Alamo Drafthouse Chain Bans Google Glass In Movie Theaters, May Reverse Course Later

Add the Alamo Drafthouse chain of movie theaters to the list of locations where you're not allowed to wear Google Glass. According to reports, Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League made it the company's official policy to ban the wearable device once the lights go down and the previews begin to ensure that no illegal recording is taking place.

The ban comes before Glass graduates from a prototype device to a consumer product, though that's really splitting hairs. Even though the Glass design isn't completely finalized, Google has been making the wearable device more widely available to consumers lately. In addition, Google's been working with trendy eyewear companies to offer customized versions of Glass, so it's not as though this is a janky product that hardly anyone owns.

Google Glass
Image Source: Flickr (Michael Praetorius)

"We've been talking about this potential ban for over a year," League told 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."

There are some caveats to the ban. For one, the rule will be enforced on a case-by-case basis with special consideration given to those who use a prescription version of Glass as their primary eyewear. And secondly, League left the door open to rescinding or tweaking the ban as the technology matures and becomes more commonplace.

Alamo Drafthouse has locations in California, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Virginia. Unlike traditional theaters, Alamo Drafthouse theaters strictly enforce movie watching etiquette (you won't see someone texting during the middle of a move, for example). It's also unique in that each row of seats has a bar-style table that runs down the row. Before and even during movies, customers can write down food and beverage orders on slips of papers, which are taken by black-clad waiters who specialize in navigating the rows hunched down and unseen.