The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s expansion across Texas—and, indeed, around the U.S.—has helped introduce principles like “seriously, you jerks, turn off your cell phones before the film starts” and “texting during a movie is just as annoying as talking” into the collective cinema-goer consciousness. The chain accomplished this through an education campaign built on three core principles: humor, threats, and public shaming.
Fueled by celebrities and the chain’s creativity, the Drafthouse’s “Don’t Talk” PSAs, which are screened at every show, have become an integral part of the moviegoing experience from Houston to Austin, Dallas to Lubbock, and beyond. With new locations set to open in El Paso, Corpus Christi, and Laredo, the theater chain’s evangelical spread of its “be quiet while watching a movie” message continues unabated.
Most people who’ve spent time in Alamo theaters have a personal favorite PSA. But until now, there’s never been a systematic way to determine which one is actually the best. That’s something Texas Monthly aims to fix with our Alamo Drafthouse #DontTalk Bracket Challenge, in which 32 of the chain’s PSAs—sorted into four different categories (“current stars,” “staged skits,” “random warnings,” and “classic stars”)—go head-to-head in a tournament to determine once and for all if Ann Richards, Coach Taylor, or Peggy is the definitive face of the “Don’t Talk” message. Voting opens on Monday, and we’ll advance one round every day next week—culminating in a final showdown over the weekend. Drafthouse cinephiles, we’ll see you on Monday for a competition where talking and texting about the campaign is encouraged—so long as you don’t do it in a theater.