That’s not the exit light.
I was at the AMC Cinema in the old Forum on Saturday night (screening room 5). Waiting for the movie to start, I passed the time by playing with my new camera. I noticed, when I pointed it towards the screen, that I could see — on the LCD screen — a light on the wall just to the right of the screen. Oddly, when I looked with my naked eye, I saw no such light.
I checked a few times to make sure it wasn’t one of the lights that run down the side wall, but no, there was very definitely a bright spot on the front wall that the camera could plainly see, but my eye could not. So I zoomed in all the way (even using the ghastly “digital zoom”). I saw a strange looking rectangular bug-eye thing that was definitely no exit sign.
So what the heck is it? I surmised that it must be some kind of infra-red light that the cinema uses to illuminate the room, so they can watch over us in the dark using some kind of infra-red viewer. I suppose they need to know if someone is getting naked, or if thieves are nabbing purses, or whatever.
After the movie I walked down to the front of the room, and sure enough, there’s a panel up there, about the size of a shoebox, with a red lens over it and some kind of bulbs behind the lens. There’s another one on the left side of the screen.
So you’d better watch out or that hanky-panky you get up to in the back row might end up all over the Internet. Cinema spy cam!
Follow-up! An alert commenter (Rosco) has identified the device in question as an infrared “assisted listening device” for the hearing impaired. Not unlike this one. Mystery solved!