Tuesday, June 07, 2011

take that, texter!

The Alamo Drafthouse is a chain of Austin theatres where food and drink is served. A whole menu of food plus adult beverages.

The caller in this audiotape is angry because she was kicked out of the Drafthouse for texting. Because texting might disturb fellow movie goers. The Drafthouse was so tickled with the voice mail they posted it to Youtube:


I don't know. Texting doesn't bother me.

Talkers bother me. Crying babies bother me. I missed a punch line in Bridesmaids the other day, thanks to a crying baby.

And you know what else, Drafthouse? Food servers bother me. Food servers walking back and forth, taking orders and delivering the food to the group sitting next to me and in front of me bothers me. Servers stooping to avoid blocking my view bothers me. The fact that they mostly do block my view bothers me.

I find myself worrying for the health of the food servers and their lower backs. I want to tell them, Don't work here too long. When you're my age you'll regret it. I actually want to whisper that. The act of resisting the impulse to give motherly advice bothers me.

And then there's the smell of food. I can't resist looking around to determine what I'm smelling. French fries? Fried okra? Potato skins?

All this looking and worrying and sniffing bothers me. So I haven't gone in a few years. And probably won't unless it's the only theatre in town playing the movie I want to see.

And when I do go? I'll be wearing a nose clip.

What do you think? Do you mind someone texting in a theater? Should someone be kicked out for it?


hokgardner said...

I dunno - you go to the Alamo knowing that there is going to be food and servers and whispers and such.

I do like that they have a policy and stick to it.

Of course, I can't remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater, so I'm not the one to ask.

shrink on the couch said...

True. You go knowing. Or you don't go, like me. But I can't understand why texting would bother someone? Unless their phone alert was going off. I was texting my son from the theatre, vibrate on, not alert, in order to know his whereabouts. I'm now wondering if that was bothering anyone.

Coffeypot said...

She couldn't make up her mind if she was texting or using the phone as a flashlight. If she is texting while walking, then the light from the phone is pointing upward. As for the service. The food should be served, drink orders delivered before the movie or play starts. If refills are needed, get up and get your own like in a regular movie place. And if the smells bother you, don't go to a whore house. Not good.

MidLyfeMama said...

Magnited States of America. I find the need to text incessantly, at all times, in all places, regardless of who you are with or what you are doing, to be vastly annoying. I think it is symbolic of our inability as a society to commit to anything, to focus for longer than 30 seconds on anything. Makes me crazy. So I am good with that policy.

Kathleen Scott said...

I feel a little guilty for enjoying the call. And I'll admit to liking Alamo's underground arrogance for subtitling and putting the call up on YouTube.

Beyond that, they owed the woman her money back and they owed her civility. Although judging by her call, there's a distinct possibility she was uncivil first.

Guess I'm in Oliver Wendell Holmes' camp about talking, texting, etc., "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

Mary said...

I was all prepared to comment (along the lines - be in the moment - enjoy the movie, no need to text too) nut so love the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote I am going to shut up.

Lee said...

I dunno, I suspect she was texting and carrying on while drunk & stupid. I love the Alamo and these ads before the movie are a favorite part.

One my big peeves related to public movie going is sick people who cough loudly the whole time. I always want to scream: would it kill you to stay home until you're better?! I also want to shove cough drops into their mouths, a whole lot of them (of course I'm wearing gloves, I'm germ phobic after all!).

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I wouldn't go to that theater--a movie should be uninterrupted. And, yes, texting annoys the hell out of me. The light is distracting. If you can't make it through a movie without checking or using your phone you should probably not go to the movie.

This is actually a huge peeve of mine and my husband is even more rabid on the subject!

Angeliki said...

I don't mind texting at all, if it's on silence of course.

In Greece we have open top cinemas that serve food but you have to get your food before the movie starts and then remain sited. So no waiters and no smells! I love these summer cinemas!

Susan said...

We went to a local theater which serves food and drink. You have ot order before the movie starts (in the lobby) and if the food is delivered after it starts they are very quiet about it.

My husband hated the smells and so we never went back - but it didn't bother me. However, texting bothers me due to the bright screens in the dark theater. I saw them popping up all over the theater when I saw Bridesmaids with my daughters.

I agree with other commenters that the young woman was probably more of a problem than she is letting on. No business makes a scene of kicking out a customer unless the behaviour is over the top.

apathy lounge said...

Texting doesn't bother me, but maybe the bright lights from the iPhone/regular phone does bother others. Maybe they're trying to eliminate phone use altogether. Unfortunately, it's the rule they promote and I assume that patrons know this.

Glennis said...

What's the problem with texting in a theatre? is it the light coming on?

Of course, if she was using her phone as a flashlight to find her seat, I don't see that as a problem - it would be pointing down.

I think she was drunk when she called, though! Hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I'm in two minds about this whole situation. The woman who left the voicemail sounds obnoxious (I can't stand it when Americans go on about the personal freedoms they feel they deserve because they live in the "Magnited States of America"), so I don't feel bad that she has been ridiculed across the internet.

However, was it right of the Alamo to take her voicemail and blast it across the internet like that? I'm sure I've left some pretty embarrassing voicemail messages in my time, and it would be nice to think they would remain private.

As regards texting, my husband got annoyed with me once because I texted during the trailers. I found this a tad pedantic. I don't think you should be on your phone constantly throughout the movie but I don't see the harm in sending one little text if the need aries.

Nulaanne said...

If I lived where the Alamo therater is I would ALWAYS go there. I am one of those people who hate the constant use of the cell phone. I turn mine off at resturants, library, theaters, in the store if I have to cash out I hang up it dealing face to face with someone. At work it is off and in a locker my family knows where I work.

I hate the light from texting in a dark place. If a place has a policy and it is posted kick them out.

andrea frazer said...

I personally think beer and movies are a brilliant combo. And is that you in the pic? You look so young! And no, I'm not drinking

Craig M said...

Thanks for this funny post, and also for bringing up the issue of texting in movies. I find texting to be quite distracting, simply because of the light from the device.

John Valenty said...

"I missed a punch line in Bridesmaids the other day, thanks to a crying baby."

Not okay! Why do people think its okay to bring infants to the movie theater! spring for a babysitter cheapo!

Dr. Deb said...

"Noise" bothers me. If it's at a high level, it doesn't matter what it is, so if someone is texting or talking softly, it's fine with me. I think our personal spaces are so small nowadays because so much invades our senses!

dkuroiwa said...

yeah....the phone call was embarrassingly funny...i laughed. seriously...some of the stuff she said? funny!!
Granted, she's a doof, more than likely drunk and really should have thought first, then called, but...that does not give the rest of the world the right to drag her through the proverbial mud like that (seriously...some of the comments from others were just horrible!!). That was kind of low-class of the Alamo.
That said...I think i might wanna go here know, when i get to Austin!!!

Here in Japan, people are allowed to bring food in from outside...what I don't like is having to listen to McD's papers being rustled about...and the shaking of ice to what? make it melt faster? aaarrrgggh!!! Through in some teeth sucking and I am probably going to complain. I give a mean "shut up" look over the back of a theater chair. oh yes, i do.

Eva said...

at first this idea sounded so great, but then as i reached the end of your post I realized...not so much.

And yea...I don't get how ppl can bring their babies to the movies.

Rachel Cotterill said...

The food would bother me more - unless I was eating, I suppose. But waiters going back and forth sounds really distracting.

Amanda said...

I am very anti-texting. Even if it's on silent, the light bothers me and distracts me from the movie.

I'm not anti-server at Alamo, but I generally only go if the food/drink/Alamo experience is what I'm going for.

Also, I thought turning her ridiculous call into an add was brilliant. Mean, perhaps, but awesome.