For many years we've been suggesting that the movie industry was worried about the wrong thing when they feared copied movies would keep people from going to the theater. Instead, the reasons people weren't going to the movies was because the experience just wasn't worth it. It was expensive and crowded, the floors are sticky, the seats uncomfortable and the rude people talk away or let phones ring during the movie. At the same time, there are more options for everyone's entertainment time and dollars -- from the internet to TV to video games to (oh yeah!) stuff going on in the great outdoors. That's what's keeping them away -- not the chance to watch a poorly recorded choppy 3 inch version on your computer screen. So, all that needs to be done is to come up with ways to make the experience more enjoyable or to add some additional value. One suggestion we had was that movie goers might enjoy being able to immediately get a copy of the DVD of the movie they just saw as they're leaving, similar to how some musicians now let people who attend their concerts immediately get CDs or downloads of that concert. It seems the movie industry isn't quite there yet (though, some are coming closer). However, in the UK, some cinemas are experimenting with offering movie goers additional mobile content for going to see a movie, which the movie-goer can freely access on their mobile handsets for seven days. The content will be specifically developed for that movie, but also might include offers for free tickets or information about other movies. It's an interesting experiment -- and the success or failure will probably depend on just how good/interesting/valuable the content really is. However, it's clearly a step in the right direction, and away from just whining, threatening or blaming the technology for all of the theater industry's ills.
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