As of this writing, the Alamo Drafthouse's has received nearly 400,000 views on YouTube. (If you haven't had the pleasure, click here.) We called Alamo owner Tim League to ask him a few questions about the patron, the policy and the PSA.
When did she get kicked out?
About a month ago, actually.
When did she make the call?
A few hours later. The general manager at that location sent it to us a day or two later and he already thought it was pretty funny. [The video] was the GM's idea. Without his forethought, we wouldn't have it. Alamo has a head office creative department and chief creative officer Henri Mazza and his team put the actual PSA together.
How long did it take?
Not long. [laughs] A couple hours, maybe. It's as if it was written for us.
Have you heard from the caller?
Nope. I don't know who it is. She didn't leave her name or any contact information. Better that it's anonymous.
What do you think of the reactions to the video?
I spent part of yesterday looking at comments and it's really interesting. It was the no. 1 story on Reddit yesterday and the responses were almost unanimously positive except for a few who thought it was a hoax. There were also a few people who thought it went too far. That's the interesting debate -- they think it's public shaming. The fact that it's gone viral is interesting. I take this issue very seriously. I hope people think, "Maybe I am being selfish and self centered." But maybe I'm being too optimistic.
Why is this policy so important to you? Obviously you want to give your patrons the best possible experience, but your passion makes it seem more personal than that.
We instituted the policy two or three months into operation. Because there's beer served, that seems to be a gateway to people thinking it's a more casual theater experience and I put the hammer down. It drove me crazy, and it is personal. It's just how I want it in my ideal theater.
How many people have you kicked out?
Overall, or me personally?
It doesn't happen very often. There's 10 theaters, so… we maybe kick out 150 people a year. I've personally kicked out about 20. In my early days, I didn't have a delicate touch. I've grown more mellow with age.
And, once more, just because: