A friend of mine was visiting me from Austin, Texas this weekend (another friend came up too but she’s not important (I’m just kidding Jessie)). Aside from hosting South by Southwest (SXSW) every year and being Roky Erickson’s hometown, Austin is also home to a movie theater I’ve always wanted to grace with my presence: The Alamo Drafthouse. Notorious for not only showing contemporary films the Alamo Drafthouse also plays fantastic old movies (usually with posters by artist Tyler Stout). Recently they played both Kill Bill films and have housed almost every great Paul Verhoeven film in addition to Blade Runner, Escape From New York, and a long list of other incredible movies.
I’m getting to my point here.
Today we went to see Horrible Bosses. It was a decent, funny film and an article is forthcoming. However, what made me think about today’s topic is my friend, who is one of the loudest people I’ve been to a film with in ages. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but something I’m not accustomed to. See, I’m usually the guy giving talkers and texters a hard time; I’ve even been in arguments with people in theaters before over their blabbing. Below is a conversation (almost verbatim) from when my girlfriend and I went to see the new Woody Allen abomination Midnight in Paris:
The trailers are over and after enduring a loud conversation and constant distractions from their cellular phones this is what transpired between me and the people sitting next to us.
Them: Blah blah blah blah!
Me: Excuse me, could you please keep it down? The movie is starting.
Woman: No problem.
Man: What’s your problem? The movie hasn’t even started yet!
At this point the opening credits were already well underway
Me: Yes, it has.
Man: Nice moustache (alluding to the patch of well groomed hair above my lip at that point).
Me: (leaning over and looking at him) Really? That’s all you have? Thanks for the compliment.
For the next 10-15 minutes the man kept shushing everybody else in the theater making a peep, projecting his own embarrassment onto others who were whispering (a completely acceptable form of communication during a film). I could also tell these two were on a date, and it seemed like a date early on in their relationship; it makes me happy our interaction and his assholery ended that. At the very least he didn’t have sex that night.
Now, by this point you’re obviously either bored or convinced of my disdain for people who talk and text during a film. It’s obnoxious and distracting; it’s also rude. I really wish movie theaters would do more than show a corny clip before the previews urging people to shut up. This is where the Alamo Drafthouse comes back into my post: they don’t take any shit from those talking and texting during a film. My out of town visitor frequents this notorious establishment regularly and I asked him how he manages to avoid banishment for his continuous talking. He didn’t have an answer but it made me recollect the Alamo Drafthouses policy towards such offenders. Below is a video they began playing before their films after receiving a nasty phone call from an ejected offender.
Oh, if only every theater was this militant regarding such unwelcomed pests.