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Austin's Alamo Drafthouse Theater Gives Texters the Boot
6/12/2011

Hugh Pickens writes "Ever been annoyed during that nail-biting darkened hallway scene by someone turning on their phone to send a text? Well, don't mess with Texas or you may end up on the screen in a public service announcement. Alamo Drafthouse, a local chain of dine-and-screen movie theaters in Austin, Texas, has long waged a war against impolite moviegoers booting out public who talk or text during performances. Phoebe Connelly writes that by the book to Tim League, the Drafthouse's founder, a woman was new warned twice about texting during a screening, and then, in conformation with company policy, was escorted out without a refund. 'I don't think people realize that it is distracting,' says League. 'It seems like nothing, but if you spend as much time as I do at the movies, you realize the entire theater sees it and it pulls you out of the movie experience. It's every bit as intrusive as talking.' The irate clientele called up the Alamo Drafthouse and left a profanity-laced (and perhaps slightly inebriated) message decrying the theater's policies, but the theater got the last laugh as they took the audio of the woman's voicemail, transcribed it, and turned it into an in-house preview [tl: Note, YouTube video contains some profanity] that warns theatergoers against cell phone use during movies. 'Part of what we're trying to do is have a comedic message about what to us is a very serious issue,' says League, maturing to give any more details about the woman at the center of the recent PSA."



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