Tim League owner of Alamo draft house is wrong.
Tim's heart seems to be in a good place with his respect for films and film making and has built a successful business around this. The Alamo theater business model has proven its self. But Tim League is still wrong on the ‘texting’ or ‘non-texting' debate he seems to be having with ‘texting’ advocate "The Wrap" blogger Chris Davidson.
According to Chris Davidson's post on texting or nontexting in a theater the theater has the possibilty of removing the target market for the blockbuster, "The difference is largely generational, and if you see theater
patrons being escorted out for breaking the “no texting” rule, then
chances are that they are in the 18-34 demographic.
This, of course, is the target audience for studio films today,
especially for summer blockbusters, and so it does create a dilemma: how
to satisfy the needs of all moviegoers without alienating your core
Chris Davidson's smoking analogy is wrong. Smoking is a health issue period.
The bottom line is about is it is about money. And what money making machine dose not want you to tweet, post, yack about there product.
Here is where Tim League is wrong. If a business/theater wants to succeed it will do what ever it can to keep in there seats, buying its products. A theater will put on events, indoor and outdoor even on a lake. A theater will will give out prizes. A theater will have special events for people who don't function well in social environments. A theater will have zombie dance parties. A theater will sell beer. Hey wait that sounds like Alamo Draft house. Trust me if a theater is going in the tank it will do anything to fill the seats. Even have people play air guitar.
So Tim League can tell why he feels it is wrong to text in a theater but he is still wrong.
from Tim League's letter
I will tell you why it should not be done.
1) Texting is rude to the film creators. It is a slap in the face to
every single creative professional who poured their lives into creating
the film. When I am carrying on a mere casual conversation and someone
whips out a phone to text while I am talking to them, I am offended.
Imagine amplifying that to texting during a film which can take teams of
thousands of people years to make. Consider the independent feature
parallel. Imagine leveraging every penny you own or worse, going into
incredible debt in order to share your creative vision with the public,
only to have an audience half-watching while conceiving pithy tweets.
Texting is not a passive activity. You have to focus on your phone to
text and therefore lose focus on the screen. It is not a question of
"might." You WILL at the very least miss nuance and texture of a film by
breaking attention to text. More than likely you will miss more than
just nuance, but important plot points. Ask Christopher Nolan if he
would mind if you text during the opening weekend of THE DARK KNIGHT
RISES. I can almost guarantee you he would opt to eject every last
texter if given the chance. Pay respect to the on-screen and
behind-the-scenes artists who create movies. Turn off your phone and
lose yourself in the movie.
3) Texting is rude to everyone around you. Even if, as Chris Davison
proposes, we designate theaters as "texting friendly," there will be
people in the movie who are real movie fans who want to just watch the
show without distraction. If the non-texting shows are sold out,
someone may opt for the texting show. People buy tickets for a group
and in that group there may happen to be real movie fans. Folks may
inadvertently buy tickets on Fandango or other online sources where the
"texting friendly" nature of the show is missing or not prominent. By
introducing screenings where people are free to text during the movie,
you will be creating unhappy customers at every single session. It
really boils down to the undeniable fact that texting in a movie theater
is rude, selfish, and adversely affects everyone within view of your
The only answer to this debate is taking a hard line. Texting and
talking can not be allowed in movie theaters. Our spaces are sacred
spaces for movie fans. Chris Davison, you are wrong. NATO, you should
add commentary to Davison's article before blasting to the entire
membership. You do this for the trend in shrinking VOD/theatrical
windows. To me, the leniency towards talking and texting is a greater
threat to our industry.
Tim League - Founder CEO Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas