The Alamo Drafthouse has banned the use of Google Glass

Keep your eyes on the screen. No, the other screen. The movie theater chain known for its tongue-in-cheek attitude and serious anti-texting policy has added another bullet point to its totally understandable list of “don’t”s: the Alamo Drafthouse has banned the use of Google Glass in its movie theaters. Tim League, the company’s CEO, said that he had personally tried Glass but was waiting to make a decision until customers began to bring the wearable device into theaters. And this time, he said, the reason for the policy wasn’t just a matter of keeping theaters dark and quiet. Though cell phones can distract over moviegoers from what’s going on on the screen, Glass can put a little too much focus there. The main concern at hand is that Glass enables recording, which means that any user could tape and pirate a movie.

In another ominous sign for people who like to block their line of sight with Google-branded computers, Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League announced via Twitter yesterday that once the lights dim, Google Glass would be banned from its theaters. The Austin-based cinema chain, which is in the process of expanding to California and New York, has 11 locations in Texas, alongside cinemas in Virginia, Michigan, Kansas, Colorado, and Virginia. League followed up on Twitter after his initial announcement to clarify that Google Glass would be able to be worn if the device is clearly turned off, but cinema-goers will still need to get permission, which would likely only be granted if they have their prescriptions in the Glass and need them to see. He told Deadline that he’d tried Glass before and saw it as a huge risk for movie piracy. “Google Glass did some early demos here in Austin, and I tried them out personally… At that time, I recognized the potential piracy problem that they present for cinemas. I decided to put off a decision until we started seeing them in the theater, and that started happening this month.” It’s not a surprising development for the Alamo Drafthouse, which is notorious for demanding their patrons to conduct themselves in a proper manner while watching a movie and are known to throw people out for talking and texting during a movie.


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