Alamo Drafthouse Founder Responds to Apple's Rumored 'Theater Mode'


Apple has caused something of a stir, in the wake of rumors that the company is adding a "theater mode" option to the iPhone. Details on what exactly this "theater mode" would entail remain largely under-wraps for now, but the popular theory is that it would dim the iPhone screen, mute sounds and block incoming calls and messages, in turn making the device less distracting to other moviegoers.

Some theater owners might welcome the introduction of "theater mode" as a necessary compromise, as a means of addressing the general problem of people in the theater being on their phones after the film has begun. AMC proposed the idea of allowing texting at certain screenings last year, but that idea was quickly shot down as being too much of a concession. Now one particularly well-known theater chain founder has come out against this potential "theater mode" option too.

Tim League, the founder of innovative theater chain Alamo Drafthouse, posted the message below to his Twitter account, to express his discontent with the proposed "theater mode" option. The tweet makes it clear that League is firmly against any proposal that would encourage people to use their phones at all when a movie is playing in a theater.

I have a response to the rumors of @Apple's alleged "Theater Mode."

— Tim League (@timalamo) January 5, 2017

League also spoke out strongly against AMC's abandoned plan to allow texting in theaters, while the official Alamo Drafthouse policy on cell phone use in its theaters is as follows:


We have zero tolerance for talking or cell phone use of any kind during movies, and we aren't afraid to kick anyone rude enough to start texting their friends during a show right out of the theater.

Many filmgoers no doubt appreciate League's efforts to make sure that their experience remains a pleasant one for those people who would (naturally) prefer if no phones were on or actively being used, once a film has started screening. The backlash against last year's ill-fated AMC proposal further suggests that the majority of the moviegoing public agree with League and Alamo Drafthouse, when it comes to their phone use policy.


At the end of the day though, a hard-line policy like the one employed by Alamo Drafthosue may just not be practical. It's possible that the frequency with which people use their phones during movie screenings will decrease in the foreseeable future, but if not then more compromises along the lines of this "theater mode" option might be a necessity to address the issue.

Source: Tim League

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