The BIG Question: In-Cinema Texting

Under the headline 'She Texted. We Kicked Her Out', Texas cinema The Alamo Drafthouse posted a blog article this week about doing exactly what the headline suggests. More than that, the cinema included a YouTube video which detailed the 'what happened next', specifically the angry call the cinemagoer placed to The Alamo's offices, after being removed from her screening. But is this the correct response to a rude cinemagoer? And just how prevalent is texting when in the auditorium? And exactly how annoying is it to fellow cinemagoers anyway? We asked, you answered.

Cyberschizoid - 'People have no manners these days and cinemas SHOULD have a zero tolerance policy for people texting and talking'

hypnogoria - 'texting may be seen as quieter than speaking on the phone, but there is still clicking and beeping, but worst of all, a distracting light from the phone screen. If you really MUST answer a text during a film, take it to the lobby!'

himynameisCharl - 'there is just no real need to text in a cinema... the staff in the Texas cinema were absolutely right if she did it repeatedly'

stumpmedia - 'the occasional flash of light in an auditorium doesn't worry me. My pet hate is people who carry on their conversations when the film has started'

SuperRod88 - 'this response was quiet bizarre and radical... but on another hand, I agree with this expulsion from the theater because what in the world was she doing in there, to watch a film or send text messages?'

Jack. On a phone. Not in a cinema.

EternityOfDream - 'It doesn't annoy me because I look at the screen, being absorbed with a movie. I don't care if others text; isn't it their right?'

truedesertpunk - 'never noticed anyone with cellphones... but I am sure it would bug me if I saw it'

sophiekenny7 - 'I think it's fair they kicked her out. you go to the cinema to watch a film and if you just sit and text through it, that's totally disrespectful to the film-maker'

bdsr80 - 'When you see a big glowing screen every ten seconds, it would get annoying after a while... take it outside, you @$$!'

MovieNut14 - Texting isn't really a problem, but man is it annoying.

jamieneish1 - 'I think it was well justified, and bravo to them for having the balls to stick by a set of rules... Texting is a big problem for cinemas, and I feel that, as far as I've seen, cinemas in the UK aren't doing enough to combat this'

middnight - A couple of warnings and then a kicking out is the right way. Don't agree with putting things online about it.

The Verdict: On the whole, most people agree that texting in cinemas is fairly annoying to fellow audience members although a few respondents pointed out that a little tiny light didn't really alter their viewing experience. Most were pleased the cinema had 'outed' the caller and her complaint in this way but a couple of people made the point that perhaps publishing her call was taking it a step too far. As a twitter follower put it, 'I'd prefer forms of encouragement that don't involve public shaming'. Opinion on whether it was a big problem or not ranged from people stating that it was a huge problem to people confessing they had never seen it happen.

Film Intel use Formspring as a way of gauging your reactions to current happenings in the film world and posing questions about you and your taste in films. If you want to take part and share your opinions with us then just make sure we're friends on the site - the choicest quotes from the best responses will be posted in articles we run right here. You can also take part via our Twitter page where all questions will also be posted.


  1. Here in my mainstream cinema ANY cell phone use is banned and stamped on immediately. The screen light doesn't particular bother me but I just think it is general courtesy to all the patrons. Surely those with phones can live without them for several hours?

  2. Good to hear that a chain cinema is good at stamping it out. Your final point is the key really: if you can't cope for two hours without a phone then don't go to the cinema.

  3. Oh, you didn't include my answer :(

  4. Really?! Oops. Don't remember seeing it on formspring. I'll have a look now and try and add it to the above!