updated 04:55 pm EDT, Thu October 15, 2009
Cineworld bans notebooks from its movie theaters
UK movie theater chain Cineworld has introduced a new policy that does not allow patrons to bring in notebook PCs to the auditoriums, UK resident Jeremy Nicholas wrote on his blog. The policy was supposedly introduced to help fight piracy, where bootleggers go to see a movie and record it with an electronic device. Nicholas, however, was denied entry despite his Sony VAIO's lack of an integrated webcam, making it impossible to record the main attraction.
Cineworld does offer a check-in service for its patrons, but does not offer any sort of receipt, so there is little stopping dishonest moviegoers, or maybe the very same bootleggers, from claiming it as their own. Nicholas also found devices that are much smaller and actually come with cameras, namely cellphones and smartphones.
The policy also doesn't have a clearly stated way to screen what comes into the theater, as Nicholas was only stopped because he had a notebook bag, while backpacks large enough to carry notebooks or other, more suitable recording devices passed by unchecked.
It is not known if other movie theater chains in the UK or elsewhere will adopt similar policies.