What A Concept: Make It Enjoyable To Go To The Movie Theater

from the good-news dept

For many years, plenty of folks have been trying to explain that it's not "piracy" that's a threat to the movie industry, but the fact that the movie-going experience sucks. The movie industry has always really provided a service, that of "entertaining people," and that has nothing to do with copyrights. If people want to enjoy a night out, they are more than willing to pay for the experience. Of course, rather than make the experience better, many in the movie industry have instead latched onto the "piracy" excuse to actually make the movie-going experience that much worse. They don't do a good job of policing troublemakers and they treat their customers like criminals to ward off this bogus "piracy" threat. In the end, that just makes it worse. If you know that you're going to be forced to hand over your cell phone because it has a camera in it before you go to the movies, you're less likely to bother. Luckily some theaters, mostly independent ones, have started figuring this out and worked to improve the movie going experience and actually provide positive incentives to get people to go out to theaters.

Alex Billington writes in to point out his own analysis of Mark Cuban's attempt to make going to the movies an enjoyable experience again. Cuban's turning the latest theaters in the Landmark theater chain he owns into places adults want to go. No noisy arcades filled with kids, but nice upscale bars and lounges. He's also offering the ability to include food and snacks (higher end snacks) in the price of the ticket itself to avoid viewers feeling gouged when they see that they're paying $6 for $0.10 worth of popcorn. Finally, he's making the viewing experience even better -- putting in more comfortable and unique seating, including couches and even bean bags. The idea is to make it more like the home theater that so many people now claim is a better experience -- but doing so in a way that most people are unable to do with a home theater (bigger screen, better sound system, etc.). With so many examples of entrepreneurs making the movie experience better, why is it that the big studios and big movie chains still insist this is impossible?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    WheelieBoy, 9 May 2007 @ 9:21pm

    I HATE THE MOVIE THEATER EXPERIENCE!!!! My local theater, (across the street) has offered me free movie tickets for the last 5 years. I am in a wheelchair and because I can't use the stadium seating they offer me 2 tickets per visit. Over the years, my attendance has gone down. I am tired of getting kicked in the back by the people behind me. Tired of the guy talking on his cell phone. I had a guy texting on his phone all movie long, I couldn't get to him to ask him to stop because of the seating. As my home theater gets better, I find staying home is so much more enjoyable.

    What I want from a theater experience.
    1. A less expensive night.
    2. Dinner and a movie at the same location.
    3. More comfortable seats.
    4. The ability to pause and rewind the show. (TIVO Baby)
    5. I want the ability to watch a new release in my home, through a satellite or cable link. I would be willing to pay the same as a theater ticket, but I want it in my home where I can control my experience.

    That is not asking too much is it? And oh, they never lost money on me, if I liked a movie I had downloaded, I bought it.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.