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Some Chinese movie theaters are covering their screens in text messages

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Making comments during a movie usually earns you the scorn of the audience, unless, of course, you're in a more social environment, trying to shout out zingers at the screen with friends. Companies have been trying to recreate that social experience in theaters for several years now, and apparently one social screen is seeing some success in China. According to The New York Times, theaters have been filling seats by running special screenings on what are known as "bullet screens" — screens that will display streams of text messages sent in by the audience.

The messages can apparently become so dense that they basically block out all on-screen action, so they really aren't meant for use during traditional films. The Times reports that they're currently being used for movies targeted at a younger crowd, so don't expect to watch Serious Cinema on one of them — not yet, at least. One studio spokesperson tells the Times that with the right movie, it's feasible that bullet screens could be rolled out across the country, though it seems that the idea is still being used in select cases for now.