So there’s been a video going around the internets this week and I find its popularity pretty interesting. Here’s the setup . . . the folks over at the Alama Drafthouse Cinemas had a disgruntled patron call and leave a voicemail complaining that she was kicked out of the theater for texting during the movie. I know, imagine that. Now for those that don’t know, the Drafthouse is considered one of the best theater chains in the country and they have a very, very strict policy on talking and using cellphones during shows.
Well, what did our good friends over at the Alamo do? They turned the voicemail into a PSA that will run in front of all their R-rated films THIS weekend. Here, take a look:
So like I said, this thing blew up, got posted all over the internets, and was even on TV in a few places. I can attest to the popularity of it all as it showed up a lot in my Twitterstream as well as on Facebook as well. Why I want to bring this up though, and the thing I find interesting, is that there must be something in this video that people identify with in order for it to be this popular. Granted the video is funny in and of itself, but I think the video’s popularity speaks to a bigger issue . . . people want a movie experience where they’re not bothered by people who are texting, using their cellphone, and talking loudly during the film.
I think the reason why so many people identify with this video (myself included) and find it funny is that to us, this seems like justice being served. I’m sure a number of us have experienced this problem in the theater at some point and have always secretly dreamed for the person to have been kicked out. Whatever the case may be though, common sense or theater etiquette (call it what you will) has precipitously gone down since the prominence of cell phones.
What are us moviegoers to do? Not all of us live in Texas and have the luxury of going to the Alamo Drafthouse. While I do think that theaters themselves should be the primary instigators of stricter policies (similar to the Drafthouse), as moviegoers I don’t think we should wait for them to make the first move. Hell, if they haven’t done anything by now, who’s to say they will in the foreseeable future? No, we ourselves have to take initiative to resolve some of these issues. Now I’m not condoning getting into fights or using threats. All I’m saying is that at the very least we have to stand up and say something . . . whether it be to that particular individual (politely and in a non-confrontational way) or to theater management, something needs to be done.
One good thing that has come out from this video/PSA is that it hopefully can bring more light to the inappropriateness of texting in theaters. As a follow up, Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League had this to say about the notoriety of their video going viral:
So what say you? Are you a movie cell phone user? Or do you want your movie experience to be a good one.