Alamo Drafthouse Hates Texters as Much as I Do

As a critic, I’ve become accustomed to press screenings where anyone who even opens or turns on a phone during the movie is quickly escorted to the exit. This is done in press screenings for fear that people may be trying to record the movie. Unfortunately, this rule rarely gets enforced with regular paying crowds. I’ve always wished that theaters would put a ban on texting during a movie and enforce it. Sadly, many theater owners can’t even keep their projectors up to par with bright bulbs, let alone police every screen so that no one uses a phone. But now, one theater chain is taking a stand.

Texting in a theater is the epitome of selfish behavior. Some people ridiculously think that just because they aren’t talking on their phone that they aren’t bothering anyone. In reality, those bright phone lights in theaters are just as annoying as someone answering a call during a movie.

I wish I had a theater like the Alamo Drafthouse around me. I might go to movies on my own more often if theaters actually treated movie lovers with the respect they deserve. I found this video on YouTube where the Drafthouse took a customer to task after she texted/used her phone during a movie. Below is the actual voicemail she left. (Warning: NSFW.) The ensuing one-sided conversation accurately depicts the kinds of people that selfishly use their phones during movies.

Some people need to get it through their thick heads that they’re sharing a theater with other people who also paid money, and who don’t want their experience ruined by some jackass lighting up the theater with a phone. We live in a community, and we must be willing to conform to some rules of our society and act acceptably. I wish more theaters were like the Alamo Drafthouse. I wish more theaters kicked patrons out for unruly behavior. I would frequent those kinds of establishments.



  1. This is exactly why I refuse to go to any theatre other than the Drafthouse, these guys do not jack around! Oh, and another added bonus, they don’t admit anyone under the age of 18 without a parent, no matter what the rating.

    • Aaron Peck

      Yeah. It just goes to show the inner workings of a person’s brain when they think this kind of behavior is acceptable. These are the types of contemptible, ignorant people that populate our theaters. It’s sad.

  2. Love this, love this, love this. I really wish my local theaters could do the same. Just this weekend, some jackhole in the row in front of me was Facebooking on his Blackberry all through X-Men.

  3. Ken

    Love it. Been to an Alamo Drafthouse theater once when I was traveling cross-country and absolutely loved it. I’ve been in VA now for years lamenting the theaters here… only to find out THIS MORNING that there is an Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester, VA. I had always assumed they were only in Texas, which in fact, every other Drafthouse is.

    It’s about a 45-60 minute drive to get there, but I think I may start to go there.

  4. In my area, most of the theaters say to turn your phones OFF – NOT put them on silent, and to refrain from texting or using your phone in any way during a movie. Using a phone could result in you being asked to leave the theater, and I have seen it happen.

    While I am not a fan of AMC, I went and saw Tron there at christmas (mainly because 4k showing of a 3D movie means I am at least getting 2k res). There was this 4 year old kid sitting down the row from me who had the light up shoes, and kept kicking the seat in front of him, making his shoes light up. About 20 minutes into the movie, the manager came in and asked the parents to remove the kids shoes, or to leave the theater.

  5. The theaters in my area are horrible. They have terrible equipment and horrible people working in them. I just love it when there is a sea of cell phone screens lighting up the theater while I am trying to watch a tense movie like Insidious. Please excuse the sarcasm.

  6. As soon as I read the headline for this I KNEW these theaters were in Texas, lol, and yes I agree they need these theaters or others like it throughout the country, I never could figure out whey these kids pay all this money to see a movie and then proceed to talk and text and not even pay attention, just makes no sense.

    Cell phones are great but they are also one of the worst things to ever be invented in this modern age, everyone feels the need to have their conversation right in front of you anymore, no respect for anyone else anymore

    • EM

      I agree: it’s ridiculous to pay the money to ignore the movie while doing something they could easily do elsewhere for free. Now, ignoring the movie while making out might make sense, since they may not have anywhere else to do it. It could still be annoying to other patrons, though.

        • EM

          Only tangentially related, but: today I was browsing in a bookstore (yes, they still have those!!), and I spotted a tome entitled Cosmo’s Guide to Red-Hot Sex. It took me a few seconds to realize the title was referring to Cosmopolitan magazine, not Mr. Kramer. Still, I wonder if there was a chapter about Schindler’s List?

  7. I’m with you Aaron – I’ve become so accustomed to press screening policy that I rarely go to a movie that’s NOT a matinee. I love matinees at The District because they are EMPTY.

  8. Wow people have a LOT of issues, for one thing cell phone screens only bother you if your eyes tend to wander off the screen long enough for you to notice the light coming from them.

    • EM

      …which they might do if the light is bright enough to attract attention. However, you’re wrong: one need not actively notice the lights to be bothered by them. For example, I sometimes suffer migraine headaches triggered by bright lights in my peripheral vision when I am in otherwise darkened spaces. If you want to put on your own personal light show, wait till after the movie, or leave the theater, please.

    • Ken

      No not really. They are clearly visible if someone in your vicinity is using a cell phone. In a very dark room… it makes sense that a very bright screen would be visible.

      Either you partake in this annoying habit or you willfully ignore other people doing it. Or perhaps you only ever go to matinee showings during the week when there aren’t many people in the theater. Not all of us have that luxury.

  9. I love the Alamo Draft house. There is one about 2 miles from my house and my wife and I love going to see movies without teens texting/talking throughout the whole thing. All other theatres are teenie hang out central on friday nights… the parents and other adults go to the drafthouse.

    /old man

  10. vihdeeohfieuhl

    I know it has something to do with inappropriate content. Not suited for W… ummm?

  11. Too bad i’m not in texas or i’d check out the drafthouse. We do have the great New Beverly Cinema in LA which I enjoy watching old movies and talking about the movie (after of course) with others who just watched it there.

    I think the movie going experience is pretty horrendous to me these days as sometimes some kids always have to talk during the movie or kick my chair and have to facebook during the film.

    Ever since I had my daughter (who’s 5 mos) I don’t get a chance to see a movie in the theater so its a rare treat for my wife and I to see a movie. Its annoying when someone ruins that treat for me.