Movie theater chain bans Google Glass use

The Alamo Drafthouse, famous for its anti-texting rules, decides Google Glass must be removed before trailers start.

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Fighting for common courtesy? Alamo Drafthouse/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's not that Google Glass is rapidly becoming unwelcome just about anywhere.

It's just that more and more businesses are weighing the pros and cons and finding themselves pro con.

The latest is the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater chain. The name has been associated with technology before. This is the same chain -- now comprising some 15 theaters and more under construction -- that produced perhaps the greatest anti-texting-in-movies PSA ever created. (Video below.)

Now, CEO Tim League has come out against Google Glass.

He offered this tweet on Monday: "Google Glass is officially banned from @drafthouse auditoriums once lights dim for trailers. http://ow.ly/i/5QwMQ #MovieManners."

Manners, thus far, have made the Glasshole. Those who insist they should be wearing them at all times have tended to swoon self-righteously when asked to remove them in, for example, restaurants.

League, though, isn't in league with the Luddites.

He explained to Deadline: "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."

This isn't the first time piracy has been mentioned in connection with Glass, though the gadget would seem, with its poor battery life, to be a very imperfect film-copying device.

Earlier this year, a man in an Ohio theater was removed and interrogated after being seen wearing his Glass during the main feature.

League says the big issue for him is whether the Glass is turned on or off, something that isn't immediately obvious to the casual observer.

"I realize that technology may change and this type of device may eventually become widely adopted and even replace traditional glasses," he told Deadline.

The real beauty of his ban may come when someone tries to defy it. A new Alamo Drafthouse is due to open in San Francisco in the third quarter of this year.

Who would be surprised if some freedom-fighting Glass-wearer might stage a protest?

Who would be surprised if the Alamo Drafthouse recorded that protest and used it for another brilliant PSA?

 

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