptions to the rule.