We all know the many ways we can get irritated at the movies. People talking, cell phones going off, cell phone lights on-and yes, screaming babies and disruptive kids that just shouldn’t be there. Well, Alamo Drafthouse Theaters have policies that make sure you aren’t pulled out “of the magic of the movies.” The problem:
They are only in Texas and Virginia! Here are the company policies in a nutshell:
1. No ads are played before the film.
2. If you persist on texting or talking, they will throw you out.
3. No children under 6. CEO Tim League says, “If the movie is a non-crossover kids movie, we sometimes flex this age down to 3 and up, and we also have select “Baby Day” screenings each week for infants and small children. If you want to take your 4-year-old to see “The Hangover 2″ at 10 p.m., however, you’ll have to go somewhere else.” Yes!
4. They do not allow unaccompanied minors. “We don’t allow it ever. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and if they act up, they will be thrown out.”
The results of these policies? Non-disruptive movie experiences that have created a loyal following. I know of another theater company that has a way to keep the disruptive kid factor down-Sundance Cinemas, owned by Robert Redford. It offers a section for those 21 years old and over. You can bring food from the theater’s restaurant (not the snack bar–real food) and bring in alcoholic beverages from the bar. So no minors, and the likelihood of seeing babies in this section is kept to a minimum; I have yet to see a baby in this section yet.
Sundance is only in two locations, San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin. Both theater companies need to be in more locations!
I am writing Mr. League to encourage him to grow to other cities. Do you want a movie theater in your area with his policies? Do the same!
Do you know of other theater companies that have kid policies or do other things to keep disruption down?