Alamo Responds to Viral PSA Reaction

by Anne Thompson
June 10, 2011 4:29 AM
8 Comments
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Here's Alamo Drafthouse Chief Tim League's classy video response to the way media and internet reacted to their viral YouTube PSA decrying texting in movie theaters:

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More: Exhibition, Video, Web/Tech, YouTube, Interviews

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8 Comments

  • Cameron | June 13, 2011 11:29 AMReply

    Joe B, I understand what you mean. It does seem like it is hypocritical to interrupt the movie for food and ordering but not for texting. However, patrons of the Alamo know that food and drinks are served there. It's just part of the bargain. If you don't want the food and drinks, don't go to a place that serves them.

    Having said that, I see you've never been to the Alamo. I will see a movie at the Alamo if I can over seeing a movie at any other theater even if I don't order food. The reason is they respect film buffs. They don't make you watch commercials after paying $9 to see a movie. Before the movie, they show interesting little clips related to the movie. Before District 9, they actually showed the short that it was based on. Before the last crappy Indiana Jones movie, they actually had snake handlers there. They have contests and special events. It's just the best place to go see a movie.

    I moved from Austin to Dallas a year and a half ago. I've seen as many movies in Austin since then as I have in Dallas. Someone mentioned the Studio Movie Grill above. There's just no comparison (see above paragraph). Plus, the Alamo food is great. I love the pizza, the queso, the cookies.

    Tim, I want an Alamo up here. I know you're supposed to put some in Dallas but it's been two years. I want my Dallas Alamos. I'll even find good locations for you.

  • Joe B | June 13, 2011 9:07 AMReply

    Mr. League.... Your no-tolerance policy on texting, talking, flashing tablet sized, bright lights is exactly right!! And kudos to you for it. But Alamo Drafthouse's stance becomes hypocritical when one realizes that your company interrupts the films all the time with food and beverage service IN the auditorium WHILE the movie is going on. This is unacceptable to me as a paying patron!
    I suppose I will have to continue going to early Monday and Tuesday showings ( on the rare occasions that I go anymore at all) in order to watch a film undisturbed. For I will not pay money to be annoyed by the "business" of food/drink service during a film just as I will no longer tolerate the audible and visible use of cell phones, etc., in a theatre where I've paid admission.
    I've been a movie-in-the-theatre lover since childhood. But if I have to give it up in order to really enjoy a film, that's what I'll do.
    How can you be SO right and SO wrong at the same time?

    I'd like to see this issue addressed in a similar fashion. Please make a video explaining WHY food/beverage service is OK and texting/phoning isn't. Because I, and many moviegoers like myself, believe that it's the same---- an unnecessary annoyance to admission-paying patrons. And I won't pay to support it.
    Everything about the original story published delighted me. Then I searched and searched your website to see if Alamo Drafthouse was similar to a new joke that has opened in New Orleans. It is and I'm sad.
    I really thought that finally things might change in movie theatres.
    But I guess not.

  • Bart | June 13, 2011 7:54 AMReply

    I don't remember one time being distracted by the food service in the Drafthouse.

  • tleague | June 13, 2011 5:29 AMReply

    @Joe B
    There are plenty of other theaters out there. With the Alamo, you know what you're getting beforehand, so you really should just take your business elsewhere.

  • Brian | June 13, 2011 3:56 AMReply

    I don't understand why people have to eat so much during movies. I usually bring a snack or sandwich with me into the theater (purchased somewhere else first) and eat it during the commercials and trailers, so I can concentrate on the movie and not make eating sounds during it. I don't even like to eat while watching a movie at home.

  • Daft Punk | June 13, 2011 2:32 AMReply

    Joe, you're just splitting hairs now. You know there is a difference between a bright light illuminating from a cell phone right next to you in a dark room and some kid walking by asking if you ordered the fried pickles. Don't sit there and act like writing on a little sheet of paper, putting it up for a server to get it. They walk by, look at it and put the order in. 20 minutes later a kid walks by and drops it off. He doesn't have fireworks or his phone in front of him. They drop it off and go. But that is just as much of a distraction as some woman next to you having a little conversation on her phone during the climax of the film.

    Okay, then take your ass to a regal cinema or an AMC theater and you let me know how many people are playing on there phones and tell me that is less of a distraction than someone dropping off a soda at your table during a movie.

  • sean_k_thompson | June 13, 2011 2:08 AMReply

    Joe B, the food service is an integral part of the Alamo's business model; it separates itself from all other theatres (well, MOST other theatres, not counting Studio Grill, etc.) by offering this extra service. It's what they do, and to complain about their doing it is equal to complaining that your car dealership offers sales AND service. If you don't want food service during a film, then hit one of the other 42,000 cinemas in the U.S. That way, those of us who DO enjoy food service during a film can enjoy it in peace.

  • Paul | June 13, 2011 1:24 AMReply

    I wish all theaters had this policy and all theater owners displayed this level of class. Very cool.

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