My posting below, "WWJD?", garnered some strong comments about cell phones and their intrusions into Mass. I like Tara's idea about having a place to "check 'em in" before Mass but that would prove chaotic.
Sadly, people need to be reminded before Mass to turn them off. As an attorney, I am always in the habit of turning mine off when I walk into court (God help the attorney whose cell phone goes off while court is in session - yikes!) and so it is second nature for me to turn it off when I walk into Church, a movie theater, etc. That is not the same for others, however, and I think we just ahve to get used to an announcement made at the start of services - just as they do in the movies, just as the bailiff does in court - to turn it off.
And, Heaven preserve us, if it rings, cut it off - DON'T ANSWER IT!
Maybe I'll purchase for my church the following signs to be placed at the entrances:
This is a place of worship and
your cooperation is requested in preserving it as one.
Please turn off all cell phones and pagers upon entry.