Reinventing The Moviegoing Experience
from the about-time dept
For quite some time we’ve been amazed that the movie industry seems to constantly be complaining about how people aren’t going to the movies any more — and then trying to blame it on everything from text messages to BitTorrent without ever seeming to realize that going to the movies is a social experience. Improve the experience and more people will go to the movies. Instead, however, theater owners mostly just want to whine about how there’s nothing they can do to compete with DVDs or downloads. However, while the big theater chains and the major studio execs might not get it, it’s always been true that some smaller theaters have figured out ways to improve the experience. They’ve learned to make going to the movies fun, not just seeing the movie.
A few recent blog posts suggest that some more people are finally trying to put in place business plans to do just that. Last week, indie theater owner Mark Cuban put forth a challenge, asking how to get people to actually go out to the movies. Robert Young, over at GigaOm, has put forth his response, suggesting that theaters learn to encourage positive word of mouth marketing related to actually going to the theater, by allowing people to pass on their ticket stubs to allow discounts for others to see the same movie. Meanwhile, Alex Billington wrote in to point out his own post about a new operation he’s put together, called FirstShowing.net, which is designed to encourage people to come out to opening nights by giving them some kind of additional value, such as movie posters, free passes or other things. Neither of these ideas alone may amount to very much, but it’s a start. It’s showing that at least some people are working on ways to move the experience of going to the movies in the right direction… though it seems unlikely that the legacy players in the industry are going to recognize any of this any time soon.