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First 802.11 Wireless Movie Theater? 301 writes: "Imagine being able to IRC someone to pass the popcorn! The Austin Wireless Group has helped establish what may well be the country's first Wireless Enabled Theatre. The Alamo Draft House movie theater in Austin, Texas now has 802.11b wireless broadband Internet access that covers all screens in their complex. This "retrofit" theater had every other row replaced with tables and offers dinner and drinks with the show. So, you can park your laptop, order a burger/beer, then email in a movie review all w/o disturbing your fellow patrons. Cool! :)"
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First 802.11 Wireless Movie Theater?

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  • so, will there be a warning before the show about turning off all cellphones, pagers, and laptops/pdas?
  • what is the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by progbuc ( 461388 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:44PM (#3190576)
    Movies are for being engrossed in a different world. If people have so little free time that they must read their email during a movie, what is the point of going to the movie at all?
    • Movies are for being engrossed in a different world. If people have so little free time that they must read their email during a movie, what is the point of going to the movie at all?

      Maybe it's a dull flick. You'll know for sure if you hear someone in the audience say, 'First post! wh00t!'

    • Movies are for being engrossed in a different world.

      You've obviously never been to Rocky Horror Picture Show

      • I'm sure with the water Pistols, the toast flying, the confetti everywhere, and me dancing the time warp, I'll keep my iBook safer at home.

        • I've brought my Thinkpad quite often - a friend brought his Toshichan as well - where else to dump your digital pics and laugh at them at Dennys after the show?

          Then there are the deep geek lines that I yell every so often:

          "How do you test if an IP address is reachable?"
          "...and your mind goes Ping!"

          Or, when Riff is turning around with the trident laser:

          "Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch, centimeter by centimeter, millimeter by millimeter, picometer by picometer, angstrom by angstrom... what the fuck is an angstrom? (point at an audiance member) It's a unit of measurement so small that this man measures his penis with it! Single digit, baby!"

          And then there was the one night that I did that when some association of planetarium directors was in town... I got a unison chorus of "one hundred-millionth of a centimeter!" right after "What the fuck is an angstrom?" Good Times.

          BTW - for Rocky geeks out there, will be getting a massive update in about a month, at which point there will be a /. like Rocky site.


    • The draft house has a large variety of events going on. For example, they sometimes have a 24-Hour Movie-a-thon kind of thing. So I think the wireless internet stuff is for those "other" times. Its not meant for when a weekend blockbuster is released.
  • by cjpez ( 148000 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:44PM (#3190583) Homepage Journal
    . . . you could set up your laptop to encode the movie you're watching in DivX in realtime and STREAM it to people sitting in the next theatre over who were unfortunate enough to have bought tickets to see Queen of the Damned.


  • um... (Score:2, Interesting)

    I love internet...I love Alamo Drafthouse...I don't know if I love the two put together. As an avid moviegoer and lover of the Alamo Drafthouse, I really am conflicted as to whether this is a good thing or not. The last thing I need is Mr. "Noisy Typist" and Ms. "I Refuse to Mute My Laptop" sitting next to me.
    • Re:um... (Score:5, Funny)

      by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:48PM (#3190628)
      The last thing I need is Mr. "Noisy Typist" and Ms. "I Refuse to Mute My Laptop" sitting next to me.

      They're usually pretty cooperative when they find out that Mr. "Gonna Break Your Laptop" is sitting next to them.
    • Or mr bright laptop glowing screen.

      What needs to happen now is that they should set up an intranet with direct links into for the movies playing, IRC within each theater and a general IRC, and a message system to order food. (without waiting for someone to come by and grab your card)

  • from the site... (Score:2, Informative)

    by I Want GNU! ( 556631 )
    to quotith the site...

    Some may ask, why would I want internet access while in a movie theater?

    Well you could:

    -See Theater Schedules & Order Movie Tickets to coming shows.
    -Messaging to Fellow Movie goers adjacent in the crowd without talking.
    -Messaging to Fellow Movie goers in adjacent screens in multi-screen venues without talking.
    -Surfing to related or official websites for the current movie showing.
    -Surfing to the InternetMovieDataBase for related data to movie, actors and screen writers.
    -Connecting to promotions related to movie sponsor.
    -Driving the movie content in real-time via audience response in Digital Theaters.
    -Ordering Food and drinks from the kitchen and bar without talking.
    -Ordering the movie soundtrack online or video releases in advance.
    -Watching an alternate streaming movie if the one on the big screen doesn't make it for you.
    • Re:from the site... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ackthpt ( 218170 )
      -Watching an alternate streaming movie if the one on the big screen doesn't make it for you.

      Ok, just remember to pour melted candlewax around your headphones to block out the sound of the film you are watching...

      Might as well just leave.

      Exercising a lot of those other ideas, unless you're addressing them before the movie starts, would indicate you really wasted your money, because the movie you're 'watching' isn't more engrossing than just puttering around on the web. Why not just park behind the theater and listen in?

    • -See Theater Schedules & Order Movie Tickets to coming shows.
      -Ordering Food and drinks from the kitchen and bar without talking.
      -Ordering the movie soundtrack online or video releases in advance.

      Quite often in movies, I'll think 'Wow, the soundtrack sounds cool. I'll have to remember to buy it', but of course I never (or very rarely) do with special exceptions for Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. But if I could order it online right when I'm thinking about it thus causing me to spend money on the spot, it would make more money for the RIAA. Likewise with popcorn, drinks etc at the theater, I don't often want to get out of my chair and miss part of the movie so if I could order it right there and have it delivered, I'd probably be more inclined to buy those things.

      In all I think it's a good idea and a smart move for them, as long as they force people to mute their laptops.
    • -See Theater Schedules & Order Movie Tickets to coming shows. be impatient
      -Messaging to Fellow Movie goers adjacent in the crowd without talking. be a loser
      -Messaging to Fellow Movie goers in adjacent screens in multi-screen venues without talking. be a loser
      -Surfing to related or official websites for the current movie showing. be impatient
      -Surfing to the InternetMovieDataBase for related data to movie, actors and screen writers. be a loser
      -Connecting to promotions related to movie sponsor. be a sponsor's wet dream
      -Driving the movie content in real-time via audience response in Digital Theaters. be a loser
      -Ordering Food and drinks from the kitchen and bar without talking. be a lazy slob
      -Ordering the movie soundtrack online or video releases in advance. be impatient
      -Watching an alternate streaming movie if the one on the big screen doesn't make it for you. leave, you dumbass
      • Sometimes, just sometimes, one gets trapped attending a movie for reasons not directly related to ones desire to see it. The ability to be there while "not being there" might be handy on those occasions. Of course, it would probably get the thumbs down from the PowersThatForceOneToGo....

        If you have no idea why you'd go see something that makes you yawn, visit and check our the word "relationship".... ;)
  • So, you can park your laptop, order a burger/beer, then email in a movie review all w/o disturbing your fellow patrons.

    No, I wouldn't find the clicking of the keys or the backlight of the LCD from the guy sitting next to me annoying at all. :-)
    • This place might be fine for a 2nd run or budget theatre, but if I'm in there attempting to get my $8 worth... the super-bright LCDs in my face would get old.
      • Actually Alamo Draft House is the ONLY place I'll send the money to see a movie. They have such a wide variety of events and movie types that they show, its well worth the $8. Not only that, it is rather nice to sit back and enjoy a Guiness while watching a movie.

        I would imagine the wireless internet is for other events, not for blockbuster weekends.
  • So now after hearing the slurping as someone tries to finish off their tiny remnents of coke now we will hear the incessant clikcing of someone as they type out their irc message asking the guy next to aisle to go get somemore coke.

    Lets hope they don't have XP's voice recognition turned on
  • Yeah! (Score:2, Funny)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 )
    Now I can take my laptop and x10 pr0n-cam to the theater, record the film and then zap it onto the internet! I'm sure the MPAA is behind this advance 100%

    Now if only that guy and two robots who always sit infront of me, yakking through the movie, would just find another theater...

  • by Telastyn ( 206146 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:46PM (#3190600)
    No... Laptop displays create *no* distractions in a dimly lit theatre...
    • And of course my laptop keyboard is ohh so quiet!
    • Laptop?

      I'm bringing my old DecWriter printer console.
      CHING...ZIIIIIIP. (carriage return)
    • No... Laptop displays create *no* distractions in a dimly lit theatre...

      Indeed. Ever been to a Star Trek movie premiere? When I saw Generations on opening night, the front row looked like an Olympic judging panel. Which, in many ways, it probably was.
    • these dinner fancy type theatres are actually quite well lit. it is retarded... $20 for a ticket, $15 for dinner, $5 drinks...

      $200 so you can take a date to a movie and feel like you are in your living room. retarded.
      • Huh? Have you ever been to the Alamo Draft House? I haven't been to the one downtown, but I go to the one in North Austin all the time. Its not really fancy at all. Nor is it $20 a ticket. Nor is well lit. Its very dark, the food prices are reasonable, and it isn't what I would call fancy. I've never spent $200 there for a date, ever.
  • by Orbix ( 238630 )
    Ok, I'm all for gadgets, fun electronics, and stuff like that, but really, what's the point? Having tables every other row so you can eat is kinda cool, and I can see why that'd be nice, but why the 802.11b access points? Isn't the point of going to the movies generally to watch the movie, not browse the web?
  • Of course, this will help Harry Knowles [] get that first scoop review on his website as he is a known frequenter to the Drafthouse [], though I wonder what Kevin Smith really feels about having Harry have wireless access at the movie theatre now.
  • The occaisional cell phone/pager going off is bad enough. I can't imagine being in a theater surrounded by constant key clicks and people who forgot to turn the sound on their laptops off.
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:47PM (#3190615) Homepage Journal
    They should make things for movietheaters that block all kinda wireless shit when in theater.
    i don't want anyone using gsm while watching a movie, and certainly don't want anyone to chat with their friends on bigger screens than that. do people in usa really want this kinda sh*t in theaters? like, don't you go to movie theaters to see the _movie_??
  • Uhm.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WndrBr3d ( 219963 )
    "Sir, Sir ! Put that webcam away!"
  • I don't understand how glowing laptop screens aren't going to be a distraction to other patrons.

    And you wouldn't you be too busy, you know, watching the movie to use an 802.11b device in the theatre?
  • I think this is very NOT cool. It would really piss me off if I went to see a movie and had to deal with some asshole's laptop screen glare and hard drive clunking and keyboard noise. I would actually like to see a movie theather that JAMS radio signals including 802.11, bluetooth, CELL PHONES, PAGERS, etc. Nothing disturbs a movie more than noise and distractions.
    • Re:Very NOT Cool (Score:2, Informative)

      by delphin42 ( 556929 )
      I don't think you read very well. The Alamo Drafthouse is a dinner / theater where there are waiters serving food during the movie. Some people like these places, others don't. I don't like to go there for every movie I see, but sometimes it's great when you don't have enough time for dinner followed by a movie or vice-versa. It kills two birds with one stone. The buckhead backlot in Atlanta has much the same setup. Another bonus is that since it is a restaurant, alcohol can be served, whereas in other theaters in the US that's a no no.

      Adding a couple laptops to the environment wouldn't really change it significantly. There isn't that much difference between typical keyboard noise and crunching chips or popcorn if you ask me. As long as the movie volume is at a sufficient level it shouldn't matter. Of course those who are easily distracted wouldn't like it, but that's why there are a variety of theaters to choose from. I agree that cell phones should be blocked in movies though.

      • There isn't that much difference between typical keyboard noise and crunching chips or popcorn if you ask me

        No, it's the guy yelling into his throatmike to his teammates or who screams and curses when he gets railgunned in the middle of a soft sentimental moment in the movie that might be disturbing.

        Mostly it would bug me cause I wouldn't have been the one having the joy of fragging him.....
  • Wonder if they would keep track of how many laptops were smashed up in the middle of a movie because some guy who got bored started playing quake :)
  • So, you can park your laptop, order a burger/beer, then email in a movie review all w/o disturbing your fellow patrons. Cool! :)

    Great, they turned the movie theater into the equivelant of my home theater set up, only instead of waiting for rentals, I can see first run movies. Will I be able to pause the picture when I get a phone call or have to go to the restroom?
  • Yet another reason to invest in a home theater.
  • We had one. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Hallow ( 2706 )
    We had a place like that here in Richmond called Cinema and Draft House, where you could only get crappy beer and really bad food (most of it deep fried). The screens were tiny. They went out of business awhile ago though.

    Places like this only show old movies. It's not a place you go to be seriously entertained or engrossed in the film (heck, even vhs at home would probably be better quality), it's a place you go with friends who are too poor to afford good beer and current movies ;)
    • Well, I stand corrected. I looked at the website and this place has new movies, dolby digital, dts.. And they even have decent beer and decent food. Crap. I wish we had a place like that here, that would've kicked butt.
    • The drafthouse has first-run movies as well as indie flicks.
      There are actually two drafthouses. The one in northwest Austin is pretty much exclusively first-runs.
  • by SamIIs ( 65268 ) <[ude.hcetag.htam] [ta] [mAImaS]> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:49PM (#3190639)
    So, you can park your laptop, order a burger/beer, then email in a movie review all w/o disturbing your fellow patrons.

    I hate to burst this capitalistic bubble, but I'm pretty sure I would be disturbed by my fellow patrons typing and ordering.

    We've all sat in computer labs before, and I bet we go somewhere else to watch movies. Now, if they used this networking to offer HEADPHONES for the movie, I'd be psyched. Not only would it block the munching and tapping, but it would allow much stronger stereo and volume.
    • >I'm pretty sure I would be disturbed by my
      >fellow patrons typing and ordering.

      I can't argue with typing, but the ordering thing they've got pretty well handled.

      Ordering is handled by writing your order on a sheet of paper, then putting it in a memo-holder kinda thing on the narrow table in front of each row of seats. Each seat has a number associated with it, so the wait staff picks up the order, verifies they can read it, and scribbles the seat number on the piece of paper. Very simple, and 80% of the time no conversation necessary.

      There's enough elevation difference between the rows of seats that the wait staff can take orders without interfering with the other patrons. You can also put a full pitcher of beer on the tables without blocking the view of those behind you.

      It's a cool system. I like the new theater on the north side of Austin they opened up just fine, but something about the downtown location will always be near and dear.

      So far my favorite Alamo experiences have been the Bruce Campbell Marathon (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, with Bruce in attendance), The Big Lebowski (free white russian with admission!), and any Spaghetti Western night (all you can eat spaghetti with a great Sergio Leone-era western).

      I agree that it'd be cool to offer headphones, but it's hard to do surround with headphones.

    • For years in Cambridge near MIT there was a small alternative cinema called Off-the-Wall. You'd order your stuff before the movie and sit at little cafe tables. It wasn't a distraction at all. Of course once the movie is running, people weren't hopping up to get food; by analogy these folks should probably cut off wireless LAN access during the actual movie.

      It's pretty clear this outfit is trying to merge two different kinds of institutions: the cafe/cinema and the Internet cafe. Frankly, I don't think this is a winner because you go to one to take part in a communal experience and the other to swill coffee with your nose in a your laptop.

    • I think I'd be disturbed as well. I'm all for the availability of technology and the potential for it's use to do good. However it's my optinion that people either through ignorance or intention would misuse this "gift".

      Sure it might be nice to be able to tinker on a laptop while watching a movie, order drinks, dinner, and whatnot.

      But what about the problems? People have mentioned the key chattering. I think this would be a killer itself. But what about "bright" monitors, and all those people who can't figure out how to turn off the sound on their laptops. People are up in arms over cell phones in movie theaters. I have no doubt that people would have issues with constant: eep, ding, you've got mail, the Windows startup/shutdown jingle, and many, many others.

      So that's my take. I'm for it, if it can be used correctly. If someone is able to figure out a way not to ruin the movie via unwanted typing, light or noise. Make sure that copyrights aren't violated via video or audio capture devices (commonly found on many laptops these days). And can in general provide me with a more enjoyable experience, then I'd be for such a system. Maybe the theaters can take advantage of such a network so that they can offer better services. I think these services should probably be offered via theater controlled devices and not given to the theater public at large though.

    • Personally, having watched/eaten at the Drafthouse many times, you rarely go just to watch the movie. It's just not that kind of place. The Drafthouse is famous for Something Weird Wednesdays where admittance is free, they show a really awful B-movie flick, everyone (mostly college students) gets fantastically drunk, and all is good. Also, being a combination restaurant/theater, there are waiters running down the aisles throughout the movie. It's a pain in the ass to park in downtown Austin, not to mention the seats blow, the screen sucks, sound is marginally better, etc. The food is good, the beer is cold, but there are much better movie theaters in Austin if all you want to do is watch a movie. You go to the Drafthouse if you want to watch an older movie while eating/getting plastered.

      That said, the Drafthouse also rents out to corporations for board meetings, etc, anything someone would need a medium-sized place to go during the day. I suspect that's the main reason for the 802.11. It wouldn't surprise me if they turn off the 802.11 at night, when they do public movie showings. There are a lot of places in Austin with 802.11 (coffee houses, the entire University of Texas, etc) so this isn't that revolutionary.

      Anyway, just my $0.02.
  • don't we go to the movies as a way of relaxation, a form of entertainment that is computerless? if i was sitting behind someone who was reading /. with that big white background, i would go nuts! think, how annoying is it when someone cracks the door open during the show? all that extra light, plus windows system sounds (bsod might be funny though)! no thanks. i want to go to the movie theater for the movie (and check out the ladies), not so i can surf the web.
  • Guiness beer, pizza, great movies and now wireless connection. All it lacks is a way for me to get the waitress' phone number via my PDA.

    Alamo Drafthouse rules supreme. All bow before their infinite coolness of utility.
  • by joshjs ( 533522 ) <.joshjs. .at.> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:50PM (#3190649) Homepage
    ...that the clacking of keys, although sometimes pleasant, has no place in my movie-going experience. And if I hear the AOL "You've Got Mail" sound when I'm trying to watch Star Trek 20, heads are gonna roll. :)
  • I wonder if other theatres, that don't have table seating, will pick this up. I think it would be annoying to try and watch a movie with all the LCD screens glowing. Also, I wonder what the MPAA has to say about this since that with more gadgets allowed in the theatres, it will be easier to get copies on the internet.
  • 802.11 there is OK, but it's hardly as useful as in a cafe or library.

    I would greatly prefer that they install the cell-phone blockers to prevent the now nearly reliable mid-screening rings. Three different cellphones went off during one sparsely-attended movie I watched this weekend.

    I also wouldn't appreciate the rest of the theater turning on backlit LCD displays, tapping away at interfaces, etc. during a movie.

  • I hope other theaters don't follow their lead. Some of us like going to a theater to see a movie without all the distractions and interruptions of our livingroom.

  • does anyone know of any other theaters that offer dining and such in the bay area?
    i think it sound really cool
  • I remember a time when people would go to a movie to.. get this... WATCH A MOVIE!!!! What happened to the younger years??
  • ...alot of sausage at this movie theater. No only that, but a lot of skinny white sausage.
  • I don't know about you, but if I'm paying $14 [] for a theater ticket, I'm going to watch the freaking movie. Split my attention between the screen and a laptop? I don't think so....
  • Huh. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jon_c ( 100593 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:53PM (#3190673) Homepage
    Last movie i saw there was Danny Darko at the Alamo North and I didn't see anyone with a laptop. I'm as big a geek as anyone and i don't see the need for it, espicially at the Alamo.

    Typically one orders a large beer, a hamberger and maybe some nachos. Beer, grease and cheese isn't the kind of thing i want next to my $1,000 laptop, besides it would be rude to the people behind me to have that bright LCD screen glaring, not to mention the sound of the keyboard.

  • (or other webcams, say ones with internal CD-R drives quickly turning every movie into a keepsake ;))

    Sure would be less conspicuous for someone to have a picturebook there than a conventional videocamera :)

    Having eaten / watched one movie like this (at a theatre in Salt Lake City ... "Brewskis"?), I think it would be fun for certain types of movies (big action, big comedy, basically any thing BIG and fun), but for serious, concentrated movie watching, I think I'd prefer a regular theatre. [Which is the point of these eating theatres -- they're social places more than theatres, which is fine if that's what you want.]


  • It's annoying enough now sitting near dozens of fat slobs who make noise chewing popcorn and other snacks with their mouths open. I think it would be unbearable dealing with the foot-traffic of waiters and the commotion brought on by entire meals being served.

    Why does everything have to be "plugged in" now? Can't people just go to a movie and watch it in silence without needing to be "connected"? I love technology, but sometimes you just need to ask "what's the point"?

  • Can someone please explain why I should want to go to a movie theater with a bunch of bozos banging away on laptops? It's hard enough to find a theater without people jabbering away, crinkling munchie bags, and walking around. Why would I want to go to a theater with all of this, plus with the lovely addition of keyboard whacking and glowing screens?

    I guess I just don't get the point of going to watch a movie and then not even paying attention to it.
  • What if you could get a stream of the movie on your laptop if someone is blocking your view. Problem solved.
  • by miked1001 ( 173101 ) <> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:55PM (#3190694) Homepage
    I frequent the Alamo Drafthouse quite a bit.

    This is a great idea and I really don't think it will take away from the experience that I've enjoyed for years. The atmosphere at the Alamo Drafthouse is different from any other theater because it is expected that there will be some disturbance during the show. This isn't to say that it's a roudy place where you can't enjoy your movie (except maybe during Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings), but the experience is much more like watching a movie with a bunch of friends at home.

    Given the shear volume of wireless-enabled individuals in Austin, this can only enhance the experience.

    Next time I go I'll take my laptop and hack other patrons if they're noisy :)
  • if they setup the network because they're going to be showing Revolution OS []. ;)
  • Somehow, this does not seem like a good way to prevent movie piracy...
  • by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:59PM (#3190729) Homepage
    Aside from the wireless access (which is probably the coolest part, but who really wants Internet access while you're watching a movie except maybe during the intermission?) many places like this already exist. There's a place called Hollywood Bar & Filmworks (18+) here in Indianapolis, that has 3 or 4 screens, and has tables and bars, and very comfortable chairs (usually on wheels or something). They serve you drinks and food (a bit pricey, but I've got a free pass for me and 4 others for a year, they give a lot of those out anyway). Anyway, I think theatres like these are much more relaxing than the big ones with the screaming kids, uncomfortable chairs, plus, you have to get your own food. The 18+ thing alone makes it a more comfortable atmosphere I suppose.

    Perhaps the best thing is the ~ monthly all ages showings of RHPS, complete with props =]

  • Yet another waste of someone's time and resources. If I go to a movie I do not want to hear fans on peoples' laptops, the clicking of keys, the spinning of drives, etc.

    What about light pollution too? I have a Dell Inspiron 8000 with the UXGA screen and it throws off enough light to light a room by itself.

    No thanks...

  • by Ogerman ( 136333 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:59PM (#3190736)
    Imagine being able to IRC someone to pass the popcorn!

    Imagine a company with no market about to fail!
  • ... that a lot of ads in a theatre show a website? Particularly if you go to a theater with a slideshow in the beginning? I always thought it was kinda weird. How am I expected to jot down an URL unless it is for a movie itself? Is this a way of getting a little extra ad revenue?

    If so, I'm not 100% sure it'd work. I wouldn't bring my laptop to a theater. I'm just not used to carrying anything into a theater. Still, being able to post my gripes about Rollerball on Slashot would have been worth bringing my laptop...
  • It's nice that they have 802.11 access in the theater, but I want to know when I'll be able to watch HBO in the theater. That's the holy grail of theater entertainment.
  • Adult Theaters (Score:3, Informative)

    by White Roses ( 211207 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @07:11PM (#3190829)
    I myself had the good fortune to go to an Adults-Only (non-pr0n, dammit, how do I refer to this type of theater?) theater outside of Boston. It was great, no screaming kids, no idiot teeney-boppers. They had a bar and a restaurant, popcorn was free and delivered to your overstuffed leather chair. Too bad they were only showing The Art of War. The draw of that place is the quiet more than anything else. I'm more than willing to pay $20 for a movie ticket if I can get some silence.

    Wireless 'net access though, sounds counter-intuitive to the real draw I found (the aforementioned quiet). We'll never see anything like this around Phoenix until someone razes Awahtukee and Anthem. Or at least until movie tickets are more expensive than babysitters.

  • ... I really do. It's a great place to hang and see movies -- that is, until you don't want to be distracted.

    I went to see FOTR there, and by the end of the movie, I was plain irritated with the waiters when they were bringing those tasty burgers and beer.

    It is a great place to go when the movie's sorta the secondary thing.

  • by joshamania ( 32599 ) <> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @07:15PM (#3190852) Homepage
    Just what we need, a bunch of assholes with blue glowing laptop and pda screens clicking and tapping away at their devices in the middle of a movie.

    I don't know about you'all, but I get livid when they don't turn the house lights down all the way. Now I'm going to have to have the bottom half of my night vision ruined by idiots with glowing laptops?

    No thanks!

  • I'm going to be at the theater Sunday night - I'm hoping to check my email and upload a few photos on a fast connection before the show (Revolution OS) starts.

  • by The Panther! ( 448321 ) <> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @07:18PM (#3190873) Homepage
    2002-02-14 17:39:39 Linux movie gets some big screen in Austin (articles,media) (rejected)


    On March 22, "Revolution OS" will be shown at the north location of Alamo Draft House, in Austin, TX. Not only that, but the owner will be burning Linux cds (dunno what distro) for people in the lobby.

    Tell me that isn't a serious geek cool thing to do.
  • Laptops at the Alamo (Score:2, Informative)

    by byrd77 ( 171150 )
    I happen to live in Austin and frequent the Drafthouse Theater. It typically shows rare and indie film, with the occasional flashback such as Animal House. While it's nice to be able to get some greasy food whilst viewing, the main attraction is the buckets o' beer - might even make queen of the damned enjoyable to watch. As such, you may wish to think twice before toting your $$$ laptop into a darkened room full of boozed up movie-goers. IMHO.
  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @07:34PM (#3190955) Homepage Journal
    ...would go something like this:

    *** You have joined #MovieTheater
    *** Topic for #MovieTheater: The Animaniacs Movie: The Best Thing Ever Ever Ever, Or Just the Best Thing Ever Ever?
    *** GreasyGuy has joined #MovieTheater
    *** Chanserv sets mode: +o GreasyGuy
    <Me> Hey, um, mister Greasy, could you pass the popcorn?
    <GreasyGuy> No! Fuck you! What the hell is wrong with you? Get it yourself! Stop making me feel insecure!
    *** You have been kicked off #MovieTheater by GreasyGuyMinion_1 (No popcorn-begging)
    *** Attempting to rejoin #MovieTheater
    *** GreasyGuy sets mode: +b *!*you@seat_37
    *** You have been kicked off #MovieTheater by GreasyGuy (Because I'm too afraid to get up to kick your ass in person!)

    bash-2.1# ping -f -s 65535 greasy_guy_seat
    --- greasy_guy_seat ping statistics ---
    239123 packets transmitted, 103 packets received, 99% packet loss


  • We have a similiar sort of theater (minus the 802.11 junk) called Cinema Grill [] around here. It's a cute idea, but at least in this case, very poorly pulled off. The food was crappy, service was terrible.

    To me, it's an intersting idea. You almost get to recreate the home theater expereince, only with new movies. IMO, even if it's pulled off well, it'll still fail, there's no pause button :)

  • Can you say, bunch of intoxicated nerds with $1000-$4000+ pieces of hardware in a dimly lit room with various quick exits? I hope they have security on hand or something!

  • The heat incinerated herds of reindeer and charred tens of thousands of evergreens across hundreds of square moles.

    How do we know they were square? They could have been very hip. Just because a mole is russian, doesn't mean he's uncool.

    I wish people would learn.

  • Movie reviews in real time!

  • carnegie mellon university set up campus-wide wireless back in the day. they also had a campus $1 movie theater which I regularly took advantage of. Believe me it was pretty fucking annoying when the guy in front would fire up his laptop to go browse the web or IM (CMUers will remember zwrite) someone.

    wireless access has its theaters are not the time and place for it.

    Writing a review... fucking hell.

  • The reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jchristopher ( 198929 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @08:07PM (#3191140)
    The first movie theater chain that DISABLES all wireless access on their premises will get ALL my moviegoing dollars. No phones, no laptops, no beeping pagers or PDAs.

    I'm dead serious. I, and most people I know, would choose a wireless disabled theater every time. I would spend extra money. I would drive further across town to get there.

    Someday, someone is going to realize that there is a market for such a theater. If it doesn't happen, I predict that we will start to see "theater rage", and I'm not joking. I don't consider myself a violent person, but I've been on the verge of punching another patron on several occassions, and I don't think I'm alone.

    • Yeah, but too bad interfering with Radio Communications like that will get you in trouble with the FCC- big time.

      I suppose the only way to legally do it would be to build a faraday cage around the entire theater.

  • Great (Score:2, Funny)

    by T3kno ( 51315 )
    So instead of hearing cell phones going off, I'm gonna have to sit through "You've got mail!"
  • Please people, understand what you can do at the Alamo. I highly doubt anyone is planning on seeing a huge increase in laptops during regular movies. Alamo hosts a variety of events because of their atmosphere and screen setups. In addition to movies they have the Academy Awards Party and things along those lines. For an example, If you were really crazy about LAN parties, you could rent a theatre one day and play LAN games while having movies displayed on the big screen.

    Personally I usually go for their MST3000, but I can't say I'd want my laptop there with me.
  • I can't see this being highly useful during a movie, though I suppose you could IRC with your friends, especially if it's the kind of movie that deserves Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.

    But Live Concerts are a different application - I have used various typing devices to record setlists and do near-realtime concert reviews, and wireless access could have let me do them realtime. That kind of thing is more common for things like Deadhead jam bands than for some other genres, but it's nice to be able to do a stream-of-consciousness review about how Dave's doing a really hot Cajun interpretation of this piece or the guy playing the pedal steel is doing something really twisted to the melody, which lets you edit it down later and email it. It's also sometimes convenient to be able to pull down the lyrics for a song to see what's going on during this rendition of it.

  • "So, you can park your laptop, order a burger/beer, then email in a movie review all w/o disturbing your fellow patrons. Cool! :)"

    PLEASE tell me that that they're NOT opening a theatre like this where Jon Katz lives. His reviews are bad enough already!
  • It's probably all so that fat bastard over at aint-it-cool-news can sit there and rave and drool over anything that hollywood throws at him.

    Though you must commend him for the charity work at the Drafthouse with the butt-numb-a-thon.
  • "You've got popcorn!"

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham