Movie Theaters Finally Realizing They Need To Compete With, Not Whine About, Home Theaters

from the about-time dept

For the past few years, as home theaters have grown more and more common, we've seen movie theater owners constantly whining that they just can't compete with home theaters. They complain that if studios start releasing DVDs at the same time as theater runs, no one will come. This, of course, shows a profound misunderstanding of their own business -- which is to provide an enjoyable social experience that convinces people to go out. People can eat food at home where it's much cheaper, but most still go out to eat on occasion as well. They do so because it's a social experience and provides something that can be seen as different and better. So while too many theater owners seemed to think they couldn't offer anything better, it appears that a few of the big chains are at least realizing that if home theater screens are getting bigger, so should movie screens. Both AMC and Regal Entertainment are installing a bunch of new IMAX screens, recognizing that the IMAX experience still beats the home theater one. Now, if only these theaters would start improving other aspects of the theater-going experience as well.


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  1.  
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    Leroy, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    reasons to watch at home

    my biggest complaints against the theatres are:
    1. excessive volume
    2. excessive snack prices
    3. not listing the actual movie start time
    4. excessive ticket prices

     

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    Ima Fish, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:03am

    Re: reasons to watch at home

    Patrons that won't shut the frick up! If you want to yap in public, go to a coffee shop.

     

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    Dewy, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:09am

    What? But... but... they had the market all to themselves for years, they have no Idea how to compete... Ohh my!!

    They will surely perish!! Or, alternatively they could adapt. Glad to hear they choose to adapt.

     

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    some random guy, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:30am

    restaurant analogy

    The restaurant analogy doesn't quite hold. I go out to eat because the food I get in a good restaurant is vastly different/better than what I can make at home. Unlike watching a DVD, which is pretty much the same movie that I would be seeing in a theater. Except without all the cost and annoyance of the theater getting in the way.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:36am

    Re: restaurant analogy

    The restaurant analogy doesn't quite hold. I go out to eat because the food I get in a good restaurant is vastly different/better than what I can make at home. Unlike watching a DVD, which is pretty much the same movie that I would be seeing in a theater. Except without all the cost and annoyance of the theater getting in the way.

    It's not just about the movie, it's about the entire experience. Don't think just about the food being different, think about everything that goes with it.

    If theater owners understood their business, they'd make the entire experience better (which it appears at least a few are figuring out).

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:41am

    A False Benefit

    Several years ago, one of the movie theaters that we went to put up a big big big sign proclaiming on how they listened to their customers and how they were improving their service to us.

    The improvement => They implemented a policy to charge for children attending with their parents to minimize "disruptive" behavior.

    No other real customer satisfaction improvements to my knowledge were ever implemented.

    One new annoyance: commercials. If we see commercials, the price of the tickets should go down. Of course they haven't the movie theaters just pocket the extra revenue.

     

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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:44am

    Re: reasons to watch at home

    5. Offensive anti-piracy "Public Service Ads" from the MPAA.
    6. (Dangerously) Reduced house light levels during seating times to permit viewing of "Pre-Show Advertising".
    7. Pre-Show, non-coming attractions, television style advertising.
    8. Over-selling a showing.
    9. Noisy, leaky and unstable three cent bags instead of ten cent cardboard tubs holding the $6.00 popcorn.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:58am

    If I owned a cinema and could damn the expense

    1) Helpful, but disciplinarian ushers
    2) 1-2-1-2-1... seat layout (gaps are arm rest/cup holders)
    3) Plenty of leg room and steep rake (don't cram people in)
    4) No stupid law against video cams - just eject anyone causing excessive distraction (mobile phone, etc.)
    5) Comfortable seating. All chairs specifically bookable via web.
    6) Intermission at convenient point around half way (for showings after 8pm).
    7) Alcoholic beverages permitted in auditorium after 8pm
    8) Popcorn and other litter banned after 8pm

     

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    sehlat, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:00am

    Not acting like vicious idiots would improve the e

    Remember the woman who was arrested for taping twenty SECONDS of the Transformers movie to show her little brother?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/01/AR2007080102398.html

    Visit Regal Cinemas, go to jail.

     

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    bshock, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:17am

    Here's a thought: try showing us something in a movie theater that can be enjoyed by people with IQs above 100.

    Or not. That might really cut down the audience in the U.S.

     

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    fraggle, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:22am

    Adding value to the experience

    Our local multiplex started offering 'Gold' tickets for comfy seats, (limited!!!) free food, alleged extra service. In my experience you paid approximately double the cost to still get treated like a numpty. Haven't been back there for years...

    Our local arthouse cinema was brilliant, late night double bills, fantastic refreshments (Cheech & Chong/Frank Zappa double bill from 10pm with black forest gateau and coffee in the intermission anyone?), original art deco picture palace as opposed to tin box on some out of town estate. Projectors & audio kit was a bit out of date though and I guess they were off the circuit for mainstream distributors. But the experience was generally good, if only they'd got decent projectors & sound... haven't been back there for a while either...

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    All About The Popcorn

    In addition to a few of the ideas above, my on HUGE peeve is the quality of the popcorn, which plays a big role in my nostalgic impression of "the theater experience".

    For me, it boils down to "butter-flavored edible oil product" being used instead of butter. For that reason alone, I stay home for movies and eat good popcorn rather than go out and eat (more) edible oil.

    I don't care about the price I pay. Charge me $20 for some popcorn and a soda if you want. Just don't insult me by shaving 5 cents of your cost by replacing butter with lamp oil.

     

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    BTR1701, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: restaurant analogy

    > It's not just about the movie, it's about the
    > entire experience. Don't think just about the
    > food being different, think about everything
    > that goes with it.

    The problem for me is that "everything that goes with it" is usually everything I want to avoid: time spent driving to the theater, fighting traffic, paying for parking, standing in line, uncomfortable chairs, having to miss part of the movie if I want to go to the bathroom, not being able to control the volume level or the start time of the movie, overpriced food and drink (and standing in more lines to get them), screaming babies, restless kids, teenagers who (when not talking and giggling amongst themselves) are text-messaging each other with their glowing cell phones... the list goes on.

    All of that used to be outweighed by the fact that one could only see a movie in high-resolution picture and stereo sound on a big screen if one went to a theater. That's not the case any more. Other than maybe the comfort level of the chairs, there's really nothing a theater can do to improve on that list of negatives.

    As for going to the theater being a social experience, that's usually the *problem* rather than a benefit. I can still invite my girlfriend or other friends over to my house to watch a movie and have a social experience without all the other strangers whom I don't care about and who in many cases would likely be more of an irritation than anything else.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:43am

    In Vancouver, Washington they have Cinetopia ( http://www.cinetopiatheaters.com/ ) that serves good food in their restaurant, or you can eat while you watch a movie. Its a theater, restaurant, and wine bar. Great social atmosphere also.

     

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    Yeah another AC whatever, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:55am

    Social Experience?

    It is people that treat it as a social experience that have kept me from going to the movies for years. That and the cost for 1.5 to 2 hours of entertainment. The fact that it cost $40 for a family of 4 to see an 83 minute movie during a matinee is a waste of money. I'll wait for the DVD and enjoy my HD TV, digital surround sound, quiet living room and choice of food on a schedule of my choosing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:55am

    Re: If I owned a cinema and could damn the expense

    Three cheers to #6 & #7. It's time to define a movie theatre as an entertainment venue similar to dinner theatre. Cater to a more upscale crowd that is interested in more than simply staring at a screen. Show some video of a stand up comic to loosen up the crowd. Have a drink service. Attendance to a 'premium' showing earns you discounts to the next family matinée. Give out discount dinner coupons to a nearby restaurant. Provide a meeting venue where social groups can meet before and after the show. Shit, do something to make is more than just staring at a screen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:56am

    Make the drink prices and popcorn cheaper than the ticket price IMO

     

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    Chris Dotson, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:57am

    The "Dirt" on Theaters

    What most people don't know is that 90% of the price of the ticket goes back to the studio, not the theater. That's why prices on concessions are so high. In order to exist, the theater has to make money some how. How else will they do that? They place ads in front of the film, but that's not enough to sustain them. If they don't make money, they go out of business.

    I live just down the road from Regal Cinemas HQ. I know the CEO personally. Believe me, he hears all the complaints listed above. As for copyright, they are at the mercy of the MPAA too. Theaters are constantly threatened that if they don't deal with camcorders and piracy vigilantly and fiercely, they will not be given movies to show. And yes, the studios and the MPAA have followed up that threat in the past.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: restaurant analogy

    Try watching a comedy in the theater then watch the same one (or similar) at home. Bet you don't laugh nearly as hard as you did when you get caught up in contagious laughter.

    Or try a drama - Same thing. The group experience almost always amplifies the individual experience.

     

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    SomeGuy, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:04pm

    Even reading through your previous articles and having options pointed out to me, I feel hard-pressed for a way that theatres can improve themselves and still make a profit. Any improvmwents they make are going to cost money, and my understanding is that the only way they get by now is by gouging customers on cheap snacks for high prices.

    It would be nice if they policed their theatres better to keep trouble-makes out, but how do you do that without disrupting the show or inconveniencing typical customers? It would be nice if they improved the quaility of their snacks and drinks, but how can you do that if the only profit you make is at the snack counter (you can raise prices if quality goes up, but there's a limit to what people will pay, even with quality). It might be nice if they had waitstaff to bring you food and drink before the show (not durring, I think) so you didn't have to stand in line, but the row-seating idea would have to be adjusted if not tossed out entirely. I have to agree with BTR1701, though for different reasons, that improving the comfort of the seating is about all I can see happening.

    There was a theatre around here that, a few years ago, had an all-day even showing the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings triology. That's a good idea, I think, making an actual event out of it, but there's only so much of a crowd that could draw. And I think it would be hard to plan even smaller events involving double-features that people wanted to see. The point maybe being that they need to stop thinking about just what movies are showing and look more at the whole atmosphere and how they can improve that. How they can satisfy people like BTR1701 and maybe make all those random strangers part of the appeal rather than a detracting factor. I'm not sure how they'd do that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:07pm

    Re: All About The Popcorn

    "Just don't insult me by shaving 5 cents of your cost by replacing butter with lamp oil."

    I spit soda all over my keyboard after reading that comment. ROFL.

     

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    Intentionally left blank!!!, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:08pm

    Dont worry about the movie theatres, if things get really bad for them the US government with give them a billion dollar bail out.

    Still no money for schools.

     

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    BTR1701, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: restaurant analogy

    > The group experience almost always amplifies
    > the individual experience.

    It's not an either/or choice. It's not like I either have to watch a movie isolated and alone in my house or with a group in the theater.

    I can have a group of people over to my home to watch a movie if I choose. And their laughter is just as "contagious" as anyone else's, with the added benefit of being people I actually know, like, and want to spend time with (as opposed to some jerkoff who thinks it's funny to "entertain" the crowd by providing a running commentary to the film).

     

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    Theater Hater, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:17pm

    The only people I know who go to movies at the theater are losers who don't know how to differentiate a positive experience from a negative experience. I can hardly think of a more uncomfortable and less enjoyable experience than being ripped off watching a piece of crap in public when I can just rent it from the redbox for a buck in a month.

    You know, the funny part is it is still a ripoff when it only costs a buck. I can probably count the movies worth the time to watch on one hand that I have seen in the last decade.

    Movies just suck.

     

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    Bobbknight, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:34pm

    The Movie Experience

    Look the movie experience is not going to change, movie houses make near bupkis on the movie ticket. Distribution is where the money is at.
    They have to have volume to make any money from the movie it's self. The sound has to be loud to cover all the talking assholes, but the thing that get to be is that sumbitch that keeps kicking my seat during the show. I like personal room, most places now try to all but eliminate it to get more seats in.

    The midnight show places make more money of a ticket, the movies are cheaper to rent. So the experience can be nicer.

    Way back when I lived in Cocoa Beach there was a second run cinema where they had decent food and a waitress would come around and take your order. I went to movies more there than any place else. The seats had plenty of personal room too.

    The normal movie theater is all but dead, to me at least.

     

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    LaPistola, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Theater Hater

    Stop watching the crappy movies.. There some good ones out there.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:44pm

    Bring back the drive ins

    I live in a small town and we still have a drive in theater. It is THE place to go in the summer. double features, charge by the car not the person, best home made fries and burgers in town - really really bad for you but darn they good-
    I would put our old drive in up against a brand new indoor movie theater any day of the week. It's just more fun and cheaper too.

    It's to bad they have almost all gone away in the US.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:44pm

    You know if the movie producers were smart, they would release DVDs at the SAME TIME as the movie release.

    Guess what would happen to piracy.

    But, like DRM, they continue to try to peddle items no one wants and at the same time wonder why no one is buying.

    As far as theaters.... I don't know, maybe convert to some kind of restaurant hybrid or something, because right now it is a big set of fail. Comfy booth seating, bar, snacks, all there while you watch the movie.

     

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    RCA, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Theatre Experience

    I have a nice home theatre, but my wife and i like to get out of the house once in a while and see a new release(usually a week after release, less crowded). We escape the kids, the house work, the house. We talk and go out after and enjoy company with each other or friends.
    It is great that we can rent a $1 movie from RedBox and bring it home, but it doesn't compare to the "going out"experience.

     

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    timstevens, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 1:26pm

    8 1/2 reasons why the theatre "experience" $ucks

    [1] Generally rude behavior of parents and children. Do these people live like that at home?
    [2] Cell phone usage by Mr. I'm so gDamn important.
    [3] Noise from teens and preteens: yelling, cell phones, eating, giggling.
    [4] That brown syrupy mess on the floor. On the seats. On the walls. On the walls?!?
    [5] Noisy eaters. Why does such a fat person (with the fat dim witted children) need to eat yet more junk? Why the mega tub of sugar-n-fats?
    [6] Opening credit commercials. When did that happen?
    [7] The dcheBag who insists on sitting right in front of me when the theater is about half empty. What ever happened to common courtesy? Oh, yeah, low class people can't empathize with others.
    [8] The young tough who threatens to "beat my F-en head in" for complaining about 1-7. The last time that happened, I escalated the incident by bringing in a uniformed police officer (who was in the lobby), and got right into the young tough's face and said in a voice that everyone in the vicinity could hear, "Officer, this is the guy who threatened to beat my F-en head in. Isn't that right junior?" It was amazing how fast that tough turned into a compliant little sissy-boy.
    [9] Prices. Interestingly, the high prices are a really minor reason for not enjoying the "experience" of the modern theater. Give this only a half complaint. If we could totally eliminate 1-8, I'd willingly pay upwards of $20 for a 3-star movie.

     

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    TheDock22, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    I used to work in a theater...

    I don't think people understand where movie theaters get their money from. The revenue generated by ticket sales goes back to Hollywood (I think the theater get a reimbursement of less then 1% for tickets sold at their theater) so they make money off of almost purely concessions. That is why the concession pricers are so darn high.

    As for the person complaining they don't carry real butter, but butter oil, well that is to be expected. The cost of keeping real butter would be outrageous (refrigeration and the cost of spoilage). It is not saving the movie theater a mere couple cents, but saving them hundreds if not thousands of dollars (have you looked at the price of butter these days? Outrageous).

    That being said, I hate movie theaters and not because I worked at one. I think people are rude and inconsiderate when gathered together in large groups and forced to be quiet (which many rarely do). Theaters, plays, and operas are all the same (you will ALWAYS have that loud talker or a few cell phones going off). Until theaters supply alcohol so I can overlook the faults of my peers, I will stay home!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    I've hated the theaters ever since the health nuts got them to stop popping popcorn in coconut oil.

     

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    Nocturne, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 1:48pm

    reason number 15342

    dont take women with you...i recently took a girl to the theaters to be NICE(i HATE theaters mind you) and she was loud as hell kept asking me what was going on and laughed like a hyena...i finally said after trying the ignoring and the small shh's "JUST SHUTUP YOUR PISSIN ME AND OTHERS OFF"...

     

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    Dirk Belligerent, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 2:30pm

    Allow Judge Dredd Tactics On Talkers!

    My g/f and I used to average a movie per weekend, sometimes two during blockbuster seasons, but about a year and a half ago we suddenly stopped going. Where there used to be nearly 20 screens on the east side of Detroit, the closest theater is a crummy AMC/Star that is a 25 mile roundtrip and frequently has jacked up picture and sound because there is no local competition to encourage them to maintain quality. For the $5 in gas it takes to just get to the theater, we can wait a few months for the DVD to hit the bargain bins at Blockbuster and then own it for not much more than a rental would cost.

    The largest problem beyond escalating prices and poor presentation is something the theaters can't prevent, but can deal with: RUDE AUDIENCES! Since requiring manners has been banished from society as a remnant of "bad-ol'-days morality fascism", people actually get belligerent if you try to shush them for repeating lines on the screen, talking on their cell phones, talking to their pals, eating like they are at a trough, etc. People are afraid they'll get a cap busted in their asses if they turn around, so they suffer silently and then stay home. If theaters had ushers on patrol to make these goons STFU or they allowed permitted patrons to summarily execute talkers, like Judge Dredd, then the movie-going experience would be much better.

     

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    BTR1701, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 3:13pm

    Re: I used to work in a theater...

    They could go a long way toward eliminating the cell phone problem if they could get the law changed to allow for the use of cell phone jammers.

    There's no reason why a private property owner shouldn't have the freedom to operate a jammer, so long as it's only strong enough to encompass his own property and not bleed off onto other people's property.

    Put a sign up at the entrance that says, "All wireless communication is jammed on these premises" and then people can decide for themselves whether to see the movie there or somewhere else if having a functional cell phone is that important to them. I know I'd sure patronize such a theater. They'd get all my business.

     

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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Mar 25th, 2008 @ 3:48pm

    Re: reason number 15342

    Ummm...by "recently", do you mean 2001?

     

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    Celes, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 4:14pm

    Re: The "Dirt" on Theaters

    And this is why I can go to a drive-in and watch 3 movies for $5-$8 per adult, with very few or no ads, as opposed to $9 (the cheapest in my area) for just 1 movie in a regular theater? I'm pretty sure the studios don't offer discounts to the drive-in theater owner; they have to pay the same as the regular theaters.

    I realize the regular theater has a larger building to maintain (usually QUITE poorly, at least around here), but if the money's going to maintenance it's not going to the movie studios.

    And yes, concessions in both places are pretty expensive. But hey, I get to sit in my own car or outside if it's a nice night, I get to control the volume, and if anyone's yapping on a cellphone or got a screaming baby, they're in my family/group of friends so I can tell them to shut the heck up or go outside. ^_^ I'll take THAT social experience.

     

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    Rekrul, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 6:52pm

    I live just down the road from Regal Cinemas HQ. I know the CEO personally. Believe me, he hears all the complaints listed above. As for copyright, they are at the mercy of the MPAA too. Theaters are constantly threatened that if they don't deal with camcorders and piracy vigilantly and fiercely, they will not be given movies to show. And yes, the studios and the MPAA have followed up that threat in the past.


    If it's true that you know the Regal Cinemas CEO, would you please give him a message; Tell him that because Regal Cinemas pushed for prosecution of Jhannet Sejas because she recored 15 SECONDS of the film Transformers, they have permanently lost me as a customer. There is a Regal Cinema about 10 minutes from my house, and while I didn't go often, when I did want to see a movie in the theater, they were usually my first choice.

    While I understand that Hollywood and the MPAA are obsessed to the point of ignoring all common sense, about stopping copyright infringement, there is absolutely no justifiable reason to take someone to court for filming a 15 second scene of a movie. I could understand if they pulled her out of the theater and told her that what she did was wrong, but to actually prosecute her after it was learned that she only recorded a measely 15 seconds goes beyond all reason.

    You say that theaters have to pull this kind of crap or they won't get movies to show. Maybe if all the theaters told the MPAA to take their draconian rules and shove them, stuff like this wouldn't happen.

    To be perfrectly honest, hearing about this kind of crap makes me want to go to the opening night of a huge blockbuster and sit there through the whole movie with my non-camera phone cell phone opened and held prominently in front of me. Then when the staff pulls me out of the theater and calls the police, I can sue them for harassment.

    That is how much I despise the current trend of treating theater customers like criminals!

     

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    Rusty Shackleford, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 9:17pm

    West Edmonton Mall Canada

    recently.. Ciniplex Odeon WEM bought out the cheap theater in Edmonton, put posters up advertising their theater in the window of the vacant building.. taking away the option for those who cant afford to spend 100 dollars on going to a movie to be able to see movies in the theater. Just like everyone else in this province right now... they are just grabbing for the cash. The screens are small, the seats are uncomfortable, and then they subject you to advertising while you sit there waiting for the movie... I dont mind the previews but the last time I was in a theater I got like 10 min of commercials and 2 previews... I wouldnt mind the revenue from the ads alone... I have no interest in attending any theater that feels they should charge such high prices for entry and then rapes you at the concesssion.. and then shows ads to a captive audience.Im happy with my big screen TV

     

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    Rusty Shackleford, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Re: The "Dirt" on Theaters

    for some reason all the drive-ins in this city have been removed

     

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    Danny, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 10:54pm

    Re: reasons to watch at home

    It wouldn't hurt to keep the theater clean either. Who wants to pay outrageous prices to sit in a dirty theater where your feet stick to the floor?

     

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  42.  
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    timstevens, Mar 26th, 2008 @ 4:52am

    8 1/2 reasons why the theatre "experience" $ucks

    [1] Generally rude behavior of parents and children. Do these people live like that at home?
    [2] Cell phone usage by Mr. I'm so gDamn important.
    [3] Noise from teens and preteens: yelling, cell phones, eating, giggling.
    [4] That brown syrupy mess on the floor. On the seats. On the walls. On the walls?!?
    [5] Noisy eaters. Why does such a fat person (with the fat dim witted children) need to eat yet more junk? Why the mega tub of sugar-n-fats?
    [6] Opening credit commercials. When did that happen?
    [7] The dcheBag who insists on sitting right in front of me when the theater is about half empty. What ever happened to common courtesy? Oh, yeah, low class people can't empathize with others.
    [8] The young tough who threatens to "beat my F-en head in" for complaining about 1-7. The last time that happened, I escalated the incident by bringing in a uniformed police officer (who was in the lobby), and got right into the young tough's face and said in a voice that everyone in the vicinity could hear, "Officer, this is the guy who threatened to beat my F-en head in. Isn't that right junior?" It was amazing how fast that tough turned into a compliant little sissy-boy.
    [9] Prices. Interestingly, the high prices are a really minor reason for not enjoying the "experience" of the modern theater. Give this only a half complaint. If we could totally eliminate 1-8, I'd willingly pay upwards of $20 for a 3-star movie.

     

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  43.  
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    Tod, Mar 26th, 2008 @ 5:39am

    Awesome List

    It is the "social experience" that makes me watch my movies at home!

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2008 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: reasons to watch at home

    10. The very fact that sitting in a darkened room for 2 hours where you have zero interaction with those around you is NOT social.
    11. A very large percentage of new films are utter crap.
    12. Uncomfortable chairs.
    13. Not family friendly.

     

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  45.  
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    nipseyrussell, Mar 26th, 2008 @ 10:16am

    i think theaters will fall into two divergent camps:
    1. the existing multiplexes will continue to cater to a poor, non-discriminating audience who doesn't care about (or, frankly prefers/instigates) distractions and/or don't have access to nice home set-ups. As this diverges you'll probably lose the higher-end customers faster and faster
    2. the more niche providers: nice, child free theaters catering to the art house crowd; combo bar-theaters, drive ins; etc.
    For all the reasons repeated above ad nauseum, i have almost completely given up on seeing mainstream movies in the theaters and stick mostly to the indie/foreign fare at the local (Philadelphia) ritz theaters where there arent any children and are mostly patronized by people who still give a flying f%ck about FILM

     

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  46.  
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    some random guy, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: restaurant analogy

    Indeed, I was trying to make a distinction, as often done here, between 1) the product/content, and 2) the experience. Like most folks above, I don't really enjoy the "social" experience of the theater, and I can get exactly the same product/content on DVD. Unlike a restaurant: even if it is a crummy hole in the wall with rude service, I'll still go there if the food is amazing and I can't make it myself.

     

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  47.  
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    Reason, Apr 2nd, 2008 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: restaurant analogy

    Yeah, the sad irony is that whatever social experience you could get from going to the theatre for a movie, kind of implies some degree of rudeness to the other moviegoers, which is, in turn, what puts off many people about theatres.

    If you can't talk, can't eat comfortably and can't fool around because it's (understandably) annoying to others, what "social experience" can there be left, really? Add to that the unavoidable inconveniences that are more or less out of the control of the theatre (like traffic, parking fees, legal anti-piracy requirements and the need to supplement income through advertising and price inflation, since studios demand such a big cut from ticket fees), and theatres are in a pretty difficult position to successfully compete against better and better home entertainment technology, especially if releases end up being simultaneous. Sorry, Mike, but their "whines" are quite understandable, except for the fact they the theatres still seem to fill nonetheless...

     

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  48.  
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    FamilyDriveIn, May 19th, 2008 @ 10:55am

    Re: Bring back the drive ins

    There is a Family Drive in here in Tyler Texas called SkyVue. It has barely been open a year , people are just now starting to realize that it is there. We have been going since they opened.. The price to get in is cheap , The food is awesome and reasonably priced. It is family owned and operated and service is very friendly. They also do not show rated R movies , so there can be more family outings for even the little ones ( who are free to get in ). Drive Ins are awesome and if you havent been you should go , and 2 movies for less than the price of one in a reg. theater. www.tylerdrivein.com

     

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  49.  
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    Manny M., Jun 29th, 2008 @ 1:52am

    Re: A False Benefit

    Replying only to the "commercials" comment. We actually make next to nothing off of box office sales, it all goes directly back to the movie companies. We only make money off of concession (which is declining) so therefore you see ads before the movie begins, though at my theater (Regal Entertainment) We have the "First Look" which is some ads but mostly insider previews of the movies, which starts about 15 minutes prior to the printed showtime, then there is 15-20 minutes of straight movie previews after the scheduled showtime (you can tell once we shift from the DCN which is satellite to the previews because there will be the silence your cell phones message on screen until the projectionist threads the film)

     

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  50.  
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    Manny M., Jun 29th, 2008 @ 1:56am

    Re: Re: reasons to watch at home

    Don't know what theater you are going to but

    5. Totally true most of the time, which i agree is BS
    6. We (Regal Entertainment) only dim the house lights at the time of the actual movie start (its a magstrip in the film which triggers it)
    7. Yep, but thats how we make money
    8. We actually stop selling at 20% remaining occupancy, people who sneak in or don't move all the way over cause the problems.
    9. True, but we need to keep costs down somehow, or else that $6 popcorn will become a $7.50 popcorn because of the added costs

     

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  51.  
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    Manny M., Jun 29th, 2008 @ 2:08am

    Re:

    The funny thing is, I'd enjoy throwing you out. Its people like you who just make my life terrible, if you want to act like an idiot or boycott then do it on your own time, but don't come to my theater and do that shit. The staff is trained to kick out people who are acting suspicious, not to mention you don't have much legal discourse as we can kick you out for any reason with/without refund (read the back of the ticket)

     

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  52.  
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    JB, Jul 19th, 2008 @ 1:46am

    Re: All About The Popcorn

    lol lamp oil!

     

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  53.  
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    Daryl, May 10th, 2009 @ 10:57pm

    IMAX too loud!

    I went to Star Trek the other day and since I am constantly having a bad experience at theaters I deceide that this time I would really get into it. I needed a diversion, as I have too been laid off, and although I need to be frugal with my money, I wanted it to be worthwhile. So I finnaly settled on an IMAX experience, since the picture and everything else is supposed to be great. Wow...was I disappointed! The picture...great...the seating...ok, the sound...TERRIBLE!! Once again theaters have made it obvious that they JUST DON'T GET IT. Being a guy that has sold sound systems, and HDTV's, I am shocked that a theater experience such as IMAX...at 12bucks a ticket...can't seem to understand the dynamics of good sound. My experience was one that required me to plug my ears with my fingers. When I sold systems, it never ceased to amaze me (and my customers) how much more enjoyable a good home system with Blue Ray and a quality HDTV is. They almost never go back to a theater! I had one guy that spent thirty grand because of it. I am so shocked by the dangerous levels of sound that a freind of mine who has a logging DB meter, and I are going to go around a take levels...just to see. Oh sure, there are those who think I am a baby...but those are the ones that drive around with their car stereos blasting. But when I see children at a theater that I know is damaging thier ears....well I for one will take action.

     

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  54.  
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    B N, Apr 2nd, 2010 @ 12:32am

    Re: restaurant analogy

    The analogy holds. You don't have to go out just because you're an awful cook. You could just get delivery.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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