The Alamo Drafthouse has made national news in the past for its “Don’t Talk Or Text During A Movie” PSAs (as residents of the “Magnited States Of America” are surely aware). In their latest PSA, the theater chain targets their warning at current Attorney General and republican nominee for governor, Greg Abbott.
The Drafthouse video is a response to an ad-buy that the aspiring governor made with Drafthouse competitor Regal Cinemas (which you can watch here). The ad, which will be shown before film screenings at Regal Cinemas starting on Friday, portrays Abbott in a darkened movie theater, introducing himself to moviegoers by explaining that, while he was unprepared for the challenges of making a movie theater commercial, he’s aware of the challenges of running for governor in Texas—and if you want in on that action, you can text “FREEDOM” to a number on the screen to “help.”
If you’re familiar with the Drafthouse, you can probably guess where this is going.
“The only thing worse than talking in a theater is a politician talking in a theater telling you to text,” Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League said via a press release. “This isn’t about where you sit on the political debate, it’s about when you sit in a movie theater. At the Alamo Drafthouse, we believe in two things: freedom and quiet cinemas.”
In order to express those beliefs, the Drafthouse created its own PSA based on footage from Abbott’s movie theater ad to let the Attorney General know that the chain allows for no exceptions to its “don’t talk or text during a movie” rule:
The Drafthouse explains that this isn’t a political statement—Abbott’s being singled out for his actions, not his policies. “Unless Wendy Davis starts yapping in theaters, we’re not compelled to give her equal time.”
Update: Despite the fact that the Drafthouse didn’t feel compelled to give Davis equal time, the theater chain did reach out to her via Twitter to get her take on the issue.
The Drafthouse’s video editor, Greg MacLennan, went on to offer Davis her own #DontTalk PSA—which would be some free advertising that the underdog candidate probably ought to consider.
Meanwhile, Austin filmmaker Keller Davis apparently caught whiff of the Abbott video last night, and created an independent mashup of the theater’s ages-old PSA starring former Texas Governor Ann Richards, which is perhaps a bit more pointed than the Drafthouse’s own spot.