Alamo Drafthouse CEO will not allow texting in theaters

Nancy Huang

Despite proposals by AMC Entertainment to allow texting in theaters, the Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse has rejected the idea.

In a statement released Thursday, Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League said he would never condone texting in movie theaters.

“You can only be immersed in a story if you are focused on it,” League said in the statement. “If while watching a film you are intermittently checking your email, … there is no  way you are fully engaged in the story on screen.”

League made the statement in response to Adam Aron, the CEO of AMC Entertainment, who said Wednesday that the company was considering allowing texting in its theater locations. Aron said he had considered this to appeal to a larger demographic, such as millennials, and to a technology-based society.

“You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone,” Aron said. “That’s not how they live.”

Aron later retracted his original statement and said AMC Entertainment would not allow texting during movies after the idea received negative public reception.

Economics junior Paulette McDurfee, chair of movie-screening campus organization Showtime, said when screening movies for students, she doesn’t really take texting into consideration.

“We don’t disallow it now; As long as it doesn’t disrupt other people, it’s totally fine,” McDurfee said. “Just for public viewing, as far as movies are concerned, it should still be a rule that you shouldn’t text during the movie because it disrupts other people.”

Linguistics freshman Taylor Matthews said he believes texting should be allowed in theaters.

“I think it’s a little rude to the people around you, but if you want to pay movie theater prices and then spend the time not even paying attention to the movie, that’s kind of on you,” Matthews said.

Asian American studies senior Rachel Dady said she is used to texting being banned in theaters. 

“I think I’ve gotten so used to people not texting, at this point having it being generally banned, I’d be a little frustrated now to see it come out,” Dady said. “The [statement] is kind of ridiculous in assuming all millennials do that. Obviously 40-year-old parents use phones now. It’s just a little confusing why it’s so focused on millennials.”

McDurfee agreed.

“[Being a millennial] shouldn’t really be an issue,” McDurfee said.