Lately, I’ve been seeing no texting signs at a lot of local revival theaters, almost as much as you see no smoking signs everywhere else.
There are a lot of unwritten rules among film buffs, but this one is becoming set in stone: No texting during the movie! It’s one thing when people won’t shut up during a film, or their cell phones are going off, but for a lot of theater goers, this texting thing is really getting under people’s skins in a bad way.
It’s even gotten to the point where last year someone was kicked out of the Alamo Drafthouse theater in Texas for texting. The person who got kicked out left an angry voice-mail for Alamo, and as Cinema Blend reported, comedian Patton Oswalt and director Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) also goofed on this incident, where Oswalt did an imitation of said voice-mail, which was pretty funny: “I’ve texted in ALL the other theaters in Austin, and no one ever gave a f*ck about what I was doin’ on my f*ckin’ phone, alright?!”
In addition to that little bit of hilarity, The Alamo Drafthouse also made up yet another video, where they ran the ear scene from Reservoir Dogs, and Michael Madsen said in a gravely voice, “Yeah listen, don’t talk or text during the movie, or you might find yourself stuck in the middle with me!”
He had a hard time keeping a straight face saying this, and the Alamo capped it off with their own message: “Don’t talk or text during the movie, or Micahel Madsen will strap you to a chair, cut off your ear and set you on fire.”
Having gone to a lot of revival screenings, it’s one thing when people hoot and holler and make jokes at the screen, as long as it’s in the right spirit, and people aren’t being obnoxious or stupid. Real film fans live by our own unwritten codes about what’s cool and what isn’t, and usually in these kinds of shows there’s no problems.
And at one recent revival screening, people did indeed get the message in a hurry, because as soon as the lights went down, I never saw people stash away their glowing cell-phones faster, even without any ushers that could have kicked them out if they didn’t. In short, don’t go against the film geek code, and wait ’til after the show to text. Thank you.