Two different themes we've discussed here quite often are (1) that movie theaters need to stop worrying about piracy, and focus more on improving the moviegoing experience
and (2) that advertising is content
-- and it better be good content if you want the advertising to be effective. That's why it's somewhat encouraging to see that movie theaters are now experimenting with much more entertaining and interactive "pre-show" advertising
. They're doing things like using motion sensors to have the audience "play" a game as a group, or having them use their mobile phones to vote on certain questions on the screen and immediately showing the results. That latter example may be doubly surprising considering how theaters these days are so anti-mobile phone. Still, while this is a move in the right direction, it's the wrong thing to be focusing on at this point. Improving the overall experience is much more important than making the pre-show ads better, so hopefully this is only one small part of what theaters are working on these days.