Alamo Drafthouse CEO Responds to AMC’s Texting-Friendly Theater Plans
The Founder and CEO of Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters has spoken up against AMC's controversial plans for texting-friendly theaters.
AMC CEO Adam Aron said in an interview with Variety that his theater chain will be rolling out a plan to appeal to Millennials with entire auditoriums dedicated to allowing texting during the movie,
When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow. You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.
On the flip-side of the texting debate is Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse, famous for their anti-distraction policies against talking and cell phone use, even kicking patrons out for violating the policy and using their enraged voicemail complaints in commercials.
Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League penned his opinion of AMC's new Millennial plan on the chain's official website,
My first objection stems from cinema's relationship with directors and producers, the content creators. Auteurs focus for years to complete their films. We as exhibitors rely completely on these creators for our content and have an unwritten obligation to present their films in the best possible way: on a big screen with big sound and a bright picture in a silent, dark room. You can only be immersed in a story if you are focused on it. If while watching a film you are intermittently checking your email, posting on social media, chatting with friends, etc., there is no way you are fully engaged in the story on screen. I find that to be disrespectful to the creators, those who make the very existence of cinema possible.
League also went on to take issue with Aron's generalization of Millennial behavior, saying that the obsession with checking phones isn't exclusive to that generation, calling it "a global attention span epidemic".
See League's full statement HERE!