Don't effing do this in a theatre with me!
So I just read this fantastic little blog post from the Alamo Drafthouse blog and I want to spend all my pennies to go all the way to Austin, Texas and revel in the viewing experience I have tried so desperately to achieve in any GTA theatre I go to.
If you’re not familiar with the Alamo Drafthouse, it’s a Texas-based theatre chain that truly understands the moviegoing experience as it should be. It’s put all of its efforts in ensuring its patrons get what they pay for (and that does not include sitting anywhere near neighbouring texters or talkers.)
For me, the single biggest annoyance I have (and I’m including the gratuitous price I now pay to see a movie) when going to the theatre is the large number of fellow moviegoers who use the time to chat with their friends either out loud or via text message on their extremely bright iPhones and Blackberrys. Seriously though, why can’t so many people suspend their need for connectivity for less than 120 minutes? (That’s a whole undergraduate thesis in itself. I digress.)
I have come to the point, over the past three months or so, where I take absolutely no qualms about singling out the offender at any time during the screening and sternly telling them (as though they’re a three-year-old) to Turn Off. Your Phone. And I will say it works. Likely due to the lack of enforcement from theatre staff and policy and from moviegoers somehow able to let it be, every single one of these offenders I have encountered is completely thrown off, surprised and, in my best situation, dumbfounded that they were involved in this sudden position.
Some will say it’s a snobbish thing to do to interrupt them to tell them to turn off their phone. True, they’re not directly interrupting the film with annoying ringtones, and no, they’re not talking out loud to anyone, but I will say the annoying flashing of lights, switching of menus and obvious blue header of the Facebook app is somehow worse.
It's like riding a motion simulator for 90 minutes.
Not only this, but how can anyone, in good faith, pay upwards of $21 – yes, that is the price one premium D-Box ticket can cost at a theatre near me, though most hover around the 12 dollar mark – and spend that time – and money – on chatting with someone else about something else.
And since the Alamo Drafthouse is a theatre chain – from what I gather they have about 5 theatres in the Austin area – it can’t be impossible to enact and enforce a policy (with consequences!) across multiple theatres.
In fact, dare I say, that is something I would pay a premium on my admission to allow for.