June 7, 2011

House Lights: Hey, it must be the money!

Whoa… Nina Paley cuts to the quick:

They're totally different!


2011 Nina Paley.

PSA: You text, they boot (very NSFW)

Have you ever had to endure someone using his mobile (be it a phone, a tablet, or something similar) to text or tweet just as the house lights are being dimmed and the show is about to begin?

Annoying, right?

You might appreciate how things are done at the legendary Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain of Austin, Texas, as per their top banana Tim League:

When we adopted our strict no talking policy back in 1997 we knew we were going to alienate some of our patrons. That was the plan. If you can't change your behavior and be quiet (or unilluminated) during a movie, then we don't want you at our venue. Follow our rules, or get the hell out and don't come back until you can.

In other words, be courteous and considerate of everybody else that's in the cinema with you.

The Drafthouse's policy makes that abundantly clear: Patrons who cannot abide by the the cinema's no–texting policy get ejected, and their money is not refunded.

Unfortunately, the staff at one of their theatres had no choice but to do just that to one patron who ignored two warnings to turn her device off.

Not long after the customer was given the boot, she rang the Drafthouse's headquarters and left an obscenity–peppered message.

Uh–oh. Guess what the Drafthouse staff did with it:


©2011 Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

You just had to give them useful ammo, did you, ma'am?

For the record, here's another PSA made years ago with the late Ann Richards (then the Governor of Texas):


©Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Got the drift, kids? Good. Now turn off that damn toy and put it away.

P.S.: The Drafthouse has twelve locations altogether — 11 in Texas (5 in Austin, 2 in Houston, 4 in San Antonio) and one as far north as Virginia (Winchester). That's a lot of enforcement.

June 5, 2011

House Lights: Far from over

There is hope for Just One Story… after all. And this should be the last such status change we make for a long while.

A few weeks ago, we announced that we would be unable to make new episodes of Just One Story… in New York City’s Central Park, due to an unexpected crisis back home on Long Island. Some time has passed since that rainy day announcement, and we are happy to say that our show and our online presence are indeed far from over.

The cancellation announced in early May only affects the NYC shoots for June. It does not mean the end of the show itself, as we had earlier feared; we will hopefully be back in Central Park this September. And there is the off–chance that we will be able to produce at least one episode on Long Island this year — something we’ve been wanting to do ever since we launched our show in late 2009.

PD[M] on Vimeo

You will also be relieved to know that we will be staying put on Vimeo after all. We have enjoyed the ease of sharing our work on their servers since last July, and we didn’t want to have to let it go. Thankfully, it will not have to be that way.

While things will seem a little quiet here at Promenade Central, rest assured that a lot will still be going on behind the scenes — we just can’t reveal it all just yet. But suffice it to say that, as our website gets a little tweaking here and there, you will eventually find out.

For the moment, then, as the cliché goes — stay tuned.

June 3, 2011

House Lights: Zip on, zip off

This is too good to share. Courtesy of Becky Stern and Boing Boing:



Go forth, and give Big Media nightmares.

House Lights: You sure that was a good idea?

Nina Paley and her pals Mimi and Eunice just summed up my feelings about "locked" technologies — broadcast flags, Macrovision, anti–copy schemes on mass–made CDs, DVDs and Blu–ray discs, DRM, HD Radio {ewww}…

locked up technology
2011 Nina Paley.

Here are the gears she used (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons), and here at Techdirt is what sparked this episode.

Nice going, Sony. How soon do you go ashcan? (Only on those days when trash burning is permitted, we're sure.)