Alamo Drafthouse's No-Texting PSA Made from an Actual Voicemail

June 6, 2011
Source: Drafthouse

Alamo Drafthouse - Simple Rule

There are many reasons I love the Alamo Drafthouse, from the greasy-but-tasty food, to their retro cinematic decor, to the love for film that exudes from every wall. Another great reason to love them is that policy about no text/talking in theaters, that they uphold to the fullest extent (which other theaters say they do, but never follow through). Tim League, founder of the Drafthouse, recently posted a blog and uploaded a new PSA featuring an angry voicemail left by a "customer" who was kicked out, without refund, for texting. It was so good they made it into a video they now show in front of all R-rated movies - fantastic!

From his blog: "Ma'am, you may be free to text in all the other theaters in the Magnited States of America, but here at our 'little crappy ass theater,' you are not. Why you may ask? Well, we actually do give a f*$k. Sincerely, Tim League." The one-and-only Tim League that is, hell yea! What a perfect way to wrap up this incident and share with the world that unforgettable voicemail. It works not only as a PSA for everyone at an Alamo Drafthouse theater about to see a movie, but is an amusing bit of reverse marketing. Again, this is why I love the Drafthouse, because they know how to run one of the best damn movie theaters in the world.

Find more posts: Discuss, Opinions, To Watch



They should do this everywhere. I was watching X-men over the weekend when some lady across the aisle had her phone on ringing. Everyone can see her phone light up since she had it on the drink holder of the seat. After answering it, a few minutes later it beeps loudly as she gets a text message. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Anonymous on Jun 6, 2011


The Magnited States of America? What the hell is she talking about?

Anonymous on Jun 6, 2011


Magnificent + United? Apparently, you're free to make up words in Texas...

Mainline on Jun 6, 2011


Austin is....kinda crazy.

Atticus on Jun 16, 2011


It's stuff like this that makes me seek out matinee showings in a certain part of town on weekdays - I know no one will be there but me. Wish we had an Alamo Drafthouse in Phoenix.

Harm on Jun 6, 2011


I get it. To a point. I would be a little pissed on both sides. Do I agree 100% with it? No. Do I get pissed when someone is doing the same thing? yes. Would I kick them out? Yes. But do I think they should have refunded her money? Yes they should have. I do agree that people should learn some manners when it comes to the cell phone usage in theaters.

Shawn Keim on Jun 7, 2011


Warnings like this play before every showing of every movie, which clearly state that no refund will be given if someone has to be ejected. She knew the consequences. No way should she get a refund.

guest on Jun 7, 2011


Just because the disclaim it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

Getfucked on Jun 16, 2011


If it's true she was just using it to get to her seat, I don't see the big problem. Unless it's a theater that has lights next to seat numbers :P. She couldn't just sit down in the aisle and watch the movie.

Smarter than you on Jun 29, 2011


My guess is that that was a fib to justify what she was actually doing, which was texting in the theater. Especially since, after using the "I was using it as a flashlight!" excuse, she ALSO felt the need to fall back on "I didn't know I wasn't allowed to text." People really aught to get their stories straight when kvetching about being punished.

Fudgeon on Jul 4, 2011


If they bleeped it, they can show it in PG-13 movies, but is this an adult only theater or something? You can have this playing with kids around.

Chad on Jun 7, 2011


I think you mean *can't* have it playing... Yea, they have a censored version, but I think they'd rather not occur the wrath of parents, since this is a bit on the vocal side.

Alex Billington on Jun 7, 2011


Give her her money back? Nope! You are in a dark theater, put the damn phone down for 2 hours and enjoy what you paid for. If you have the need to open your phone and ruin the viewing experience for others who have the sense to leave the phone in their pocket, you deserve to not only be kicked out but also lose your money.

Yup... on Jun 7, 2011


Agreed. I would expect the same thing at any venue. Would you get your money back at a concert or a baseball game for breaking the rules and being a fucktard? No, you wouldn't. Why do people think she should have been refunded for not only breaking policy multiple times, but potentially ruining the movie experience of another who actually was abiding by the rules?

Frank on Jun 7, 2011


I've never felt my movie experience was ruined by a little bit of light. If the phone rings then yes, it is distracting. However, I am an adult and can handle a dime light in my peripheral vision for a bit. Moreover, you're looking up at a screen and the person using their phone is most likely holding it down, near their lap. In this case you wouldn't even see the source of the light, just a dim glow. Additionally, they seem like an awfully elitist establishment, and that pisses me off.

Getfucked on Jun 16, 2011


I don't know about this. I may be oversensitive to it, but a cellphone light in an otherwise dark theater bugs the crap out of me. Especially if the screen itself isn't especially bright, it really does draw the eye. I like as much immersion as possible, I guess.

Mel on Jul 12, 2011


seconded. i love her excuse that she'd done it elsewhere, so therefore it must be fine. for her, the world still revolves around her all important self. and agreed with Frank, too - i'd expect the same response at any venue. trouble is, in my experience, this does *not* happen. i've never been fortunate enough to go to the Drafthouse, but they have stated rules and they *enforce* them. that's the key. elsewhere, a rule without enforcement is just a guideline. grrr. so! my solution? every seat has a Bond villain style complaint button. if a certain number of people press it, the offender disappears through a trap door into the shark pit below. 'you have failed to follow our rules. this cinema does not tolerate failure'.

Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011


This PSA shows the Alamo peeps are a bunch of a$$holes but, that's ok they like to be.

Navin R on Jun 7, 2011


How are they "a$$holes"? She broke the rules which are clearly stated on the screen before every movie. I know because I live in Austin and have been to these theaters many times. She was just pissed because she was an idiot and got tossed out for it and she thought that everyone should have to bow to her. You're the type of person I don't want sitting next to me at a showing there and luckily I don't think I'll have to worry about it with you feeling like you do.

Josh on Jun 7, 2011


She walked into a theatre that clearly states, every single friggin time, that if you talk or text, you are shown the door.   She decided the rules didn't apply to her. They DID. I will go out of my way to support Alamo because they protect me and everyone else who wants to watch a movie from assholes like her.  

Ween Wee on Jun 8, 2011


Alamo Drafthouse = titties. Feel free to not waste space in my theatre if  thats your perception.

B. on Nov 18, 2011


Nice, wish we had a theater like this in WA, everyone here is to 'nice' to kick people out though.

Staatz on Jun 7, 2011


I LOVE this!!! I wish they would do this everywhere! Im a small person and i got into with at guy that was seriously built and weight like 275 because he was being an ass and wouldnt get off his phone in the middle of a movie.... the theatre "talked" to him and he got to stay and watch the movie i was pissed... he should have been out.

lisa hall on Jun 7, 2011


maybe if she wasn't in the magnited states she would have had a MAGlite

Imthinking Tyler on Jun 7, 2011


wow. brilliant. I hope she's fully aware of this PSA. Was she drunk? Or just retarded? Maybe a little of both. I hate people like her.

grimjob on Jun 7, 2011



Anonymous on Nov 23, 2011


In my city there's this fantastic mexican restaurant a hideous, fluorescent lime green exterior, and a couple years ago they got an extremely self-righteous letter from someone in the neighborhood telling them he would NEVER eat at their establishment unless they repainted their walls. So of course they framed the letter and put it by the maitre de. They also bought another building recently and painted that lime green, too

Louise on Jun 7, 2011


We Austinites adore what Tim's policies at the Drafthouse! anyone who has lived in this city for more than a month knows "the rules" at the Alamo, and most of us treat them as next to sacred. you come early, you order, you shut up, and you have a great f-ing time! gotta love it!

seanathan on Jun 7, 2011


P.S. for an even better understanding of how badass Tim is, when someone was able to disrupt a screening of Rubber despite their efforts to curtail it, he took his rules a step further with this... http://www.facebook.com/notes/alamo-drafthouse-cinema/official-response-to-those-who-disrupted-the-screening-of-rubber-last-friday/10150157635396065 Don't mess with the Drafthouse:)

seanathan on Jun 7, 2011


I like where they're coming from but what if someone does need to get back to a seat (after the bathroom say) and it really is pitch black? Surely they're inviting a lawsuit if someone trips and hits their head because of the policy...

Guest on Jun 7, 2011


This is not possible -- the theater is not pitch black. Aside from the light reflected from the screen, each row has dim lighting under the tables, in addition to the standard lighting along the steps as in all theaters.

Guest on Jun 7, 2011


You forgot to mention that they gave the girl 2 warnings before she was finally kicked out.

guest on Jun 9, 2011


I absolutely found this a blast.  You absolutely cannot believe how many times I just wanted to go to the person texting in the row in front of me, grab their phone, and smash it.

Sean Kelly on Jun 7, 2011


Ha ha ha, nearly as bad as you phone ringing in a funeral. Phones in the cinema that's just dumb dumb.

Crapola on Jun 7, 2011


This is love. =D This is how it should be.

Panda on Jun 7, 2011


Noise is a serious problem, but the most damage to theatrical experience these days is not other patrons but the establishment itself. There is a tradition in the arts that silence should precede art, at idea of setting an open mind. Today theaters bombard us with noise of the worst kind, designed to sell and or plant ideas in your head with full force. And ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE IS ONE OF THE WORST OFFENDERS.  I love film that asks more of its audience, film that respects intelligence and does not assume I need easy pleasure. Alamo Drafthouse's home-aid promos are the most childish, disrespectful and LOUD offenders of all theatrical venues that I have seen.  Furthermore I have rarely been disturbed by anyone using their phone but find that Alamos audiences are so predisposed to childishly laugh at any possible moment, they bias everyone around them such that even Quintin Terrintino himself repremanded a local Alamo audience after a screening.

Khrodos on Jun 7, 2011


Awesome sauce!

woodge on Jun 7, 2011


One more point. Alamo's snarky publication of this private phone complaint is typically childish. I suppose hypocrisy is the new hip. I hope she sues them.

Khrodos on Jun 7, 2011


For what?  What on the call identified her? 

Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011


I guess there is no hope.

Khrodos on Jun 7, 2011


So she can go around bad mouthing them for doing what they are supposed to and throwing out people that can not listen? That they can't bad mouth a person without giving up the information of the person complaining? Hell I would have given her name address and place of work. See how she licks people treating her they same way when she is working. People have no respect for others. Parents teaching kids to be rude pricks to others.

Youshouldknowbetter on Jun 14, 2011


I absolutely love it.  If only Cinemark did the same thing...

Anonymous on Jun 7, 2011


Trust me she was not looking for her seat, it was the middle of the movie and she was warned twice before they asked to leave.  She deserved what she got, if she wants to be disrespectful she can go to some sticky-floored cinemark.  Everyone clapped and enjoyed the rest of the movie when she left and it was a little entertaining.

Melissa on Jun 10, 2011


VIVA LA ALAMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stacey on Jun 10, 2011


This policy is why I wont go to a movie anywhere but an Alamo Drafthouse.  To the texter I really hope you read this I am glad they kicked your ass out.  You and all the other self centered rude bimbos are why I won't to to a Regal or any other chain cinema.  You are living proof of the adage "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt".

Anonymous on Jun 13, 2011


I totally agree for kicking her out and not refunding her a penny.  Way to go Alamo, now you need to do the same with food quality.

Belashti on Jun 13, 2011


Since that stupid idiot was warned twice about not texting in the movie theatre and disturbing other audience members, and yet persisted on doing it anyway, she deserved to be kicked out, with no refund of her money.  

Anonymous on Jun 13, 2011


One more reason why I go to the Alamo. I'll even see a movie I don't really want to see because the rest of the experience is so awesome. (p.s. Thanks Alamo for noting the artist/song title used on promo reels. I have bought songs from iTunes because of it!)

Dena on Jun 13, 2011


You know, everyone loves this story...but the truth is that the ADH does treat it's customers like S**T. I went to one of their theatres with a friend, ate a meal and watched the movie. Afterwards, we were walking to my car and a security guard chased us down and "detained" us. Why? Because one of the employees said we skipped out on the bill. They humiliated us in front of a crowd of people and when I showed them proof that we had paid our tab, we had to demand an apology. I went to their headquarters and spoke to someone about the incident and was treated like S**T again. I've never been back. And I have serious questions about the veracity of their story on this girl. If she's a minor, her parents should raise he11 about having their daughter exploited.

bet0001970 on Jun 15, 2011


You people get behind this shit? Never going to the alamo drafthouse if I find myself in Austin. Get the fuck over the phones. You need to take a few deep breaths if that 2 inch screen lighting up pisses you off because you can't see the fifteen foot one in front of you.  Fuckin' douchebags.

Jim on Jun 30, 2011


I think my favorite part is what a terrible liar she is. "I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to text..." She was texting. "I was using my phone as a flashlight..." Now she says she wasn't actually texting, but rather had been using her phone for a legitimate purpose and, it is implied, was kicked out wrongly.. "Where you are free to text in a theater." Nevermind, you were texting. I mean, if you're going to try to create a lie to cover yourself, don't admit both before and after the statement that you really were doing something wrong...

Guest on Jul 1, 2011


i agree with her. you've got to be a bit of an ass hole to take someones money then take their phone away just for txting. get a grip of reality.

Slightlytwistedmonkey on Jul 5, 2011


I agree with her. You've got to be an ass hole to take someones money then kick them out for txting. Talk about taking yourself too seriously. As much as i love film there's no need for that kind of fundamentalism for txting!? harsh it might be really important

Slightlytwistedmonkey on Jul 5, 2011


You've got to stand for soething, or you'll fall for anything..as the song goes 🙂 I just wonder, how she feels today. Knowing she's famous, and too embarassed to let anyone know who she is.....

crh on Aug 14, 2011


Whoa, I didn't think it was possible to give this much of a shit about light from someones phone but there ye go, 53 comments haha. Click my name for a funny site

Half Baked Potaotes on Apr 18, 2012


I concur I go to the movies and it pisses me off every time that someone texts. I even had someone pick up the phone and talk during the previews for a movie which is worse. It ruins the ambiance of the movie and is a distraction they should start a restaurant where you can't use your phone either. I hate when I'm eating supper and some idiot is talking loudly and ruining my atmospere.

findakota on Aug 18, 2012


People need to learn to follow the rules. "Don't use your phone" "Ok I'm just gonna use it real quick" IDIOTS!

Nolan Garwood Klein on Aug 19, 2012


Moving to Austin. Going to stop by.

Michael McCann on Dec 25, 2012

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