Lately, there’s been much controversy over cell phone use, texting, talking out of turn, and, in general, just being rather rude and somewhat boorish in a public movie theatre, where people pay good money to go to see a film as it’s really meant to be viewed; on a great big, wide movie theatre screen, in a real movie theatre with the lights down low, and to share the experience in a (albeit, temporary) community with other people whether one knows them or not. It’s when some people act rude by talking on their cell phones, texting and talking among themselves while in the darkened movie theatre when others want to do what they paid to come here to do—watch a movie, that things get out of hand. It doesn’t even have to be a majority of people who act boorishly, and therefore spoil it for other people, especially the people who are right near the bad actors/actresses. It’s not just teenagers (although they can be the biggest offenders, at times.), but even adults who’re college students and up, as well. One thing is certain, however: Alamo Draft House cinemas definitely have the right idea for putting a stop to all this kind of nonsense that people all too often indulge in while in movie theatres: It’s sort of a “three strikes and you’re out” type of policy, and it seems to work rather well: Management gives the offender(s) two warnings to cease and desist, and, on the third time, the offender(s) is/are evicted from the theatre, with no refund of their money, if s/he, or they persist(s). If more movie theatres had a policy like that, it just might bring more people back to movie theatres. Seriously, though (and I know from personal experience.): Texting and cell-phone use, even if one’s cell phone is turned on the Silence/Vibration mode, is still rather distracting, because of the small but bright light that cellphones emit while in use. Once, when I took in a screening of West Side Story at the main branch of the Boston Public Library’s auditorium, there was a guy who was texting the whole time! Despite the fact that he sat several rows down from me, I found it rather distracting, but made an effort to concentrate on the movie. It didn’t change the fact that I found that extremely annoying, however. The same thing holds for people taking pictures on their cellphones, as well. If a person has to make or take a call on their mobile phone, what’s so hard about them going back out into the lobby to do so? It’s as easy as pie, as far as I’m concerned! It makes me wonder why people who are so totally hooked on texting, general cell phone use, or just talking aloud even in a movie theatre, even come to the movies in the first place, when they can pull all this crazy stuff at home. Some movie theatres, even the multiplexes, have special “Sensory friendly” screening days/times, when people who have very severe sensory/developmental issues can come, see the film, and even get up and walk around, dance, shout, talk, or whatever. That’s understandable. For people without such issues, however, spoiling it for other people, in an ordinary movie theatre setting, when they’re among ordinary people, either out of spite, or just plain thoughtlessness, is totally inexcusable...and beyond comprehension. I also believe, however, that how bad the problem is depends on A) the quality of movies that are being shown (most of which are quite awful, these days.), and the substance and style of the film, which, sadly, most movies coming out nowadays, are long on style (if one can call it that with a straight face.), woefully short on substance, and lots of exploding on the screen. It’s almost as if these films are mass-produced! (B) The location of the movie theatre, as well as the type of people who frequent a given movie theatre(s), as well. The overall rudeness (i. e. texting, cellphone use, talking out of turn, etc.) that occurs in movie theatres happens to different degrees, in different places. I have found that to be far less of a problem overall in theatres that show better quality movies, and are in somewhat better locations. If and when the problem crops up under such circumstances, however, I’ve found that speaking very politely and matter-of-factly to the offender(s) has been affective in getting them to stop. Sometimes, on the other hand, if the movie theatre is in a rougher location, with a rougher-and-tougher audience, it’s best to not confront the offender(s) directly, but to go out into the lobby and speak to a manager or someone like that about the problem. (I read about one rather grisly incident, when a woman spoke out to someone who was texting during a movie, in a theatre, with rather disastrous results: Not only did she get a huge bucket of popcorn dumped on her head, but she woke up in a hospital emergency room!) Having said all of the above, I believe that the solutions to the problem could and should include: A) Movie theatre proprietors should make it a point to show better-quality films, even though most of the independent repertory theatres have long gone. B) Getting tougher on people who insist on texting, talking on their cellphones, talking aloud among themselves, and even using their cellphone as a flashlight to get to and from their seat(s), if necessary. There are plenty of aisle lights in movie theatres now, so that people can find their way in and out of the darkened movie theatre without their cellphones. C) Movie theatre proprietors should also impose stiffer Alamo Drafthouse-type penalties for persistent offenders, as well.