Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Austin's Alamo Drafthouse Theater Gives Texters the Boot

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the y'all-don't-come-back-now-hear? dept.

Cellphones 370

Hugh Pickens writes "Ever been annoyed during that nail-biting darkened hallway scene by someone turning on their phone to send a text? Well, don't mess with Texas or you may end up on the screen in a public service announcement. Alamo Drafthouse, a local chain of dine-and-screen movie theaters in Austin, Texas, has long waged a war against impolite moviegoers booting out customers who talk or text during performances. Phoebe Connelly writes that according to Tim League, the Drafthouse's founder, a woman was recently warned twice about texting during a screening, and then, in accordance with company policy, was escorted out without a refund. 'I don't think people realize that it is distracting,' says League. 'It seems like nothing, but if you spend as much time as I do at the movies, you realize the entire theater sees it and it pulls you out of the movie experience. It's every bit as intrusive as talking.' The irate customer called up the Alamo Drafthouse and left a profanity-laced (and perhaps slightly inebriated) message decrying the theater's policies, but the theater got the last laugh as they took the audio of the woman's voicemail, transcribed it, and turned it into an in-house preview [tl: Note, YouTube video contains some profanity] that warns theatergoers against cell phone use during movies. 'Part of what we're trying to do is have a comedic message about what to us is a very serious issue,' says League, declining to give any more details about the woman at the center of the recent PSA."

cancel ×

370 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Its a very serious issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413218)

no texting during the latest superhero movie.

Re:Its a very serious issue... (-1, Troll)

rwven (663186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413886)

Yeah, this seems like an incredibly stupid thing to become so righteously anal over. I've never once been distracted by someone texting in a movie. Talking, yes, but never texting.

This is just some stupid theater owner's personal crusade to fight a really ridiculous cause. They've probably spent 10x as much fighting cellphone use as they would have lost in customers had they allowed them in the same capacity as any other theater. Heck, if they are escorting people out of the theater for texting, that would be WAY more distracting than someone just using their phone.

I would stay away from a theater with this policy out of spite.

Re:Its a very serious issue... (4, Insightful)

tm2b (42473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414022)

I wonder if you have some sort brain damage or something, or are just assuming the least instrusive phone possible during the brightest scene possible.

How could you not find a bright backlit LCD distracting during a dark scene in a movie? The Alamo's policy is a great one - they prohibit children under a certain age, too, outside of certain designated showings They are well-loved in Austin for these kinds of policies - I won't go to other theaters now unless I want IMAX or they are not showing a movie I want to see. It really does make a different kind of experience, making sure that nobody is distracting their neighbors.

Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (4, Informative)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413220)

I went to Alamo Drafthouse with some friends a couple of weeks ago when I was in town, and there is NO way this woman could have been ignorant of the policy. Before the trailers there are multiple announcements (some quite amusing) that spell out very clearly that texting, talking, or using your bright-as-twenty-suns cellphone in any capacity are NOT tolerated. They also clearly state that you get one and ONLY one warning. After that, you're ass is outta there. But she apparently chose to ignore the multiple warnings, and now she's pissy that they enforced a clearly defined policy? Sucks for her. Maybe next time she'll put the damned phone away.

I knew this policy quite well and I've only ever visited the chain ONCE. Plus I don't even live in the area. This woman has no excuse.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (3, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413302)

Before the trailers there are multiple announcements (some quite amusing) that spell out very clearly that texting, talking, or using your bright-as-twenty-suns cellphone in any capacity are NOT tolerated.

In her message she says she was using her phone as a flashlight to find her seat (one of the most annoying things you can do in a theater), so chances are she came in mid-movie and didn't see the trailers or the warnings.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (4, Insightful)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413390)

In her message she says she was using her phone as a flashlight to find her seat (one of the most annoying things you can do in a theater), so chances are she came in mid-movie and didn't see the trailers or the warnings.

Meaning she wasn't even considerate enough to come in on time for the movie, so to hell with her. And even that would have only gotten one warning, ergo she had to have kept using the phone after being warned once. Additionally, there are signs posted that warn of this policy as well.

Another damn good reason for this policy is safety. As there are staff constantly walking around the theater serving food and drinks (in glass containers, no less) in the darkness, the last thing I would want is for some poor staff member to have their low-light vision impaired and end up tripping with a full tray of glass + food/drink.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413398)

so chances are she came in mid-movie

Yet another way to piss people off.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413434)

Um yeah, it's awesome how Alamo has those seats you can text to find...

Read the article, they warned her twice before they tossed her. Obviously she's trying to make excuses for her poor behavior after being called on it. Alamo Drafthouse rules!

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413448)

>In her message she says she was using her phone as a flashlight to find her seat

Assuming this is true and not a lie to cover up the fact she was texting:

So she was shining it directly in the eyes of other patrons? Throw her out.

--
BMO

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413484)


In her message she says she was using her phone as a flashlight to find her seat (one of the most annoying things you can do in a theater), so chances are she came in mid-movie and didn't see the trailers or the warnings.

Perhaps, but she was warned a couple of times. I've never been to the Alamo Drafthouse, is it really that dark in there? I find that to be a lame excuse on her part.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413578)

It is a very lame excuse. Either wait a minute for your eyes to adjust to the dark, or just use the light from the screen to find your seat. And she had already been warned. She's just a moron.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (1)

mrbrown1602 (536940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413632)

To be late is to be dead, I suppose.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (3, Informative)

bitrex (859228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413684)

Before the trailers there are multiple announcements (some quite amusing) that spell out very clearly that texting, talking, or using your bright-as-twenty-suns cellphone in any capacity are NOT tolerated.

In her message she says she was using her phone as a flashlight to find her seat (one of the most annoying things you can do in a theater), so chances are she came in mid-movie and didn't see the trailers or the warnings.

But then at 0:52 she essentially admits she was texting.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36414072)

The problem is people of a younger generation have this entitlement attitude that because they can they should be able to do it. The theater rules are stated before each and every movie. I find it hard to believe she never heard of any theater having the policy against talkers and texters. It is also sad that people cant disconnect from their reality for a mere 2 hours to watch a movie. I go into a theater I turn my phone to silence and ignore it. I dont maybe I'm getting too old but I find it easy to not stay connected all the time with everyone.

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413744)

Before the trailers there are multiple announcements (some quite amusing) that spell out very clearly that texting, talking, or using your bright-as-twenty-suns cellphone in any capacity are NOT tolerated.

In her message she says she was using her phone as a flashlight to find her seat (one of the most annoying things you can do in a theater), so chances are she came in mid-movie and didn't see the trailers or the warnings.

She also said, "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to be texting" (it's been a few days since I've heard it so the quote may not be accurate). Also, Alamo gave her multiple warnings. How many times did she need to find her seat?

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (4, Interesting)

pnot (96038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414024)

In her message she says she was using her phone as a flashlight to find her seat (one of the most annoying things you can do in a theater)

... and shortly thereafter says that she didn't know she wasn't meant to be texting. And then proudly declares that she's texted in every other cinema in the area. So I'm going to go right ahead and sound the bullshit horn on this one...

Re:Sucks To Be Her, I Guess. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413900)

They make new ones [youtube.com] every month or so.

Hats off to the Drafthouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413222)

Wish more places handled disruptive customers that way.

Please, please, please not on planes (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413226)

Travelling is annoying enough - no need for an arrogant loudmouth keeping one awake.

DB Cooper the bastards - without money and without parachute.

horseshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413228)

I'm sorry, someone sending a text is no more annoying that the idiot with the flash light walking down to check the thermostat. Grow up.

I admit it, I check email during a movie because I need to.

It can't be any more annoying than listening to someone eat during a movie. Or having to get up 3 times because someone with a bladder the size of a walnut doesn't have the common sense to sit on the isle.

While funny, the commercial is obviously fake. Oh, and this was on aintitcool.com 5 days ago.

Re:horseshit (0)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413250)

yes, because a brilliantly white screen in a black theatre is not distracting.

If you need to check email during a movie, then you don't need to be at that movie. I don't pay $10 to see your screen flashing on and off in front of me distracting me from the film.

Re:horseshit (-1, Troll)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413288)

I wish I had so little to be angry about that I could spend time worrying about someone briefly looking at a dim, pin-prick of screen thirty feet away from me, most likely obscured by a person or chair-back.

Re:horseshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413326)

I sit on the isle and try to be subtle about checking.

I'm sorry that my job requires me to be available 24/7.

I guess that means no movies for me because some hypersensitive person might be offended.

Re:horseshit (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413344)

That, or get a job where you can sit in a movie for two hours without distracting other patrons.

Re:horseshit (3, Insightful)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413682)

Put your phone on vibrate and step outside if you get a message you need to check.

Re:horseshit (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413362)

$10 is $10, and when it's my wife and I it's $20.

Thirty feet? Are you kidding?
I often see kids play with their phones in the rows right in front of me. Stadium seating means there's very little to obscure the screen from sight.

Re:horseshit (5, Insightful)

farlukar (225243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413264)

I admit it, I check email during a movie because I need to.

No you don't. A cinema isn't exactly a proper place to work.

Re:horseshit (5, Interesting)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413526)

No kidding, Jesus. Even if you're tethered to a phone for some reason, there's no reason you shouldn't be prepared to inobtrusively slip out to the lobby. It's not exactly difficult, either.

For example, a friend of mine once worked as an emergency responder for the Red Cross. Part of that was to carry the emergency contact phone wherever she went while she was on call. If she was going to be somewhere that respectful quiet was expected, like a church, or the theatre, or a classroom, she made damned certain that the thing was set to vibrate. She also made sure to arrive at the venue early, so that she could get an aisle seat and, if she felt the phone vibrate, she could slip out to the lobby without shoving her ass in a row-full of faces. As far as anyone who wasn't in her group was concerned, she would just be politely nipping out to the bathroom. No ringtones, no sudden glare, no conversations, not difficult.

Re:horseshit (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413838)

I admit it, I check email during a movie because I need to.

No you don't. A cinema isn't exactly a proper place to work.

yes, there are times when it is necessary to check any messages you may receive. For example, about six months after my wife and I had our first child, we finally got a break to go see a movie. Every time our phone vibrated, we had to check it to make sure our kid wasn't in the hospital or something.

Yes, we were paranoid.
Yes, we didn't HAVE to go to the movie. Then again, you didn't HAVE to go either.

After six months of no sleep, changing diapers and not leaving the house with the kid because we know kids are annoying, we EARNED a night out, just the two of us. However, the first time you leave you child with a sitter, you keep your phone close. It's part of being a parent. We chose Alamo Draft House, enjoyed a burger and a few beers, sat on the very back row, kept our phones on silent mode and in my wife's purse so we could check by looking into the purse without actually taking the phones out. If we had received a message that needed our attention, we would have left the theater and gone to the lobby to answer it. So we were courteous and received no flack at all from the staff who were standing right behind us looking over the crowd for empties.

Don't say that no one ever needs to check for messages during a movie. Some people truly need to for things other than work. However, it is possible to do without anyone even knowing you are doing it.

Re:horseshit (4, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413894)

So you admit that you didn't have to go see a movie, but you did anyway and don't see anything wrong with bothering anyone around you while you are paranoid about your kid. Ya know .. my phone vibrates differently for a text message and email than it does a phone call. One would think that if your kid got hurt, someone would CALL you. In fact, if I get a phone call and don't answer it, it vibrates for several seconds. Then, when a voice mail is left, it vibrates again. So I know if someone that just called me left a voice mail.

So NO ONE needs to check email or text messages during a movie. Tell someone if they really need to get hold of you to CALL YOU and leave a voice mail. NOW you know it's important and you can slip out, check your voice mail.

Your petty, self-centered excuses (along with others on this board) only show how inconsiderate, self centered, or technologically ignorant you are.

At least if you are technologically ignorant about your phone, you can learn ....

Re:horseshit (2, Interesting)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414054)

That's nice and all, you may have earned a night out, but you didn't earn the right to possible annoy someone else who may have an actual reason to check their messages but steps out of the theatre to see what's what.

Re:horseshit (2)

tm2b (42473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414094)

The Alamo's policy is complaint-driven. If you are truly not bothering anybody, you will not be asked to leave. I betcha this drunk chick was not being subtle.

Just a tip. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413382)

I admit it, I check email during a movie because I need to.

You're using email to receive important and time sensitive messages?

OooooooooKaaaaaaayyyyy.

The way it's usually done is with text messages or voice which vibrate when you receive them - if you actually have the device on vibrate. In other words, when you're on call, you can go about your business without having to constantly check.

Re:horseshit (2, Insightful)

tm2b (42473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414080)

You're kind of an idiot. Text messages and email are not a reliable point-to-point communications medium for time sensitive messages. If it's that important, it should be using a real time channel (voice) and you should be going out into the hall to answer it.

Your urgency does not entitle you to disrupt other people's enjoyment of their paid-for evening. The Alamo's policy is in place because of self-important jackasses like you,

I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413232)

Untill the next movie I see there. I'm a repeat customer.

O-M-G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413234)

Thank you sweet Jesus for the Alamo Drafthouse.

Score! (2)

dugn (890551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413240)

Score one for the good guys.

Re:Score -- what about copyright? (0)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413936)

Score one for the good guys.

What good guys? Isn't posting her rant on Youtube a copyright infringement?

Why is this on Slashdot? And a week late? (1, Offtopic)

netsharc (195805) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413248)

Subject says everything. It "went viral" last week, so does Slashdot have a good antivirus, or why does it like being late? Not to mention the rambling summary is written by Hugh Pickens, who seems to fancy himself to be a journalist, but whose website contain a lot of poorly written articles...

Re:Why is this on Slashdot? And a week late? (3, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413408)

1 week sounds about right:

Original ->
(2 hours later) reddit
(3 days) Digg RSS
(2 days) Slashdot submission queue
(12 hours) Typo insertion script
(6 horsu) Front page
(10 seconds) Posts pointing out why the article is wrong

Re:Why is this on Slashdot? And a week late? (3, Funny)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413756)

(1 horsu) Post pointing out the typo "horsu"

Re:Why is this on Slashdot? And a week late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413792)

1 week sounds about right:

Original ->
(2 hours later) reddit
(3 days) Digg RSS
(2 days) Slashdot submission queue
(12 hours) Typo insertion script
(6 horsu) Front page
(10 seconds) Posts pointing out why the article is wrong

Plus:-

(10 minutes) for Hugh Picken to put his name on someone else's story submission. Again.

Bravo! (2)

udoschuermann (158146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413262)

Bravo. Warned twice already? I wish that anti-social behavior were outed like this more often.

Re:Bravo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413350)

They even make a big deal about it BEFORE the movie...

She was texting and wanted to cover it up by saying 'i was using it as a flashlight'. If that is all it was the light would have been on and then in her purse or pocket...

She broke their rules and was thrown out. Not a good customer...

Bad customers cost you money and other customers. Good ones come back and want more of your services...

So annoying! (2)

FluiDynamics (979256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413278)

I hate when people do this - its so inconsiderate! The movies are so expensive now that something like this is a big deal. If I spend $50 to take my family to a movie and some jerk in the rows in front of me decides to text - its like someone spitting in my food at a restaurant. Ruins the experience and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Alamo's CEO's blog post (5, Informative)

RussR42 (779993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413306)

is here [drafthouse.com] .

Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and money (2)

TechNit (448230) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413328)

It is both sides of this story that keep me from going to theaters. At home I suffer none of this, and the pause button rox!!

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (1)

matthelm007 (1392603) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413504)

Even at home, I turn off the phones when watching a movie. Why even pause, when it's just some salesperson.

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413612)

Theaters removing people who insist on turning lights on during the movie keep you from going to theaters? Thank you for staying away.

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413742)

I agree, both sides are asshats. The customer for disturbing the movie, and the management for not putting their money where their mouth is and giving her a refund along with a written notice that she's barred from attending again.

If, as someone else said, the theater doesn't WANT this particular business, they should stop hiding behind 'policy' and just reverse the transaction - she's no longer allowed to watch the movie, so they no longer keep her money. It's not the 'escorting out' which is obnoxious, it's the 'without refund' bit.

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413776)

Management did put their money where their mouth is. The policy is *explicitly* "no refunds", stated several times before the movie and in the lobby.

Although, actually, they didn't completely follow the policy. It's stated as one warning.

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (2)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413840)

Who cares if she got a refund? She cost them money by making the experience worse for other patrons. It's the same thing if some jackass has to be thrown out of a ballgame. They don't give you refunds when they have to throw you out. Just show some common courtesy and follow the rules.

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (2)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413994)

She cost them money by making the experience worse for other patrons

That's called a cost of doing business. If they want to end the disruption sooner than the end of the movie, they can stump up to refund what she paid them to be allowed to be there. Legally, maybe the 'rules' get incorporated into the contract with the patron, but it's still pathetic and still wrong. The fundamental agreement is that the customer pays their money, and watches the movie - any attempt to include a clause which allows one party to declare unreasonable conduct on the part of the other and then, not just cancel the contract, but get themselves out of performing their obligations under it whilst requiring the other party still to perform theirs is just plain wrong.
Imagine if you paid on your way out of the theater, rather than on the way in - and on management escorting someone out they expected them to stop at the cash-desk and pay for the movie they were being escorted out of. It would be both insane and unenforceable. This is exactly the same principle, it's just that people have paid up-front.

Why is the fact that ballpark operators are equally unreasonable an argument against what I said, or remotely relevant?

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413858)

Why should she get a refund?
It's not hiding behind a policy, it is protecting the other customers.

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413902)

If refunds were given to people who disturb others, then people would start being obnoxious to get their money back when they don't like the movie. Then you'd really have to ban them, but that's much more work for keeping track and it doesn't give people a chance to learn the lesson.

Re:Commercial Theaters are a waste of time and mon (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414142)

I believe I proposed that she ought to be given a ban.

Every now and again, someone might act up to get their money back when they're in a crappy movie, but that's going to be a negligible number if doing that also causes them to be barred from the theater. As for the difficulty in enforcing such bans - that's a problem that every other type of business owner has to deal with.

I don't believe that private business owners have any role in 'teaching someone a lesson'.

that's Texas for you (-1, Troll)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413334)

Neither the theater operators nor the patrons have any style. Best avoid the whole state.

Re:that's Texas for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413786)

Alamo Drafthouse is an awesome place to go. Not only do you get to watch a film, you get decent food (at no more than restruant prices), an extensive beer list, waiters that are pleasant and experienced, and a crew that are interested in making sure that little interrupts the show.

About 1/3 of the pre-film snippets discuss cell phone use, noisy children, ruining the show for others, etc. The main difference between Alamo and everyone else is that they enforce their policy. They always have, and they warn you three or four times before any show that they will eject you. While you might have opinions about the state of Texas, you have your choice of going to a film house that doesn't enforce such policies (which is ever other film house in Texas), or you can go to Aamo for the reasons I do, to watch a film without catching a show at the same time.

Oh and by the way, if you ever get a chance to visit Texas, please don't.

Re:that's Texas for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413872)

You text during movies, huh?

Re:that's Texas for you (4, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413922)

Neither the theater operators nor the patrons have any style. Best avoid the whole state.

You shouldn't speak of things you know nothing about.

Alamo has its own style. I haven't been since we've had kids, so it's been a while. You don't take kids to Alamo! The place is not like a normal theater. They serve real food and beer at reasonable prices. Not stale popcorn at what calculates out to $150/lb.

But, I don't remember seeing previews there. Before the movie, they show clips from old, terrible 70's B-movies. Usually the type that Quentin Tarantino tries to emulate, but worse. Or, maybe they'll show a comedian. I guess it really depends on the type of movie you are going to see. I remember seeing boobs during the "previews" when going to see American Pie at Alamo. This theater marches to the beat of its own drummer. It is different than anything I have ever experienced at a movie and can't wait to go back. Alamo certainly has a style that is all its own. Ask anyone who has ever been there.

Just because you can't understand the "style", doesn't mean that it's not there. It's probably just too far above you for you to see. By insulting that which you don't understand not makes you an idiot, but an asshole as well.

Respect the policy (-1, Flamebait)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413356)

I respect their right to set the rules, but I suspect this is more the Austin psuedo-chic that makes Austin a place that only those looking to find an identify want to go. Kids looking for an excuse to drink, lesser performers looking for an audience that will react well to the closed culture.

Here is what is playig at the theater. Brides mainds, kung fu panda. x-men, etc. Not a high end theater like landmark or Dundance where the films require a little more attention. Here is the thing. I am distracted by the popcorn, the cokes, the patrons trying to get refills, the people talking on the phone, the cleaning staff that comes in immediately as the credits roll. texting is not a problem.

Here is why I think theaters hate texting. It kills bad films the first weekend, and kills ticket and concessions sales. Everyone tweets how bad the movie is and by the 9 o'clock showing everyone is going to a movie that does not suck. There could be better movies, but instead they continue to make boring movies that do not entertain so everyone texts how much is sucks instead.

There is another thing that some may not know. This theater is running a major promotion trying to establish itself as the pretentious alternative theater. This will work in Austin where they have an overabundance of wanna be pretentious people and a shortage of pretentious movie houses, but in other urban parts of texas we already have high quality pretentious movie theaters with overpriced bad food and drinks either in the theater or near it. The texting thing is being pumped for publicity so that all the pretentious people who are too good to see a popular movie in a normal theater will be attracted to it. Therefore, this has nothing to do with values but is merely a cheap publicity stunt.

Re:Respect the policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413440)

Except that if the movie is that bad people would walk out of the movie and then could tweet/text/whatever, or should have the common decency to wait until after the movie is over. After all I don't piss all over the seat back when I need to use the facilities, I wait until I am in an appropiate time and place for it.

Re:Respect the policy (4, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413482)

Or.... you could not be an asshole, and wait an hour until the movie is over, and then text your friends that it was bad instead of annoying everyone else in the theater behind you.

Re:Respect the policy (5, Insightful)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413562)

Here is what is playig at the theater. Brides mainds, kung fu panda. x-men, etc. Not a high end theater like landmark or Dundance where the films require a little more attention.

That's right. Only people who are watching appropriately high-class, cultured, artistic works of cinema should expect to be able to watch a film without unnecessary distractions. Folks who are going to watch mass-market movies just to have a pleasant night out aren't interested in paying attention; of course they shouldn't expect to be able to see or hear what they're watching. Their low-brow entertainment preferences don't deserve any better.

Seriously? For someone who's bemoaning Austin (Austin? Texas? Really?) as a city of pseudo-chic poseurs, you're awfully stuck up. Sure, this could just be a publicity stunt--but I hold out some faint hope that there might actually exist theaters which care about the audience's experience, and expect a better level of conduct than we seem to settle for in most venues.

Re:Respect the policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413962)

It would be pretty to think so, but there is no reason to believe it is anything but a publicity stunt. As mentioned, it is their place and their rules and everyone deserves a place to hang that conforms to thier expectations, and lord knows if there is a place that caters to exclusivity, even low brow exclusivity, it is Austin, But that is hardly the point. People expectations vary, the way we handle customers expectations vary, and in this case the way it was handled was to create a publicity event. If you don't think so look at the twitter and board feeds.

And I feel you. I want to watch all films without unnecessary distractions. Yet I have to deal with people who still have no finished the popcorn half way through the movie, people getting up and crossing half an aisle because they are not organized or considerate enough to get an aisle seat, even screaming kids in movies that they don't long. It is called being in a public space and having to deal with changing norms. The difference is in a high brow theater, those norms still exist and I don't have deal with people eating and children screaming. If one goes and sees x-men, there is no expectation that such distractions will not exist.

Re:Respect the policy (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413602)

You sound like someone with pretension of being "down to earth". How awfully Texan of you.

Re:Respect the policy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413610)

Hmm.... Well, let's address this bit by bit:
1. Austin pseudo-chic -- Same thing applies at the Houston Drafthouses, and for that matter at the other similar themed theatres I have been to in Houston and St. Paul. The Drafthouse folks are nicer about it than others and they give much more warning than is usual.
2. Distracted by the popcorn, the cokes, the patrons trying to get refils -- That's a given at this sort of place and part of the reason they are so agressive on enforcement.
3. Distracted by people talking on the phone -- That is covered by the same policy, raise a flag and the management of the theatre will take care of them, same as they address texting.
4. Won't work in other urban parts of Texas... Let's look at where there are drafthouses or drafthouses opening outside of Austin (Looks like something is working):
    a) Houston, TX
    b) San Antonio, TX
    c) Lubbock, TX

Oddly enough they have been pushing this for the past decade, it's only that recently it's recieved more attention due to internet coverage (I recall seeing warnings over the years from Chuck Norris (Who will kick you if you talk during the movie), Will Ferrell (Who will gently put you to sleep with his cattle prod), and others ). The Alamo Drafthouse chain serves decent food, is generally low-disturbance, shows first run movies and on a regular has events involving 'classic' movies and other shows of interest.

Re:Respect the policy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413722)

I was going to write a long response at how pretentious your post was, then I got to the end where you complain that their advertisement "is merely a cheap publicity stunt" and realized it would involve defining a lot of words for you.

I regularly watch movies in Alamo Drafthouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413360)

They are always A+ on service, food is decent, and they are very upfront about no texting/no talking policy. You can't possibly miss all the warnings, unless you are too busy texting.

Pretty great chain (2)

Kufat (563166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413366)

I've only been to the Alamo Drafthouse once, but I think it was the best experience I've ever had at a normal (i.e. 35mm) movie theater. Comfortable seats, good projection/sound, friendly staff, and the food was delicious and was served unobtrusively. The prices were quite reasonable as well.

One time offenders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413426)

I really hate the people who check/text on their phone once. It takes you out of the movie, you cant go get the manager to do anything because , "I have to witness it." Then once one person gets away with it everyone else feels that they can't wait either. I'd love to know what it is about movie theaters that cause people to stop being themselves and turn into total pricks, has there been any studies on the subject?

Re:One time offenders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413458)

And you don't think "go get the manager" does not move you into the total prick column?

Re:One time offenders (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413594)

No, I don't. "Total" prick wouldn't have the redeeming virtue of shutting down the offender.

But if it does, then it just demonstrates to the prick with the phone that "there's always a bigger prick", and you're inviting it to fuck you harder than you can stand it when you take your little prick out in public.

Re:One time offenders (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413880)

No, the total prick is the one texting. The one going to the manager is trying to make sure all the other customers can enjoy the film.

Re:One time offenders (0)

laxguy (1179231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413608)

A light and some clicking takes you so far out of the movie that you need to get up and get the manager, thus removing you from the movie experience even more so than if you just ignored it and looked at the screen?

Perry's (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413466)

Perry's sandwich shop in Downtown Chicago has a similar policy - if you're in the store and pull out the cellphone, they turn on a fire alarm siren until you put the phone away.

They have an electronic display that scrolls, and one of the messages is "If you're using a cellphone, you're too important to be here".

Re:Perry's (1)

matthelm007 (1392603) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413534)

That is GREAT!!!! Wish someone would follow my brother around and do this when his wife calls. Of course, he'd be deaf within 3 days (48 waking hours of ringing!) if they did. ;-)

A Subway in Syracuse, NY too (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414134)

http://twitpic.com/22sgdu [twitpic.com]
Saw this at the Subway inside of the Syracuse, NY bus/train station - a sign at least warning people not to use their phones while they're in the front of the lien and are thus supposed to be ordering. Reminds me of the behavior of an inconsiderate Starbucks patron cited in Weird Al's song "Craigslist"

this messed up culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413468)

It's absolutely forbidden to speak during a movie and everyone is jumping down this lady's throat for using her phone. Yet, you can always go back and see a movie, it's going to be on DVD and Netflix in a few months, then next year it'll be playing on a loop on a cable channel.

When I go to a concert that will only happen once, probably isn't recorded, won't be released, and will never happen again, everyone is screaming at each other so they can talk over the music.

Re:this messed up culture (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413518)

And people spend what has to be hundreds of dollars on the cheap watery beer so they can get drunk and forget the concert anyway.

Re:this messed up culture (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413586)

Yes, it's pretty messed up that people like this lady insist on ruining movies for dozens or hundreds of other people. And even more messed up that people at concerts ruin it for others by interfering with the music or viewing the performance.

Re:this messed up culture (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413620)

Why should I have to go spend another $10 because some inconsiderate "person" decides to come in and be annoying.

On the flip side, why does spending $10 give the aforementioned inconsiderate "person" the right to come in and disrupt a hundred other people who spend 100x the amount she did for an uninterrupted movie-going experience?

Completely spoiled by the Drafthouse (2)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413486)

I hate even going to conventional theaters anymore since I moved to Austin. Reasonably priced actual meals served with the movie. What a ground breaking concept! No commercials before the movie, just little loops they specifically for the movie your watching that somehow related to it. All kinds of special events, like a secret premiere of the new Star Trek movie hidden as a showing of Wrath of Khan, or John Carpenter and Shepard Fairey showing up for a screening of They Live, it's just a cool place. I'm so glad they're building one down the street from me on Slaughter, so I don't have to shelp all the way to Lamar, except for the special events. When I'm in Dallas, I'll usually go to The Movie Tavern which functions as a fair replacement.

All you automatic Texas haters can go fuck off, because Austin is a nice little liberal enclave that somehow managed to create itself down here.

Re:Completely spoiled by the Drafthouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413520)

"All you automatic Texas haters can go fuck off, because Austin is a nice little liberal enclave that somehow managed to create itself down here."

So...you hate all of Texas except Austin?

Nice.

Re:Completely spoiled by the Drafthouse (-1, Troll)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414006)

Hate to burst your bubble, but the no-nonsense attitude from the article is the exact opposite of the liberal mindset which tends to be more "accommodating," and the epitome of the Texan mindset.

Bad for someone else, but OK for me to do it! (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413528)

I think there will be no one here who will "take the other side" until, that is, it is their side.

We have discussed mobile phone behaviors on occasion here and elsewhere. Invariably we say things like "no excuse" or "under no circumstances" and of course "rude" and "thoughtless." Really?

When driving, for example, it is next to impossible to resist answering the phone when it rings. And you know that last-second thought you just had? You've got to call someone right now because it might leave your head in the time it takes to at least get to a stop light or to pull over. And of course in a bus or train or in a movie theater, the phone is always a pain in the ass unless it's your phone.

I actually like the PSAs that often play before the movie starts. I usually forget to turn my phone to silent before it starts and the PSAs are a convenient reminder because I don't intend for my phone to ring at the wrong time. And these days, the phones invariably have a bright color display on them. In a dark room where the only light is being reflected on a big screen, other sources of light are a huge distraction.

And you know what? I too have texted during a movie... well, no it was before a movie actually started -- I tend to forget the whole world when I am actually watching a movie. (When I was younger, my brothers used to kick me and hit me while I was engrossed in TV -- they thought it was funny because I wouldn't respond most of the time... I'm still kinda like that) But when my focus is one place, I don't need it taken off by some stray light source from below or beside me.

I guess what I am getting at is we all agree with the PSAs where other people's behavior is concerned. We fail to see that very same behavior in ourselves or somehow feel we are the exception.

While I am thinking about it, I think I will visit the Team Whiskey IRC chat to see if they can add extra "do not answer the phone" buttons to say "not now, I am in a theater!" I have something like that on the phone already, but I have to hit a smaller button, then select one of several messages. Not convenient enough.

Re:Bad for someone else, but OK for me to do it! (5, Funny)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413654)

When driving, for example, it is next to impossible to resist answering the phone when it rings.

Very not-true, unless you were raised by B.F. Skinner in a Nokia lab.

Re:Bad for someone else, but OK for me to do it! (4, Funny)

SuperMog2002 (702837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414046)

When driving, for example, it is next to impossible to resist answering the phone when it rings.

I have a proven, reliable algorithm for not answering the phone when it rings, either while driving, or in a movie theater, or even while coding. Here it is, in all its unpatented glory:

  1. Step 1: Don't answer the phone

Works every time!

Re:Bad for someone else, but OK for me to do it! (2)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 3 years ago | (#36414126)

An unanswered phone is a happy phone!

ps: "Bad for someone else, but OK for me to do it!" sounds an awful lot like Al Gore and learjet liberals carping on about CO2 while they have chauffeured SUVs and private jets spewing several villages worth of CO2 as they travel from junket to junket..

I Will Throw You Out (1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413568)

When people have a light on in the theater I'm in, I ask them politely (and quietly) to turn it off. If they persist, I ask them again, a little less politely, and warn them that the next time I won't be polite at all. If I need to intervene a third time, I tell them I'll throw them out if they don't stop. Then I get the usher, unless it's obvious the first time or two that I'll have to get the usher.

Sometimes they get violent with me when I'm asking them - pushing me, getting in my face with "what you gonna do about it?", things like that. I am all too willing to stay in their face when that happens - pushing back, telling them I'm going to retaliate, even kill them if they get tough with me.

I get into it with viciously obnoxious people in movie theaters on average a few times a year. It's been getting worse for about 20 years now. And for the past 5 years I've had to stop people from waving their lit-up phones backwards in my face at concerts that are mostly dark, even during quiet parts with no light show that is also very disruptive. What's most shocking is finding out while interacting with these morons that they cannot realize that they're bothering other people, since it's not bothering them.

Maybe I'm nuts to care about protecting my entertainment time, or more importantly demanding minimum respect or defending myself from animals whose response to polite requests is threats of violence. But I do. And if someone wants their day ruined by testing whether I'm nuts, they're going to get vastly more trouble than an annoying light in a dark movie theater.

Re:I Will Throw You Out (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413812)

Sometimes they get violent with me when I'm asking them - pushing me, getting in my face with "what you gonna do about it?", things like that. I am all too willing to stay in their face when that happens - pushing back, telling them I'm going to retaliate, even kill them if they get tough with me. [...] And if someone wants their day ruined by testing whether I'm nuts, they're going to get vastly more trouble than an annoying light in a dark movie theater.

That made me laugh out loud. The reason these people are behaving this way is precisely because they have the same attitude as you do. They react so bizarrely because they think "hey, don't fuck with me". They react to you because they perceive you to be fucking with them, not because they don't care about other people, and you are doing the same thing. It doesn't matter how polite your words are, if you have in the back of your mind that this person you are interacting with is possibly one of "those aggressive obnoxious people" then they won't react well to you. If you doubt that, see your own emotional reaction to this post, where I put you in the category of these people. I bet you were immediately set in a mindset to disagree with whatever I was saying. That's how it works. You are not suffering these idiots who can't handle a polite request, you are creating their behavior and disrupting everyone else's moviegoing experience. I know I find a fight and someone threatening to kill someone a lot more distracting than a lit cell phone.

Thank you for enforcing your own rules, Alamo! (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413658)

I'm glad that Ms Inebriated got the boot from the theater. It's not really the fact that she was using her phone at all in a public place, it's the fact that she had free time, paid to go have an evening of dining and visual entertainment at a theater and somehow that's not occupying enough. WTF happened to people, their short attention spans and adult ADHD tendencies? Seriously, if you have to have every second of your life occupied by some sort of attention, then every Friday night, stay at home with a bag of microwave popcorn and a shitty FX movie rerun and your phone.

I, myself, agree totally with how Alamo Drafthouse handled this and I hope that every other dine and/or theater place starts stepping up to the plate on this, too.

atx ftw (1)

transfixed (444217) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413672)

A theater that actually respects cinema.

Magnited States of America... (1, Funny)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413686)

... bwahahah

BRAVO! (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413706)

One can only hope they do the same for the people that bring their screaming new born to the theater as well.

Re:BRAVO! (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413752)

No one under 6 allowed, except on Baby Day (first couple of Matinees every Tuesday)

Re:BRAVO! (1)

baturcotte (717233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413808)

The general policy for the Alamo is no children under 6 (except on special days or sometimes for G rated movies), children over 6 only with a parent or guardian (who must sit with them), and families with loud children will be asked to leave. And they serve beer. What more do you want for a movie experience as an adult?

She even made it to CNN (3, Interesting)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 3 years ago | (#36413746)

Say what you will about Anderson Cooper, but he rips this drunk chick a new one in this video:

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2011/06/07/exp.ac.ridiculist.talk.text.movie.cnn.html [cnn.com]

I don't live in Austin, but if I visit, I'll make a point to go to this theater.

I guess I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36413992)

This is not a normal movie theater where they bring the house lights down to total darkness. They have drinks and food while you watch the movie. Seriously? Someone texting is a big problem, when you've got people eating, drinking, transacting business with a waitress, etc?

Don't mess with Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36414034)

Do we really need the wiki link for "Don't mess with Texas".

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?