Movie theater shames F-word texter

A movie theater in Texas turns an f-word riddled voice mail from a customer who was tossed from the theater for allegedly texting during a show into one of the great "Don't Talk or Text" PSAs.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

The Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin, Texas, is a civilized place. It serves food. It serves drinks. I confess I have even enjoyed a second date there that brought me considerable lunch and joy.

So I cannot be entirely surprised that the theater is a bit intolerant of those who text during a movie. The Alamo has a history of not being understanding of those who, for example, talk during a show.

With one customer, however, the Alamo has taken its lack of tolerance a little further.

According to the Alamo Drafthouse blog, this customer was truly annoying. She "persisted in texting in the theater despite two warnings to stop. Our policy at that point is to eject the customer without a refund, which is exactly what went down that night."

You might imagine that the texter went away, groaned a little, and did nothing more. You might imagine that Rep. Anthony Weiner will be appointed to the Senate Committee on Sexting.

For the theater then received a phone call. In the words of its blog: "Luckily, this former patron was so incensed at being kicked out, she quickly called the office and left us the raw ingredients for our latest 'Don't Talk or Text' PSA."

Who could not delight in the use of the word "luckily"? Who could not bathe in the contents of the voice mail, in which the customer first says she didn't know you couldn't text in "your little crappy ass theater."

She then declared, perhaps unconvincingly: "I was using my phone as a flashlight to get to my f***ing seat."

It must be said that the theater is very clear about its rules on talking and texting. As it says on its blog, its approach is highly Texan: "Follow our rules, or get the hell out and don't come back until you can."

The complainant, however, continued along her own logical path, interspersing her f-words with her patriotism. She said: "So excuse me for using my phone in USA Magnited (sic) States of America where you are free to text in a theater."

I found myself increasingly magnited by her vehemence and incongruity, especially when she accused the theater of using the no-texting policy to "rip people off."

"I'll never be comin' back to you Alamo Drafthouse or whatever," came her second wind. "I'd rather go to a reglear (sic) theater, where people are actually polite."

Because today has been something of a fraught day for many of those who talk, text, and tweet, I have embedded a slightly sanitized version of the PSA. I wonder what will happen when the lady in question comes face-to-face with her fame.

Will she text all her friends?