July 24, 2014 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Greg Abbott is running for governor of Texas. He's campaigning in Regal Cinemas as a pre-movie ad. Alamo Drafthouse, a competing chain, has a long history of making PSAs asking patrons not to talk or text during a movie (previously). They felt they had to respond. posted by Lemurrhea (55 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Considering I just railed against perfectionism in another thread this is hypocritical for me to say but goddamn, Alamo Drafthouse, I love you and I want to stand outside your door holding a sign that says, "To me, you are perfect."
posted by barchan at 12:57 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]

I wish Alamo Drafthouse existed near me. Unfortunately, that seems like it would be most likely to happen if I moved to be near them. Which would mean living in Texas.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:58 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]

Wait, am I supposed to tweet during the movie, or not? Mixed messages, Alamo.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:00 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]

There are Alamos all over the country these days, jacquilynne. I have a FB friend who goes to the one in KC, and I know there's one in DC and another in NYC.

On the actual topic, I follow the Alamo's Austin twitter feed and it has been very busy today on this topic. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of support for their no-talking, no-tweeting position.
posted by immlass at 1:01 PM on July 24

(the one in nyc is a myth - they didn't open it after all)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:08 PM on July 24

Oh man, that look of disgust on his daughter's face. "Shut UP, dad!"
posted by orme at 1:10 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

I dunno, I have a lot of friends in Texas (DFW and Austin) and it seems like a great place. Very civilized in terms of food culture, art and music, and the Alamo Drafthouse. And jobs...
posted by KokuRyu at 1:11 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]

Back when there was just one Alamo, I went to a showing of "Shaft." At the door, they handed out either a bottle of Thunderbird or a Colt 45 in a brown paper bag. Pretty much my best moviegoing experience ever.

(And man, Thunderbird is NASTY.)
posted by mudpuppie at 1:11 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]

Cute, but if it's intended to be a political swipe at Abbott's campaign (I honestly can't tell), I think it really missed the mark. Reproducing 75% of someone's pretty anodyne ad to joke about the critical issue of texting at the movies is not a burn so much as an assist.
posted by threeants at 1:11 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]

Just a reminder that Greg Abbot is running against the amazing Wendy Davis (previously).

He describes his job thusly: "I go into the office, I sue Barack Obama and I go home." He's sued the Obama administration over two dozen times. He was one of several state AGs who sued over Obamacare, mandated contraception coverage, Environmental Protection Agency pollution standards and the Voting Rights Act. (He's sued the EPA 17 times.) He also argued the 2005 Supreme Court case defending the state's right to display the Ten Commandments in the state capitol building.
posted by emjaybee at 1:12 PM on July 24 [25 favorites]

oh my god is he seriously running on the platform of "running for election is hard"?

also: I love the drafthouse they just installed in Kalamazoo, but I always feel like I'm ripped off by the food prices.
posted by rebent at 1:12 PM on July 24

I know there's one in DC
Oh wow, great!

Ashburn is not DC.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:13 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]

Alamo for governor?
posted by Apocryphon at 1:16 PM on July 24

Alamos are finally on the build around NYC and I couldn't be happier.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:16 PM on July 24

Alamo Drafthouse locations:
  • Ashburn, VA
  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • El Paso, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Laredo, TX
  • Lubbock, TX
  • New Braunfels, TX
  • Omaha, NE
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Winchester, VA
  • Yonkers, NY
Also listed on the Alamo Drafthouse Wikipedia page, which notes that the Downtown Los Angeles is in the planning/under construction phase, and has the number of screens per location listed, too.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:22 PM on July 24

if it's intended to be a political swipe at Abbott's campaign (I honestly can't tell)

League also used the late and much missed Ann Richards in one of his no-talking shorts. I wouldn't be surprised if League is a Wendy Davis supporter, but this is just him grabbing whatever was topical rather than a statement about his politics.
posted by immlass at 1:26 PM on July 24

"To me, you are perfect."

I adore the Drafthouse, absolutely. It's an evolved movie going experience and just a force for quality and good in the world. BUT.

Let's be real: servers walking in front of you, again and again, having to figure out your bill (on your knee) during the final reel, the guy next to you eating nachos, the increased pee-activity due to beer drinking: it all adds up to a movie going experience that is undeniably fun but is at odds with the hardline "we respect the movies" stance they play up.

The Alamo, again, is a delight, but a matinee at a modern secular theater will get you a less interrupted film-going experience.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:28 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]

dirtdirt, yeah, I agree with you. That's why I prefer Drafthouse for movies I've already seen or for movies I might not care too much for. I grew up in a town without a movie theater, so it's really cool to go see movies I never got to see on the big screen and drink beer and eat cake - I feel like I go for the experience, not necessarily "just to see a movie." And for that particular experience, they're perfect.

posted by barchan at 1:36 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

They claim there's a Drafthouse in SF, but it's not open yet and I suspect won't be for a while.
posted by suelac at 1:38 PM on July 24

how is this very page the #1 hit for #donttalk.


Yes, and they're awesome.
posted by boo_radley at 1:38 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

They claim there's a Drafthouse in SF, but it's not open yet and I suspect won't be for a while.

They're opening it in that old Mission movie theater at like 18th St-ish? It's gonna be a while.

In the meantime I suggest coming over to Oakland and getting drunk on the couches at The New Parkway.
posted by bradbane at 1:40 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

Is it even legal for them to (effectively) be giving free ad space to a candidate?
posted by schmod at 1:42 PM on July 24

Meanwhile, the East Bay has The New Parkway, which is awesome.
posted by suelac at 1:43 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

Seconding New Parkway
posted by humans are superior! at 1:43 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]

Eh, it was kind of a cute response. But seriously /Seinfeld voice/ what is up with these ads before movies? My ticket price has gone up significantly, not down, and I'm only seeing more ads.

Does anyone else here boo during ads?
posted by resurrexit at 1:48 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]

Kalamawhatnow? I am intrigued.
posted by Etrigan at 1:48 PM on July 24

But seriously /Seinfeld voice/ what is up with these ads before movies? My ticket price has gone up significantly, not down, and I'm only seeing more ads.

I'm also annoyed by ads before movies but I think this is a case where you're not observing the counterfactual, i.e., you're not observing the price of movies in a world where the number of ads was held constant, basically.
posted by dismas at 1:53 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

I also forgot to say that one good thing about the Drafthouse is the lack of the annoying element. And by that I mean teenagers and children.
posted by barchan at 1:55 PM on July 24

Boy is that original ad junk. "I don't know how to make movies, but I do know that it's hard work to run for governor'. For fuck's sake, not one word about knowing what it takes to be governor, or run the state (as much as Texas's governor actually runs the state).

I guess it's for people who just need to be told who the Republican candidate is, so they know to vote for him/her. (Admittedly, if you switch parties that describes me.)
posted by benito.strauss at 1:58 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


boo_radley: Yes, and they're awesome.

I'd say meetup, but that kind of doesn't match with the no talking thing.
posted by deludingmyself at 1:59 PM on July 24

Until they recently relocated I had an Alamo Drafthouse right out my backdoor. True, their stuff is a bit pricey but there is also the convenience factor. Rather than dinner and a movie you have a dinner/movie with ADULT BEVERAGES! And then there's always the fun of groping around in the dark trying to figure out what the hell you're eating...
posted by jim in austin at 2:02 PM on July 24

Per the Drafthouse's Facebook:

A response from the Abbott camp has come! ‪#‎DontTalk‬
“United by freedom and a shared passion for sing-alongs, Greg Abbott looks forward to working with the Alamo Drafthouse to make Texas #1 in the nation for fewest movie talkers,” spokesman Avdiel “Abe” Huerta said in a statement.

posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:06 PM on July 24

(orthogonal to main convo, but I've been eating and watching movies at the Alamo for around 15 years now. Yes, the food is a bit expensive, but that's no different than any other national theater chain. The markup ratio is still lower.)
posted by hanoixan at 2:07 PM on July 24

deludingmyself: "I'd say meetup, but that kind of doesn't match with the no talking thing."

posted by boo_radley at 2:09 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

jacquilynne: "I wish Alamo Drafthouse existed near me. Unfortunately, that seems like it would be most likely to happen if I moved to be near them. Which would mean living in Texas."

Not necessarily. One is supposed to be opening in San Francisco next year.
posted by brundlefly at 2:22 PM on July 24

So there are more adverts at the movies. I've got a smartphone. I'll look up from MeFi when the main feature starts.
posted by Devonian at 2:22 PM on July 24

So is the Alamo anything like Cinetopia? Those are some seriously comfortable seats, plus booze and a killer projection/sound setup.

I very rarely go anywhere else, the tickets are definitely a premium but I think it's a fair trade.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:22 PM on July 24

Oh my god there is one three hours away from me

posted by dogheart at 2:24 PM on July 24

Alamo Drafthouse is not quite in Laredo yet, but they are set to start building soon, and I can't wait. It will be the first cool thing in this city, and I hope it prompts some other business to look down here.

*Waves at everyone from the southern border*
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:27 PM on July 24

I was at that showing, mudpuppie. It was hilarious to walk into the theater and see rows upon rows upon rows of 40's in brown paper bags.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:31 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

Okay, to whom would one address a petition to get an Alamo Drafthouse in Chicago?

posted by tzikeh at 2:37 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

MrMoonPie: It's not the Alamo chain, but you might want to Google for Arlington Drafthouse...
posted by seyirci at 2:42 PM on July 24

People talking in movies is pretty annoying, but almost as bad is the sound of 50 other people eating and slurping drinks. Can't people sit and be immersed in a film for 85 to 170 minutes without moving their jaws or ingesting anything? I mean, if this place wants to be both a 'roadhouse' and a movie theatre maybe they shouldn't be quite so uptight about the talking thing, because they're already compromising the film-watching experience as it is. They should just position themselves as 'The movie theatre where anything goes.' /neverbeentoAlamoRoadhouse /orTexas
posted by Flashman at 3:09 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

resurrexit: "But seriously /Seinfeld voice/ what is up with these ads before movies?"

This was more of a PSA. To it's considerable credit, Alamo does not run ads* before movies, unless they're embarrassing ads from 20 years ago that the star of the movie happened to appear in.

My view of what Alamo is doing is creating a more fun movie-going experience. Listening to random people talking through a film? Not fun. Having a beer and a burger with your movie? Fun. Bizarre short features tangentially related to the main feature? Very fun. Lobby decorated to evoke Little Shop of Horrors? Fun. You might disagree with their definition of fun, but they do have a point of view and they do put it into practice.

* They do run trailers. But not those horrible 20-minute long ads for Coke. I'm looking at you, Regal Cinema.
posted by adamrice at 4:00 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]

The Drafthouse also has a film/pop culture blog called Badass Digest that I enjoy quite a bit.
posted by brundlefly at 4:21 PM on July 24

Ok that does sound fun.
posted by Flashman at 4:41 PM on July 24

The Alamo, again, is a delight, but a matinee at a modern secular theater will get you a less interrupted film-going experience.

I am deeply sorry to say this because I deeply wish for harmony and love among all, BUT THIS COMMENT CANNOT STAND.

I see films at Alamo regularly and almost exclusively(*) because the film going experience practically everywhere else is incredishit. People talk constantly, they whip out their phones and facetwit; they basically act like wild animals. People have no conception that the cinema is not your damn living room and that acceptable behavior is more restricted. People become confused or angry if you ask them to stop talking during the film. The food, and let's be honest and admit that a snack is just part of the moviegoing experience, is horrible and absurdly overpriced. They show horrible commercials before the movie I've already paid to see. Every once in a great while I'll see a film at one of those CineMegaOmniPlex 50 screen theaters that looks like a clown walked into the lobby and exploded and I HATE IT.

The Alamo is none of that. Primarily, they absolutely will eject people who talk or otherwise disturb other people. No joke. The preroll is an entertaining montage of vintage weirdness, not commercials. You can get a decent beer and decent food. The wait staff is not disturbing in the least.

(*) Exceptions for classic films at the local century old downtown palace and the local drive-in.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 4:51 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]

The Drafthouse also has a film/pop culture blog called Badass Digest that I enjoy quite a bit.

Thank you for this!
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:05 PM on July 24

Your moviegoing experience depends on when and where you see movies. I go with my mother once every month, month and a half to see whatever looks best for her at the Regal Arbor (the north side arthouse movieplex in Austin) because she wasn't crazy about the Drafthouse at Lakeline when I took her. Other than the ads, which I loathe and my mother ignores, the noise/interference level during the film is about the same, if only because we see movies for middle-aged/old ladies in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday and there are about five other people in the theater. (Also similar: my experiences at the Violet Crown downtown.)

You couldn't drag me to see Marvel's latest movie at a big chain theater on opening weekend if you paid me, though. Make mine Drafthouse, thanks.
posted by immlass at 5:08 PM on July 24

More ads at the movies makes it easier for me to make last-second decisions to see something. I know that if I'm 10 minutes late, I'll still be early.
posted by fivebells at 6:38 PM on July 24

I've personally not felt that the food/drink/servers at Alamo, both in Austin and Kansas City (where I now live) has ever been distracting even remotely in the way that people talking can be. That eating/drinking/server activity is at most a brief distraction and is offset by, you know, good food and drink at the movie.

Also, Alamo shows far fewer ads than do the big chains and, personally, I find all those pre-movie ads to be incredibly obnoxious. Before the most recent Star Trek movie, Alamo played all sorts of old ST and ST-related clips, which was really fun.

That said, as far as I'm concerned the best, most compelling argument for Alamo Drafthouse as the Best Thing Ever are the "events", which they certainly do here in Kansas City and I assume most or all the other non-Austin locations, as well.

Alamo's movie-theater experience paradigm and those like it are going to be, sooner or later, the only viable movie theaters. That is to say, going just to see a movie, even as part of a communal experience, isn't going to be reason enough for enough people to pay to do so given the expense as compared to the ever-increasing quality of the home experience (and its own unique benefits). But for the movie to be one part of a well-integrated larger experience? That will work. So, as someone wrote earlier, Alamo intends to make their experience truly enjoyable in numerous respects at once, in ways that work together and can't be found otherwise.

It's not just that they don't let people talk and it's not just that where they serve alcohol the crowd doesn't include children and teens and it's not just that they do include food and alcohol service. Other places do these things and yet aren't as successful and enjoyable as Alamo. Alamo works because they have a strongly-enforced overarching philosophy of what they're doing; it's not one gimmick but a whole integrated approach to the experience of going to a movie theater.

I guess I sound like a fanboy or something, but I moved to Austin the year before Alamo first opened and, for me, it's as quintessential as Amy's or Sixth Street and I'm pretty sentimental about it. It made me very happy when they opened here and I've enjoyed my experiences with the KC location. I was a little anxious that it would be very different and I'd be disappointed. But it's not. (Well, it is somewhat different, but mostly it's the same.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:58 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

Who else is here???? These trailers are insane. This might be the best midnight movie night ever.

Karate life

With my karate wife
posted by boo_radley at 8:28 PM on July 24

Yeah, the San Francisco Drafthouse is due to open fall 2015. In the meantime, the Kabuki serves alcohol.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:57 PM on July 24

I realize I'm a couple days late to the thread but for anyone revisiting I'd like to point out that Orlando Fl. has had the Aloma Cinema/Grill for pretty much forever. You see it's called that because it's on Aloma Ave, they may have even preceded the Alamo...
posted by mcrandello at 3:03 PM on July 26

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