This movie theater is the shhhh!
The opening of the trendy new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown has oldsters cheering its strict “No talking, no texting” policy that promises to kick out patrons disrupting their fellow moviegoers because they are sick of putting up with loquacious viewers ruining their good time at the talkies.
“That’s the way it should be,” said senior Carolyn Langley, who lives Downtown. “You’ve paid your money that is your time. There are people who come in and don’t mind talking, they’re asking somebody what’s going on and it shouldn’t be.”
The cinema — which was founded in Texas and just opened a Brooklyn location in the massive City Point complex on Flatbush Avenue — is famous for its meal service and promise to eject anyone interrupting the show, a two-strike policy in which managers and servers hand out warnings to people carrying on, before giving them the heave-ho the next time the moviegoer is caught gabbing or lighting up the room with their phone screen.
Langley said that she often has to put up with chatty patrons at the Regal and Cobble Hill cinemas on Court Street — sometimes even having to move her seats to get away from unruly blabbermouths — and is eager to try out Alamo for a more silent movie experience. And one of the theater’s heads says that the strict rules are exciting for a lot of residents looking to finally sit through a movie in peace.
“There are so many people who are anticipating this theater because there will be a place to have an uninterrupted experience,” said Christina Cacioppo, who handles programming at the cinema.
But not everyone agrees that movies shouldn’t listen to what audience members have to say. One youngster we spoke to thinks the policy is unnecessary, saying he’s never been peeved by chatter and claimed that patrons are able to patrol themselves without having to rely on monitors to keep the silence.
“I don’t think I’ll go because I don’t want to support somewhere that would impose such a harsh punishment on something that is really not that serious,” said Davonte Henry outside of Regal Cinema.
Cacioppo said staff will keep in mind that the cinema is located in chatty New York, though, and won’t be kicking people out at the drop of an “ahh!”
“I think we’re going to be thoughtful here,” she said. “Our staff are all New Yorkers so I think they’ll kind of get the difference between someone reacting to a movie and having a constant conversation.”