As a redbox fan, you clearly appreciate the benefits of watching a film in the comfort of your own home. But chances are you still head out to the theater several times a year — especially in the summer when the big-budget popcorn flicks are released. There’s something to be said for the thrill of attending a midnight screening, or just being part of a packed audience that’s collectively laughing, cheering, or jumping out of their seats.
But obviously one of the worst things about being in a cinema with anywhere from dozens to hundreds of other people is the fact that inevitably, at least one patron is going to act a fool. Either by talking loudly during the movie, eating some nasty-smelling concession snack that reeks up the place, or distracting those within a multi-foot radius by texting or checking his cellphone in the dark theater. Guess what, buddy? We can ALL SEE your light and it is annoying as hell!
Here in Chicago, Locke and I are lucky because most of the theaters we attend screenings at have really hardcore security peeps who will shut down anyone using a cellphone within seconds. But when those guys are slow to react, I’ve not been above telling people off myself — even coming close to physical violence once when two pre-teens behind me kept PLAYING A VIDEO GAME (with the sound on, I kid you not) for the first half-hour of a film.
That’s why I have nothing but love for the Alamo Drafthouse — a small chain of highly regarded theaters in Austin, Texas, that will not abide rude moviegoers. They have a strict No Talking/No Cell Phones policy, and they’re not afraid to enforce it. Recently they had to do just that, and kicked a girl out after she’d been asked twice to stop texting. This girl copped a “The customer’s always right” attitude (failing to realize that there were other customers trying to enjoy the experience she was ruining) and left a curse-filled voicemail for the theater’s management afterward.
In a nothing-short-of-brilliant move, the Drafthouse is now using that obnoxious voicemail as its No Talking/No Cell Phones policy reminder before all R-rated showings. Below is the censored version.
This is the best thing I have seen in a while. Talk about an idiot, huh? However, I was astonished to see how many people were defending this brat on the theater’s blog and elsewhere. So I’m curious to hear what you guys think: Do you agree that Texter Girl got what she deserved? Or was she treated too harshly? And if you think she shouldn’t have been kicked out, I’d like to understand why you feel that the rest of the people who could see her shining screen — who paid just as much as she did to be there — should suffer just so she could send what was surely a truly urgent, earth-shattering, perfectly spelled message to her BFF.
Sound off below!
UPDATE: The Alamo Drafthouse has gotten such a huge response to their No Talking/No Texting “Public Service Announcement” that they’ve now pulled together and posted ALL of their similarly themed pre-movie videos from years gone by. See them here.