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by Dana Harris
June 6, 2011 7:04 AM
100 Comments
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Alamo Drafthouse Kicks Out Customer For Texting, Creates Excellent New PSA

Alamo Drafthouse's Tim League. Photo courtesy Eric Kohn

UPDATE: EXCLUSIVE: Alamo Drafthouse’s Tim League on Why He Won’t Hesitate to Kick Out Rude Customers

The Alamo Drafthouse kicked out a patron for texting in the theater. And when the livid (former) customer left a voicemail outlining the extent of her dismay, they turned it into the best before-the-movie PSA, ever.

Per Alamo Drafthouse principal Tim League:

As many of you know, I really can't abide people who talk during a movie. A couple of years ago I was accosted in the Village parking lot by a patron who was warned for talking in a movie. I've nearly come to blows more than a few times over the years with rude customers over the same issue. When we adopted our strict no talking policy back in 1997 we knew we were going to alienate some of our patrons. That was the plan. If you can't change your behavior and be quiet (or unilluminated) during a movie, then we don't want you at our venue. Follow our rules, or get the hell out and don't come back until you can.

Recently, we had a situation where a customer persisted in texting in the theater despite two warnings to stop. Our policy at that point is to eject the customer without a refund, which is exactly what went down that night.  Luckily, this former patron was so incensed at being kicked out, she quickly called the office and left us the raw ingredients for our latest "Don't Talk or Text" PSA. You can check it out below, or come to the Alamo this weekend where the video will be playing before all of our R-rated movies.

Here's the video. Audio is NSFW, so wear headphones; it's worth the trouble.

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100 Comments

  • MissAnon | July 6, 2012 5:08 PMReply

    @everyone if you like watching people being tossed out, then ya'll need therapy. Its not cool to be tossed out anywhere in any way. Whats next, ya'll gonna want police in there? The security is too high in this country and should be on our borders. Its best to stay at home where it is 1k% quiet and save your money. Alamo is expensive and should be turned into a bar aimed at people who are out on dates, because that is what they really are if you think about it. If you wish it was family friendly, then boycott and protest them! They rip too many people off.

  • Tim | June 28, 2013 1:51 PM

    No one cares if you don't like it don't go there.

  • MissAnon | July 6, 2012 5:02 PMReply

    When i found out about their age limit and their strict rules, i was glad i rarely go to that theater. Besides they are overpriced. Why not turn the place into a bar if they are gonna have such strict antisocial and antifamily rules? Time for a protest!

  • Andrew | June 14, 2011 1:20 AMReply

    If there is something so important in your life that you simply can't let a text go for an hour and a half, you should be taking care of that, not seeing a movie. If you have an addiction to texting, then be courteous and sit in the back of the theater, or better yet, see a therapist.

  • Bjorn | July 15, 2013 3:28 PM

    I love this. People are so addicted to their phones these days. Technology is great, except when it turns people into giant turds.

  • Sarcasticks | June 12, 2011 2:14 AMReply

    LOL We may just have a different threshold on what is annoying and what isn't, but that last part made me laugh. You made your point about her having been given a warning. I don't imagine anyone takes anything seriously until it's too late. Sounds like me and my speeding tickets, but I imagine she'll probably be coming back to that same theater as it does have pretty decent ratings. I particularly don't like talking and people that don't chew with their mouth's closed. I can't do much about either, but to endure. Usually it stops almost as soon as it starts, so I never need to blow it out of proportion.

  • Psuedonym | June 11, 2011 11:32 AMReply

    @Sarcasticks, Whatever

    You do realize that this doesn't apply to the girl, as she was warned twice and ejected the third time, right?

    The theatre gave her ample opportunity to put the phone away, and she chose to ignore the warnings. She was then punished.

    Your argument is sound and probably right...but it falls apart when you try to apply it here. Well, because there is no depth to this girl or the situation. What it appears to be, is exactly what it is.

  • Psuedonym | June 11, 2011 7:50 AMReply

    @Sarcasticks

    It's not the sounds of the phone that is distracting, it's the bright light in a very dark room. Especially in a theatre like the Alamo DH where they keep the room very dark during the screening. Imagine this situation, you are in an extremely dark room trying to watch a movie, now imagine that something that is as bright as a LED flashlight keeps washing back and forth pulling your attention away from the screen. Wouldn't you find that pretty annoying? Even more annoying than someone talking in a hushed whisper on a phone?

    This is why the Alamo DH puts rules like this in place. And they don't just arbitrarily enforce them, everyone is given two warnings.

    Also you ask me to put myself in her shoes, ok, let's give this a go.

    Ok those dumb Ushers just gave me my first warning, what was up with that? Why are they actually warning people about texting in theatres now? I mean it's not like it's bothering anyone, well anyone important anyway. Just those people behind me giving me dirty looks, but screw them. I'm pretty, rich and white, I am entitled to the world if I feel like it. Besides what do those stupid ushers care anyway if I text? GOD, they just warning me again?! What is with this stupid place, can't they just leave me alone so I can stare at my bright phone in this dimly lit room instead of watching the movie I paid to see? The hell with them, it's not like they are going to kick me out or anything. What the hell! They are kicking me out, this is so embarrassing and totally not my fault. Everyone is giving me mean looks as I'm being escorted out, I'm going to make someone pay for this. This stupid theatre can't do this to me!

    So...yeah. Being in her shoes is not a place I'd want to stay for any length of time.

  • whatever | June 11, 2011 7:00 AMReply

    And @Sandy, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • whatever | June 11, 2011 6:58 AMReply

    @Sarcasticks Thank you for comment. You are right on, these people need to get over themselves and stop acting like they are perfect who rant away like THEY have some sense of entitlement. You will never be happy with your life or in any social situation if you think you can control an entire crowd, nobody gets exactly what they expect and trivial distractions are no different, even if you think you are entitled because "you payed for it". People are so angry nowadays and this is just another thing they can be cynical about. I actually feel sorry for them.

  • Sarcasticks | June 11, 2011 6:44 AMReply

    I know she was warned. I don't mean to be dismissive of that fact. I was just illustrating how over sensitive people are. It's strange to think that something like this can be so overwhelming for some people. I think for some with similar complaints as mine would have a tendency to take it all in and not necessarily shut down. I'm trying to put this matter in perspective. If a silent cell phone is that distracting, than I wouldn't be surprised if you're in need to be prescribed ritalin, or adderall.

  • Sandy | June 11, 2011 6:03 AMReply

    Bravo for throwing the rude girl out of the theatre!! While I was trying to watch a movie, three teen girls were talking. I walked down the aisle, slammed my fist on the seat in front of me and told the girls that I didn't want to listen to how they hate their mothers, hate their teachers, or who they were going to bully at school on Monday. I didn't hear another word from them. I live in Illinois and I am a junior high English teacher.

  • Sarcasticks | June 10, 2011 6:38 AMReply

    She was understandably distraught and incapable of putting her position in perspective. Put yourself in her shoes. Who truly expects and understands why they should be exited out of a theater (that they pay for) for answering a text? We have too many other justifiable distractions to be so grossly absorbed in this.

    Who's to blame for this chapter of a citywide detachment from social norms?
    Answer: Frankly, the same stupid "viewers" who continued to pour money into the empire to begin with. Not only were the majority of you so self absorbed in your own comfort that you choose to turn a blind eye to another person, but that you've placed yourselves on pedestals. We all make cause distractions from time, but we don't know if it's bothering anyone. Fun with facts: Let me just start by saying, movie theathers actually give you a 2 minute pause at the beginning of a movie so that you can silence your phone. It was indoctrinated as a courtesy in favor that distractions be kept to a minimum. There is no absolute on disturbances because it's natural, but if you can't stand anyone else's distractions just to conveniently ignore your own, than buy a bootleg movie for 5 bucks and some BOSE speakers. It's a win, win. And for all of you people who would whine, "But they gave their life savings over to Alamo! They want their monies worth!" Who loses the most? Guess what?: She lost her money AND her seat over this debacle and I am confident a silent cell phone isn't as equally distracting as you mouth breathers, coughing, laughing at things that aren't funny and the occasional can't chew with your mouth closed. Complain about texting all you want but stop with the false piety.

  • little lady | June 9, 2011 9:20 AMReply

    @lala: No, other people need to be able to spend 1.5-2 hours without using a cell phone so they aren't ruining the entertainment and experience other patrons paid to enjoy. Any person who can't stand to refrain from touching their phone for two hours needs to get therapy, and certainly needs to stay out of movie and live production theaters.

  • Babylonia | June 9, 2011 9:12 AMReply

    You are my hero!

    Thank you for taking a stand. Finally, someone is besides customers, who run the risk of a brawl every time we tell some moron to be quiet, to sit still, and/or to stop turning their stupid phone on and texting so it glows distractingly! We don't pay for that experience!

  • Law | June 9, 2011 3:27 AMReply

    I'm seriously amazed at the fact that some people either don't understand what the problem is with talking and texting at the theater or they don't agree with Alamo taking it this far.
    I'm from Texas and I live in Chicago now and there are theaters up here that charge you 15 dollars and up where a meal is provided, cell phone texting and talking are grounds for being kicked out, and children are not allowed into movies that play after 9pm. And guess what, people pay these prices gladly. These places are doing REALLY well because people want to get away and relax and just watch a movie without distractions. It's just a matter of manners and if you can't understand that then you are too selfish to even be bothered with an explanation. Your shit stinks like the rest of us so turn your damn phone off for 2 hours and shut the fuck up.

  • Gordy | June 9, 2011 3:05 AMReply

    Hundred years ago, they packed them in, loud, illiterate, rude and dirty, took their money and let them stay, and on that, the studios were built.

    That IS where we came from.

    And now the kids wanna make em like churches.

    Man if I can't make a fucking picture to make em forget everything in life including a phone, then text and talk away.

  • Kevin | June 8, 2011 12:29 PMReply

    Hope you guys have the rights to that music you played at the end. Apple payed a pretty penny for it I'm sure, I'm imagining your resources aren't quite as deep. If I were a pissed off customer who's electronic communication was being used without their permission as the basis for a PSA, I might just alert the artists. Hopefully your respect for intellectual property rights matches your righteous indignation at people being rude in your establishment.

  • gary Meyer | June 8, 2011 8:09 AMReply

    At the Balboa Theatre in San Francisco http://www.balboamovies.com/index.php few people turn on their phones during the show for fear of the Destruct-O-Cell system disabling their devices. A sample deformed phone is framed in the lobby with the date and time it was deactivated.

  • Y. T. Titey | June 8, 2011 6:29 AMReply

    Alamo Drafthouse kicks out anyone who isn't white. It's their new policy. If you don't like it, go somewhere else. Nice job Alamo!

  • dnbrown1 | June 8, 2011 6:00 AMReply

    Well, considering the fact that I'm black... My post says it all.

  • br | June 8, 2011 4:41 AMReply

    do black people go to this theater. I mean, when I see a movie with a good amount of black people in the crowd, they aren't as all uptight as the white people shushing everyone, they often talk back to the screen and express themselves in the theater. All the uptight white people just squirm in their seats. Is there some cultural thing going on here? I've never been in a theater with no white people where there wasn't a bunch of people talking through the whole movie, or even standing up and yelling stuff out at parts, sometimes more entertaining than the stupid movie.
    just sayin.

  • MaryLouLou | June 8, 2011 3:59 AMReply

    While I applaud the Alamo for taking action, I find it surprising that it all seems to rest on the shoulders of the theater. What's wrong with patrons politely asking someone to quit talking or texting, THEN taking it to management? Dirty looks alone don't cut it anymore. IMHO, it's become a bad habit, b/c WE fellow patrons have let it get out of hand for years-and now we expect management to clean up a problem we helped create. I've been known to ask someone to please quit talking during a movie-they might look at me like I've slapped them in the face........but they shut up . Afterward, I've had several patrons come up and thank me for speaking up-and I've said "well...... why didn't YOU say something"?

  • dnbrown1 | June 8, 2011 3:53 AMReply

    For the people that are fighting/questioning why a light can be a problem in a theater, there is an entire film theory dedicated to that. One being distracted by the "tiny light" of a phone doesn't imply that one has an attention defect because it cuts through the ambiance of the dark. The theater is dark in order to unify the audience and isolate the direction of attention. The theater set up was based on the idea behind the Allegory of the Cave. One can only take in the truth (the film) by seeing an image and having it combined with relating sound (the music/voices). The theater literally becomes a womb of sorts and the film's audience are the fetus taking in nutrition (the idea of the film). Basically, the light is something that is outside of the film's intent, thus it is a disruption by nature. No matter how "tiny" the light is. The attention is immediately diverted because the mind thinks that it is apart of the film. Eating and talking during a film are both bad things as well, but it doesn't overpower the sounds in the film, typically - the light does.

    Anyway, having worked in a theater and being a lover of film, I'm glad to see a theater take this issue seriously.

  • RonnyDean | June 8, 2011 3:12 AMReply

    I think the policy is perfect. Movie tickets including 3D are upwards of 16 dollars. Lets get a Coke, popcorn, and candy and that is about another 15 dollars. Double that if it is a date (yes double it cause I am not sharing my snacks=) ). So 30 single 60 double to go see a movie. I want to see and hear the movie. I don't need to be distracted by the lights from your phone or your incessant talking. She received a warning 2 times and was removed on the third. No you shouldn't get a refund. Yes you should be asked to leave but I think they should have removed you on the 2nd warning. The issue of entitlement of customers to do whatever they want is becoming increasingly absurd regardless of how it affects other people. We have become a ME ME ME society and anything that gets in the way of what ME wants to do is just ignored. I want to text so I will text who cares who I disturb, I want to talk loudly on my phone and who cares if I am holding up a line at a store. My friend just told me about a customer who came in to pick up to-go food and never spoke a word during the whole transaction. She waived her card, grabbed a bag signed the slip all while talking in the phone and never said hello thank you or how are you. Hang the phone up when you go to a theater, in a line when you are paying or ordering, ect.

  • Joe Boles | June 8, 2011 3:10 AMReply

    The sad thing is, most of the theaters that don't enforce texting/talking policies like Regal and AMC are the same ones that show 15-20 minutes of commercials... some of which ARE FOR CELL PHONE COMPANIES!!! So you see, they're probably under a conflict of interest with their advertisers in their never-ending voracious quest for profits.

  • lala | June 8, 2011 2:05 AMReply

    PEOPLE NEED TO *GET A LIFE* AND STOP TREATING THE MOVIE THEATER LIKE ITS SOME HOLY GRAIL!

  • larry dawson | June 8, 2011 1:40 AMReply

    This should be a nation wide policy. For that matter anyone using lcd screen devices in theaters should be kicked out. Cameras also have this problem. If your going to take pictures, dont use your lighted lcd screen. If I am sitting behind you anywhere in the theater, that is distracting. Just back from a cruise and its the same type of thing. Theaters of all shapes and forms should monitor texting and such themselves and not make patrons the police. I almost got in a fight over this in one instance. People can be such inconsiderate jerks. If jamming devices are available, then theaters should have them, use them, and simply notice patrons their phones wont work in the theater due to all the jerks that would not listen in the past when asked not to take calls or text. Theaters are losing alot of business over this. Demand your refund if your experience in the theater isnt what it should be. I hope the industry listens.

  • EbilCupcake | June 8, 2011 1:36 AMReply

    Texting and using your phone:

    a. defeats the purpose of watching a fucking movie
    b. looks like the fucking sun in the middle of a cave to other movie goers behind you
    c. all of the above

    oh yeah, C you tards!

    The point is to go to a movie, sit, watch, enjoy..... not to be annoyed and disturbed by other NON movie watchers. If you wanna text and talk on your phone, don't GO!

    I don't live in TX but if i did I would fully comply and appreciate those rules.

  • sane person | June 8, 2011 1:28 AMReply

    @austin movie lover- Regardless, standing up to exit the theater is still just as distracting. I was just stating that his alternative in leaving to answer a text (what could easily be an emergency, especially for any parent going to a theater) completely contradicts his argument about being courteous to movie goers. And i have been to alamo drafthouse and am aware of their layout, i was generally speaking.

    I dont have a problem with their policies. Like i said, i dont personally do it. But i was just saying i personally dont have a problem with it for i do not have the attention span of a 5 yr old and do not get distracted by shiny objects. But hey thats obviously just me...im just really easy going and dont get worked up over trivial, stupid things. Im just stating my opposing viewpoint because it bothered me that no one had addressed it.

  • slavicdiva | June 7, 2011 12:57 PMReply

    I live in PA, but if I am ever in Austin, I will come to your theatre on purpose just to support you! Your action was awesome!

    My husband and I hardly ever go to movies anymore because people are always yapping, using their stupid phones, or texting. If you want to do that, why don't you just stay home? I am not paying $10 for a ticket to listen to you babble throughout the film, and the only light I want to see is what's coming from the screen!

    Pathetic, how some losers can't detach from their little electronic toys to watch a freakin' movie.

  • Julie | June 7, 2011 12:56 PMReply

    Those of us who love it LOVE IT. The rest of you can go somewhere else.

  • Justin | June 7, 2011 12:54 PMReply

    Hallelujah!! My wife and I seldom have the opportunity to enjoy a movie, and the last time we did the night was ruined because I had to deal with the inconsiderate people in front of me. It's basic courtesy and common sense, and if it's not addressed, the theaters will lose all their good, considerate customers to the comfort of their HDTVs

  • John Veteran | June 7, 2011 12:39 PMReply

    Not texting makes total sense. Not talking is much harder to enforce. All the Alamo needs to do is offer their customers an alternative to talking.

    "Please take these small 4"x6" inch whiteboards into the theatre with you if you feel the need to communicate with others during the show. The Ushers will collect them after the movie is finished."

  • Text and You're Gone | June 7, 2011 12:32 PMReply

    Love the whiners... Alamo sucks! That's why I never go there! Which is why I'm reading all about them throwing someone out!!

    Sorry you guys have to do that, but I'm glad you did. The world would be a lot nicer if entitledment-minded douchebags would have to leave their phones at home and STFU.

    And who says all texting is silent? Some are, but a lot aren't. Blackberries are the worst, with all their clack-clacking you can hear 30-40 feet away - over background noise.

    I'll add this: I was a trainer for a government job. I had two rules: don't be late, and don't text. Every. Single. Time I had a class, I'd tell people, "You text and you're gone." And every class, I threw one or two out for good before the others went, "Holy Crap! You MEANT that?"

    Yes, I did.

    Nice job, Alamo.

  • pat | June 7, 2011 12:14 PMReply

    Maybe texting is silent but I've had the problem of having someone sit in front of me who turned on their phone to text or look at something and the bright light in the dark theater is more than a little distracting.

  • Toby | June 7, 2011 12:02 PMReply

    You are correct. We don't have to come to your venue. OR pay the ridiculous prices for your food , beer, or movie. I agree you should be polite to those around you when at a movie theater. However, I do not think dictatorial manner that you handle a business warrants people to return. Alamo DraftHouse is one of many. And many more to come.. I would consider your customer service.. Remember one bad customer service experience has more effect that one positive one..Especially, since you posted her voicemail on the internet. Really??? What are you telling us .. What it shows me is a complete disregard for your customer... There is a limit to everything....

  • Eff This | June 7, 2011 11:05 AMReply

    Nobody cares. Alamo Drafthouse food sucks. Get a life.

  • DocRichie | June 7, 2011 10:51 AMReply

    @sane person......if you want to pay for MY movie ticket, then text all you want. Otherwise, DON'T TEXT in a movie theater.....

    Here's a novel idea.....a MOVIE theater is for WATCHING A MOVIE....if you want to text....stay home. One light may not be bothersome, BUT......here's the point....pay attention here....if texting is permitted, then what's to say half of the people in the theater won't be texting?? Guess what, that's A BUNCH of lights....

    Distracting!! If you go to a movie and don't watch the movie and, thereby, waste your money, that's YOUR RIGHT; when you go to a movie and become a distraction for OTHER'S from watching a movie, then your wasting SOMEONE ELSE'S money.......THAT most certainly is NOT YOUR RIGHT. If you want to disrupt other people's movie, PAY THEIR ADMISSION. Otherwise, refrain from texting/talking/DISRUPTING......OR STAY HOME.

  • Tarnakk4 | June 7, 2011 10:11 AMReply

    Umm...
    Heard some interesting points, here. Let's address a few:

    (paraphrased) "I got yelled at once for receiving an email from my husband in Iraq"
    (Reply) Ok, everyone has some sob story to justify why they have the Unabridged Right to disrupt others for their own needs. While we appreciate and even applaud your husband coming home, MOST people at the movies do not text for this reason. The occasional real emergency or good news happens - but it can be handled responsibly and in a manner considerate of the feelings of EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM.

    (paraphrased) "Hey, if their policy is to kick people out, that's Awesome!"
    (Reply) Err... no - that's not awesome. That's a depressing remark on the state of our national mentallity that they had to go that far. Seriously, people - the only reason they had to go there is because we've lost so much morallity (and I mean that in the interpersonal and not religious sense) that people can't even keep it together and respect others arounf them for TWO LITTLE HOURS. Are we really getting that crass and abusive to each other?

    (Paraphrased) "It is not practical to expect someone to be out of communication in the information age."
    (Reply) Actually, it's not only practical, it's critically important. If you nevewr unplug, how do you ever relax or unwind? In my own life, I leave my cell phone home when going to work - I do not take personal calls during business hours. I warn people that I don't carry my phone in various social situations, too - like movies or other public events - out of respect for others around me. And that's really what this whole thing boils down to.

    They didn't eject her for violating the rules. The ejected her for grossly disrespecting the other 50 people in that room. If I ever run a theater, I'd do the same.

  • former film fan | June 7, 2011 9:56 AMReply

    cell phone usage is the major reason i don't go to the movies. it's Rude\Disturbing & Down right Selffish.
    Go Alamo !

  • austin movie lover | June 7, 2011 9:00 AMReply

    @ sane person: the drafthouse is set up such that when you do have to get up from your seat, "going through an entire row of people causing them to stand up to let you through" isn't necessary. there are wide walkways in front of each row of seats, and a step down so that the view is minimally obstructed when you walk in front of others. you really shouldn't speak about that which you do not know.

    as for "a tiny light across the room," one probably isn't that distracting, true, unless it happens to be right next to or in front of you. however, if there's no policy in place to stop such rude behavior, what's to stop half the theater from lighting their phones, which most definitely would be distracting?

    if you don't like the policies, don't attend the theater. there are many more of us who would gladly attend in your place.

  • cake | June 7, 2011 8:58 AMReply

    I wish every cinema had an anti mobile forcefield which just nullified all electronic equipment on entering the screening room. I found this artcile about taking the blame for such morons in the cinema too.
    http://taketheblame.co.uk/?p=1005

  • captsds | June 7, 2011 8:55 AMReply

    @ sane person. When you can text with a black (unlighted) screen I will buy your argument. Till then, leave the phone in your car, or your pocket.

  • sam | June 7, 2011 7:50 AMReply

    How about they ban sneezing, getting up to go to the bathroom and obnoxious laughs. I find those annoying....

  • sane person | June 7, 2011 7:38 AMReply

    @ DocRichie Getting out of your seat, going through an entire row of people causing them to stand up to let you through and opening the door and then repeating the process to come back is WAY more distracting than checking or quickly responding to text in your seat. There is no need to put down people for having an opinion. As long as its on silent, I dont think texting is a big deal although i personally dont it. Texting is silent and the "clicks" dont make a loud enough noise to be disruptive (most are touchscreen nowadays). Get real. Im not condoning rude behavior in theaters like TALKING in your phone, putting ur feet on the back of the chair, ect. shouldnt be tolerated. but TEXTING? Get a life people. If a tiny light across the room really draws your attention so much that you cant focus on the movie then you have other problems you should address.

    Find a real cause to be so upset about.

  • Terry | June 7, 2011 7:35 AMReply

    I wish we had a movie theater around here that would kick all the morons out who have no interest in listening to the movies

  • Michael | June 7, 2011 7:31 AMReply

    Finally a theater that gets it! Texting, checking voicemail, or even just checking the time on your phone may be silent endeavors, but they are so disturbing. How can idiots like this woman not get it?! It's like shining a flashlight in the face of the audience.

    I wish there was an Alamo Drafthouse in New York City. Thank you for respecting your audience and the film on the screen.

  • Scott in Austin | June 7, 2011 7:16 AMReply

    Tara, realize this is why they give you 2 warnings, so in the case of an emergency this amount of allowed instances are buffer a number (one would think).
    If it was one instance and get out, sure that would be excessive.

    It's fair to all patrons in nearly all circumstances.

  • Camille in Raleigh | June 7, 2011 7:04 AMReply

    I'll be sure to hit the Drafthouse when I'm in Austin, and I will be glad to spend my money on a theater that actually cares about its patrons rather than catering to entitlement bitches like Tara, Jeff, Amy, and the bint in that PSA.

  • Katie | June 7, 2011 6:43 AMReply

    If I am ever in Austin, I will make it my mission to patronize the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. I applaud your efforts to keep rude people out, and I could not be more thrilled to support you. It reminds me of the many times when, while I am teaching, two of my students are talking, so I ask them to please stop. Then, when they won't and I call them on it, they tell me, "She axed me a question! It's RUDE not to answer!" Ummm, it's RUDE TO TALK WHEN I AM TEACHING. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  • Charlotte | June 7, 2011 6:39 AMReply

    You guys are awesome. I hate to go to the movies anymore because of rude, stupid people like that girl. Yours is the only theatre I will attend because you treat your customers and your performers with respect. Good on you!

  • SFCityGurl | June 7, 2011 5:57 AMReply

    GOOD FOR YOU ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE! Way to keep the majority of your patrons HAPPY!

  • Mo | June 7, 2011 5:54 AMReply

    ok. so. i'll admit that i am addicted to texting. but you know what, i learned how to have a real conversation waaaay before i had the luxury of being able to text. i know how to be an asshole to someone's face and i also know how to be a complete gentleman. people really need to learn a lot of about life, and especially the courtesy on when and how to text. remember when we used to comunicate face to face???? and on top of that, if you don't like the place, don't go there (Jeff). Maybe some people aren't complete dickheads like you and enjoy this place. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, and they ALL stink!

    thanks.

    mo

  • Tamara | June 7, 2011 5:49 AMReply

    Well I LOVE IT!!! I personally have never gone to the Alamo Drafthouse BUT I can guarantee you that I will be going in the future!!! I wish that ALL theaters would enforce this. P.S. -my impression of this girl is that she is not very intelligent to begin with!!! poor thing.

  • Scott Wisson | June 7, 2011 5:34 AMReply

    If you want to talk and/or text and basically watch a movie on your own terms, that's what your house and home theaters are for.
    If you are somewhere where more than just you are impacted by your actions, then everyone should be respectful of the other patrons regardless of whether or not it would bother you.
    It's just manners and part of functioning in society.

    Alamo theaters too strict? absolutely not.
    Does Tim League seem like a d-bag? Not to me. Follow him on twitter and make your own decision. I've actually bought a few books he's read and recommended and was glad I did.

    Thanks Tim & the Alamo staff for making the Drafthouse theaters a safe haven for people you actually enjoy watching movies. Keep up the good work!

  • Mark | June 7, 2011 5:33 AMReply

    Could you open one of these theaters here in Florida? Manners disappeared down here a long time ago!

  • Brent in Austin | June 7, 2011 5:14 AMReply

    Alamo is the be all and end all. A full calendar of events: special screenings, theme nights, Q&A's, etc. But, in exchange for all that coolness, there are policies that are there to maximize everyone's experience. The earlier comment that it is overpriced is hilariously off the mark. Even the food is reasonably priced. LOVE IT!!

  • DocRichie | June 7, 2011 5:02 AMReply

    @Tara......here's a novel idea....if you get a text, STEP OUT OF THE THEATER, THEN text...put the phone on vibrate...if you get a text OR a call OR whatever, wait to pull the phone out of your pocket or purse until AFTER you step out of the theater.....you answer your text or phone call without disturbing the other patrons.

    The call or text can wait 12 seconds while you quietly exit the theater and step into the hall.

  • Kelrick Drake | June 7, 2011 5:00 AMReply

    I am overjoyed that a theater ejected a patron over this issue. Having lived in Austin for three years and Houston for seven I would make a point of going to The Alamo Drafthouse whenever I could. (Buffy musical nights were my favourite. I would gladly pay a premium to find a theater in New York that had the same policy on respect for other movie goers.

    One of her issues seems to be that because other patrons don't say that they don't appreciate her texting during movies indicates to her that we don't mind her texting. This then becomes an issue of her feeling entitled to ruin the event for everyone around her because she paid for her movie ticket not realizing she paid for the privileged of watching the movie - not effecting my ability to do the same.

    Way to go Alamo - I appreciate your policy and will be telling everyone I know how awesome you are. I will also be visiting your theater EVERY time I go home to visit family.

  • MCB | June 7, 2011 4:54 AMReply

    It makes you wonder how theater-goers survived in the "Dark Days Before Cell Phones". My god, how did we EVER find our seats or (gasp!) last through an entire movie without being able to talk or text on the cell phone??

    Next time I go to Austin, I am going to make it a point to go to this theater. Any establishment that would actually enforce policies that enable me to watch the movie without being distracted by jabbering idiots or blinking lights deserves my patronage.

  • DocRichie | June 7, 2011 4:52 AMReply

    Tara doesn't get it either......let me 'splain it for you so a fifth grader can understand it!! People don't shell out TEN BUCKS to watch your cell phone light; people shell out TEN BUCKS to watch a movie.....if you want to throw away YOUR $10 by going to a movie and then not watching it, fine. You don't have the right to waste OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY by rudely distracting them from enjoying what they paid for.

    Get it now??

  • DocRichie | June 7, 2011 4:45 AMReply

    Guess what, LITTLE GIRL.....the REST of the customers also paid THEIR money to WATCH A MOVIE...not listen to the clicks of your ridiculous, RUDE, texting. You didn't know you weren't supposed to text in a movie where OTHERS have paid their money to watch a movie??

    It's just sad that theaters have to even make rules like that. It SHOULD be COMMON SENSE and COMMON COURTESY....when you're in a movie theater with OTHER PATRONS, you're there to WATCH A MOVIE and not DISTURB the other PAYING CUSTOMERS because you somehow think it's ALL ABOUT YOU!!

    Wake up to the real world!

  • Sempi | June 7, 2011 4:39 AMReply

    Awesome. This movie-goer wasn't abused or her needs ignored...She felt that she had the right to behave in a manner that was very plainly posted that was unacceptable and would result in her ejection. One of the social problems we have is a lack of follow-through, even in the smallest things. We DON'T have the right to do whatever we want, whenever we want, and without regard to anyone else. (Do you really want a world where people CAN do whatever they want, whenever they want, without regard for anyone else??) Too many people walk around and act as if they do have that right. Get your social lens adjusted and start asking how your actions in this world can allow you to enjoy it without taking anything away from other people. Now, does this include emergencies or massive event notifications? I think I can be understanding...Alamo gave this patron two chances. I don't think they would have thrown out someone who had those two circumstances to handle. Thank you to the Alamo, one of my very favorite Austin places and the first theater I think of whenever I want to go to a movie. I've been in Austin for 22 years, and I hope to enjoy movies in your theater for the next 22 years (or more). Kudos.

  • Scott | June 7, 2011 4:29 AMReply

    @Amy
    Then you could have gotten that email when the movie was over. How is that something to think about? If you are so attached to the phone that you can't spend 2 hours without getting constant updates, sit in the aisle seats and get up every time you get a text.

  • Amy | June 7, 2011 4:17 AMReply

    Just something to think about- my own brother yelled at me once for checking my phone in the theater....and it was a email from my husband saying he was coming home from Iraq.

  • jesse mabus | June 7, 2011 4:14 AMReply

    @modern. there is an intro that states that these are unacceptable behaviors in the theater and that it will result in "taking your ass out." here is an example of the ann richards one that is my favorite . it isn't draconian or dictatorial, it is the way a movie lover would run a theater. it isn't about customer service, because as many of the comments here and elsewhere state, they go to alamo drafthouse FOR this reason. i love the alamo because it is obvious they love movies, and the movie going experience. they aren't out to sell you some useless crap you aren't interested in (army commercials before the lord of the rings...read faramir's monologue about the enemy if you miss the point) and they make sure every customer is well served and can enjoy their movie experience. there are other theaters in town, and those who don't like the obviously stated, and thankfully enforced policy of "no talking/no texting zone" once the movie starts can take it to another theater and cry about it in their text messages.

  • Shred | June 7, 2011 3:56 AMReply

    Wow. I am surely very glad I don't live in Austin. You guys take rude movie behavior waaay too seriously.

  • Tara | June 7, 2011 3:25 AMReply

    I agree people shouldn't text or talk in a theater, and it is rude, but I keep my phone on (on silent) just in case of emergency. Most of the time when I get to see a movie my kids are with the babysitter. If I got an urgent text during a movie, and my phone lit up in the theater, I would probably get very upset if I was to be kicked out. Of course, in an emergency I would be leaving anyway.

  • Jennifer | June 7, 2011 3:19 AMReply

    amazingly epic. TEXTER.

  • Chelvis | June 7, 2011 3:12 AMReply

    @ Tara The problem is, Tara, that how do you know which text/call is an emergency and which is a text/call a non-emergency. You cant' be checking every damn text and call that comes in during the movie. If everyone with children felt this entitlement then the the theatre would be a wash with blinking lights of people checking every single text and call to see if little JImmy had set the house on fire again. So my suggestion is 1. Don't leave your home if you can't find someone one responsible to watch your accident prone children for two hours or 2. Do what your parents did and leave the phone number of the the theater and the name of the movie you're going to see with the baby sitter so they can call the theater if there is an emergency. Parents raised perfectly health children for years before cell phones. 3. If one and two don't work, then stay home and rent movies to watch at home with your children we don't want you worriedly checking your phone throughout the movie and ruining it for the rest of us who have children and babysitters we can trust.

  • Bog | June 7, 2011 3:10 AMReply

    It is exactly those people who text and talk on their cell phones is one of the reasons I don't go to the cinema anymore. That, crying babies and people chatting loudly throughout the show.
    I go so far as make it legal so that if people complain and decide to leave and ask for a refund because YOU disturbed them with your phone, you must pay for a refund to the other patrons of that show. That and Get the FCC to allow short range jamming (only inside the theater room when the projector is running.)

  • Keats | June 7, 2011 3:04 AMReply

    This is awesome. I was never impressed with Alamo until now. People's abuse of cell phones and lack of etiquette is way out of control. People are on their phones in the library despite signs. Bravo to Alamo for sticking to its guns!

  • Chase | June 7, 2011 2:53 AMReply

    modern--while I haven't been there, I'm almost positive theres signage if they're that serious about it. This seems to be one of their main points about their theater--no distractions, I believe the policy was clear, but she had no idea that it would be enforced. this mustve been her first theater where they care about the movie instead of the customers, and i like that (i mean, i'm there for the movie arent i? :p)

  • Chase | June 7, 2011 2:49 AMReply

    That. Was. Awesome. Nothing better than having justice served, no matter how small. And also, for all the "reglear" theater goers, texting isn't technically allowed in any theater--even using your phone to find your seat. Yes, I know, you can't see because it's too dark in the theater, but now the other patrons can't see because you just nightblinded them with your damn phone. which is the same point for texting--yeah yeah texting is much more quiet than talking on the phone, but unless its touchscreen you still hear the keypresses and the real annoying part IS the brightness of the screen.

    AND HEY!
    IF you're not going to watch the movie, and will instead text away to your friends or update fb or whatever you decide to do--GTFO THE THEATER! you shouldn't be in there anyway with that state of mind haha

    Oh and I think drink is fine, but I do feel food can be knocked out (foods more noisy and distracting imo)

  • Sarah | June 7, 2011 2:47 AMReply

    This is so awesome! I wish we had Alamo in San Diego!

  • Keith | June 7, 2011 2:45 AMReply

    Overpriced my ass!! Drafthouse is the BEST movie deal in the entire city of Austin!
    You can go to Regal or AMC and pay 10 dollars for a movie, then be forced to sit through 15 minutes of commercials, after you pay fucking 8 bucks for a bottle of water.
    I really want that cleared up by the way, I watch commercials, why is it so expensive?! Hasn't someone else already paid for this? That's the point of commercials.
    At the Drafthouse, I pay roughly the same price, and I get a theater full of polite movie lovers that don't want to ruin the movie, and instead of 15-20 minutes of commercials, I get pre-show ENTERTAINMENT! I get clips of the actor/director's other work, I get interviews by cast and crew about the film I'm about to see, I get ridiculous cartoons and old vintage spoofs relative to what I'm about to see. OH AND!! I can get a free glass of fucking water!

    The Drafthouse is the most thoughtful theater I have ever stepped foot into, I get angry when movies I want to see aren't playing there. Although, those movies usually suck anyway. Anyone bad mouthing Alamo, is either a fucking idiot or a fucking idiot.

  • ModernDemagogue | June 7, 2011 2:40 AMReply

    Unclear to me — where does Alamo Drafthouse make its policy of no texting clear?

    Talking or other disruptive distracting behavior is obviously a no no — but its impractical to expect someone to be out of communication for two hours these days unless you're known to be on a plane.

    If she was told or warned and she was being abusive, it might be okay; but the policy needs to be made clear to patrons prior to purchasing a ticket — otherwise its renegotiating the terms after the fact. Is there a giant sign posted?

  • Bjorn | July 15, 2013 3:37 PM

    What planet are you from? Don't EVER come to Earth.

  • Jason Fisk | June 7, 2011 2:36 AMReply

    Love it. Why can't all theatres have this policy. I can't remember the last time i saw a movie in a theatre and didn't see someone either Texting or hear someone Talking. Its annoying. I paid to see the film not listen to you talk or get distracted by your effing phone, why would you pay money to sit in a theatre and not watch the bloody movie, seriously.

    This is why i don't go to theatres very often, i get a better viewing experience at home.

    Oh and Toby (#31) you say they should consider their customer services, well, Talkers and Texters should consider EVERYONE ELSE in the theatre who PAID GOOD MONEY to WATCH THE FILM.

    Persoanlly i think Food and Drink should be banned as well, but thats just me :D

  • toni | June 7, 2011 2:31 AMReply

    texting is the same as having a conversation. seriously....why pay 10 dollars for a ticket if all you are going to do is talk during the movie? the drafthouse is the only reason i go to movies anymore because this policy is enforced. she was given 3 warnings really. they give you a warning before the movie starts letting you know if you get flagged you will be kicked out without a refund. she was given a fair chance. its not the drafthouse's fault shes an idiotic little twat that never learned to follow directions in elementary school.

  • Christine | June 7, 2011 2:25 AMReply

    She sounds like so many of the teens - 20-somethings in the NJ, NY, Philly metro area (where I live). These kids are in for a rude awakening! I am GLAD that this theater had the balls to make an example of the girl!

  • Chloe | June 7, 2011 2:25 AMReply

    oops... "texting with their own" brand of PSA videos (check them out on youtube).

  • Chloe | June 7, 2011 2:23 AMReply

    LOVE the Drafthouse... and the Drafthouse's business model seems to be working just fine. Best place in Austin to catch a movie. The ticketprices are no more ridiculous than what you'd pay elsewhere, and the food prices are very reasonable. For those of you who don't know, the theater has made it VERY clear that they won't tolerate rude behavior in the form of loud talking, cell phones and/or texting with their own. Don't see how anyone can defend this young woman's disregard for the rules and two prior warnings.

  • ashley | June 7, 2011 2:13 AMReply

    @ tara the reason why there is a NO TEXTING policy is because the bright light on the cell phone is annoying. when your eye are focused on the screen and all of a sudden someone like this girl in the voicemail or you decides to pull out their phone and reply to a text message your eyes move to that light and its very distracting.
    im sorry but i dont pay 8-10 dollars for a movie ticket to see your cell phone screen in the corner of my eye i pay to see what the director intended me to!

  • Steve Blank | June 7, 2011 2:09 AMReply

    The Alamo Drafthouse is one of the many things that make Austin Cool. However, something like this going viral bothers me 'cause now all you out-a-towners and out-a-staters are gonna wanna come live here. I love Austin and Central Texas. I live here because of places like Alamo DH. I just don't wanna have to share it. So let's stop telling everyone how great it is...sssshhhhh.

  • shetech | June 7, 2011 2:03 AMReply

    For those of you who don't understand why texting isn't allowed: because the light of your phone is distracting. And if you're so concerned with staying in touch with your friends that you can't even watch a movie without distracting yourself and the people around you, then WHY BOTHER GOING TO THE MOVIES??

    Attention Deficit Disorder, anyone?

  • ASh | June 7, 2011 1:14 AMReply

    God, I wished I lived in Austin. I've stopped going to theaters in NYC due to the likliehood that there will be a cell call, a conversation, a crying baby, or A TEXTER IN THE MIDDLE OF A NIGHT SCENE that will pull me out of the "suspension of disbelief" Thank god for Netflix and my large screen TV.

  • DocBonesaw | June 7, 2011 1:10 AMReply

    I personally like the way this was handled and applaud the Alamo Drafthouse!!!! I will go out of my way to visit if I ever make it down there. Bravo Zulu!!!!!!!

  • Tara Singletary | June 7, 2011 1:09 AMReply

    I don't understand why the theater has this policy of "no texting" in the first place. Texting is SILENT. I'm not disturbed by it. Why is anyone else?

  • rabbi | June 7, 2011 1:06 AMReply

    Genius.

  • Jack | June 6, 2011 11:11 AMReply

    Geez Jeff, you sure sound like a 16 year-old girl in that voice mail. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, either.

  • SkinnyMike | June 6, 2011 11:05 AMReply

    Not coming back to that theater? Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  • Amused | June 6, 2011 10:59 AMReply

    Are you that girl in the voice mail Jeff?

  • Jeff | June 6, 2011 10:35 AMReply

    Alamo Draft House sucks anyways. WAY overpriced and stirct about everything. The owner looks like a d bag too. I went there once and will never go back.

  • Ken | June 6, 2011 10:01 AMReply

    Wow. You can tell this is a spoiled rotten self entitled brat who thinks the entire world revolves around her. Let her go to a "regular theater" where she can pay money to NOT watch a movie because she's too busy texting Brittany, Ashley or Amber about her like, cute new shoes or whatever.

  • J Carneyt | June 6, 2011 9:52 AMReply

    Every theater should handle the situation this way!!!

  • John McDole | June 6, 2011 9:27 AMReply

    EXCELLENT! I wish all theaters would be more strict with their talking and phone policies, perhaps more people would enjoy going to movies. I don't live anywhere near you but you guys rock! Perhaps cleaned up this could be part of your ad campaign?

  • K.E. | June 6, 2011 8:59 AMReply

    I can't believe this girl is so dumb that she thinks it's not rude to text in a movie theater, but it IS rude to tell someone they can't. Alamo Drafthouse is heroic in my eyes. I'm so sick of entitled idiots like this chick. A movie theater is private property but this bimbo acts like she gets to set the rules. F her.

  • Mike | June 6, 2011 7:33 AMReply

    Poor girl doesn't even get it.