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Alamo Drafthouse chief takes on Apple

Mobile device ‘theater mode’? Tim League is not having it

Large crowd watching screen in movie theater
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar Facebook

The Austin-born Alamo Drafthouse movie theater chain, which has long been known for its strict policy that forbids texting (and talking) during films, has taken a firm public stance against the new “theater mode” reportedly included in Apple’s upcoming iOS 10.3 software update, the Austin American-Statesman reported Saturday.

The Alamo has from its start been known for strict enforcement of a “no talking, no texting” policy, as well as for its zany, celeb-heavy promos announcing the policy between trailers—including a classic assuring offenders that former Texas Gov. Ann Richards would “take your ass out” if you didn’t comply.

Two post-its, one telling a patron not to text or use phone in theater and another that says “this is your only warning with a photo of a smiling person doing “thumbs up” sign
Alamo appreciation on Flickr
Alyssa & Colin/Flickr

After recent news reports began announcing the inclusion of the function, which keeps light and sound off when in use and includes a popcorn icon on the screen, the paper reported, Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League issued the following statement, which the theater also posted on Facebook.

“I see nothing but rumors swirling around this alleged functionality, so I can only say the following at this point: if this enhancement turns out to be a means to make it easier to text in cinemas, I may have to book a ticket to Cupertino and pack my can of whoop-ass. I have confidence, however, that a fellow Tim would not make such a mistake.”

Alamo Drafthouse also tweeted that it already has a “theater mode,” accompanied by a screenshot of an iPhone shutting down.

There has so far been no public response from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

In texting war, Alamo Drafthouse makes stance clear amid iPhone rumors [AAS]

Apple iOS 10.3 Release, It's A Big One [Forbes]