Totally off topic: Thank you Alamo Drafthouse, for making movie watching enjoyable again!!!

One of the perks of being self-employed is working one's own schedule. I've been wanting to see the new Star Wars movie but I didn't want to brave the holiday crowds. I also hate going to conventional movie theaters where the crowds over the last decade have embraced such nasty practices as: Talking non-stop. Getting up and walking around during the feature. Bringing along children who are too young for much of the content in adult movies. And the worst!!! Talking or texting on cellphones during the movie. It's been years now since I've been to a mainstream movie theatre. I much prefer to either buy the DVDs six months after everyone else has seen the movies or....

Go to the Alamo Drafthouse chain of theaters. Why? Why indeed.

The Alamo Drafthouse theaters allow you to pick your seats online. They forbid (absolutely forbid!!!) talking during the main features. And they forbid people from talking, or texting, or even looking at the lit screens of their cellphones. When I say, "forbid," I really mean it, and so do they. The staff will warn you one time and if you infract again they remove you from the theater with no refund. They've been doing it for years and they are dead serious about it. I love it. I absolutely love it. Now I won't go and see movies anywhere else.

Here's my movie going strategy: Wait three weeks from the release date of the movie you plan on seeing. Select a day in the middle of the week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays seem best). Select a show time that starts before noon. Check on the lobby computer to make sure no one is sitting near you in the seating chart. Re-select seats if necessary. Pee before you go in. Sit quietly and enjoy movies they way they were intended to be seen.

Ben, Belinda and I all went to the 11:20 am showing of The Force Awakens. The LucasFilms 4K projection was phenomenal. The other eight people in the theater followed the rules exactly. The movie was perfect and director, J.J. Abrams, should be sainted for his work on this film and his previous successes with the last two Star Trek movies.

The combination of a really well done feature, and the nostalgia of having watched the Star Wars films of the past many times, was a powerful, emotional mix. I had a blast.

Then we headed out for a nice family lunch. I might take a nap after I post this. Being my own boss can be really fun! Especially with a little help from a brilliant theater company.

Well done Alamo Drafthouse! We'll be back again and again. Yes, leaving the cellphone in the car. One less thing to think about.


Patrick said...

NICE! I was in the same boat as you. Now, I might just have to drive from SoCal to Austin when I want to see a movie!

Chuck Albertson said...

The Sundance Cinemas chain is quite similar. They sell beer/wine at the concessions counter, which means (in Washington, anyway) the crowd is 21 and over. Very comfy seats, too.

Nigel said...

The BBC got there first (possibly):

(Their weekly radio film review program is excellent.)

Anonymous said...

Yes! Some theaters finally get it. What's it? Comfortable seats, clean theater (ever have your feet stick to the floor), stadium seating ( no more dreading the 6'6 guy with the hat seated in front of you, staying with the basic rules of decorum in a public place (no talking, texting,no being an ahole during a film). Selecting your seat ahead of time, digital projection, excellent sound, over 21 screen to keep the rugrats out. Beer or wine if you want it (not really for me but its there if some want it)
I, at last, go to the local theater and enjoy the experience.

Bassman said...

We saw it in Vermont on Monday 12/28 at 1:00pm. The theater owner came out below the show and explained the rules: no talking, no phones, no second chances.

Everyone (about 120 in a small theater) behaved.

The movie and the experience were great.

Noons said...

We are very fortunate our local movie theatre in Sydney's Northern Beaches is managed by a Sicilian family.
In a nutshell: if anyone pulls up a cell phone, talks a lot, walks around, seats in the wrong or in general makes themselves a nuisance during a movie, the wife of the owner walks in with a bedroom slipper in her hand and slaps it over the offender's head if they don't run away fast enough!
Surprisingly effective and it always elicits a prompt "YAY! Way to go, mamma!' from the affected audience, usually followed by uncontrolled and convulsive laughing fits.
Kid you not! We absolutely love it and wouldn't have it any other way!

Mike_C said...

I like the approach taken by the yakuza at the beginning of Tampopo.

>if anyone [...] makes themselves a nuisance during a movie, the wife of the owner walks in with a bedroom slipper in her hand and slaps it over the offender's head

Sounds good as well, but would never fly in these here United States. "Disproportionate impact", "jerk shaming", "violation of public safe space" (whatever that is) or some other foolishness would get that theater shut down or sued out of existence.

Kirk Tuck said...

Not crazy about the Sicilian slipper slapping technique or the cheering of the audience. Will stick with absolute silence or absolute ejection instead. No crowd sourced programming, please.