A new kind of movie theater?
Mar 25, 2006 at 5:14 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

dougmwpsu

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So recently, movie ticket sales have been sucking. Hollywood has been putting out one stinker after another and people would rather watch their bad movies at home than spend ten fitty at the theater that feels more like a cattle processing center than a movie house. The movie industry just wants to play the blame game; people just want to wait for the DVD release. So I had a thought, if tickets sales have been poor, why not transform the theater into a place people would actually want to spend a Friday night?
My idea: Open up a second run theater that shows all older films. Classic films that people love to watch over and over. Independent and foreign films that don’t make it to regular theaters. Instead of letting the studious determine what your theater’s offering, why not decide yourself? If I could see Raider's of the Lost Ark or Reservoir Dogs in a modern theater I think I’d jump at the chance. Also, from what I read, most of a theater’s profit is derived not from ticket sales, but from concession sales. If this is so lucrative, why not sell something other than popcorn, candy or soda? What if you got yourself a liquor license and replaced the popcorn with a bar? Let the corporate joints have their teenagers, market the whole thing to people with real money to spend. Instead of getting people though the process as fast as possible, draw it out a bit, make people feel pampered and taken care of. Help separate them from their wallets. Give them a place to sit down and have a drink or a snack afterwards. Make them feel like they're getting somthing more than just a movie, somthing indefinable. Sell DVDs of the movie they just watched at the door and give them a list of upcoming titles and showings so they can plan in advance.

Well what does everyone think? Am I just being crazy?
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 5:23 AM Post #2 of 22

kramer5150

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The Aquarius in downtown Palo Alto, is my fave theater. Its an older theater, with the red velvet curtains, gold trim and stuff.

My wife and I used to walk there from our small apartment and watch old humphrey bogart, Audrey Hepburn and Dean Martin films.

Its like being in a time machine... and ... gasp... the actors/actresses can act

Garrett
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 5:33 AM Post #3 of 22

Firam

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I agree. The movie industry is so sure that they are right they are losing sales. As a matter of fact a second-run movie theater is closing in town. Which is disapointing becuase it is cheap. A revamp of the movie theater could do wonders. Why not offer a dinner theater? How about showing movies and encourage quoteing i.e. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Rocky Horror Picture Show? I like the old movie idea and how about foreign films too. Most good movies are foreign anyway. I could think of many ways movie theaters could improve.

Edit: How about themed days. Like comedy day, drama day, musical day, movies with Sean Connery, I don't know.

Can theaters show TV shows becuase that might be interesting?
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 5:36 AM Post #4 of 22

SennFan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
The Aquarius in downtown Palo Alto, is my fave theater. Its an older theater, with the red velvet curtains, gold trim and stuff.

My wife and I used to walk there from our small apartment and watch old humphrey bogart, Audrey Hepburn and Dean Martin films.

Its like being in a time machine... and ... gasp... the actors/actresses can act

Garrett



You may want to check out HD Net movies, if you have a high definition capable monitor. The other night I saw "Seven Days in May" starring Kirk Douglas and Ava Gardner. I realy enojyed it and the HD transfer was impressive for a film over 40 years old.

PS..the movie theater as a social forum is an interesting idea. The problem is that there are too many individuals with different tastes and so forth and if you design an experience meant to please everyone you will end up pleasing no one. The industry doesn't have to reinvent the wheel in regard to the theater experience. It's fine the way it is and no one has ever really complained (except for us audio/video freaks lol). They simply need to lower prices and start putting out great films. Concessions should also undergo price reductions. It's not uncommon for a family to go out and easily spend $50+ to see a crap movie. They can go to Wal Mart and buy a DVD and several films, popcorn and soda for possibly less than $50.

Speaking of HD Net...Mark Cuban is the owner of that station. He suggested in an interview I read a while back that films should be rolled out in the theaters, on DVD and on Pay-per-view services all at the same time. People want choice...nay, they demand it. This is an excelent idea (for the consumer)
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 6:03 AM Post #5 of 22

dougmwpsu

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kramer5150, you’re lucky to live somewhere that offers such a theater. The second run theaters where I live have been slowly closing down for the past few years. It seems to be a trend nationwide.
I love the idea of themed days and a mix of big draw and specialty films. Sure Friday might be showing Blade Runner director’s cut, but Monday afternoon could show the hottest new anime out of Korea. One Tuesday a month you could have trilogy day, back to back to back with intermissions for food drink and chatting. Instead of previews and commercials, you could show shorts for 15 mins before the main feature or maybe just have the movie start when you say it’s gonna start. Decorate the whole place in velvet and have ushers. Give the joint class, make it a place your parents would feel comfortable going to.
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 2:22 PM Post #6 of 22

mbriant

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Quote:

Give the joint class, make it a place your parents would feel comfortable going to.


I agree. I stopped going to the reasonably priced second run theatres years ago because they simply became too run down. They're in old theatres with musty-smelling, often broken seats .... a condition brought on by neglect because of the fact they offer budget priced admission, and the money just isn't there to maintain the theatre properly. I've long wondered if there'd be a market for a slightly upscale theatre which would give a pseudo home theatre experience with big comfy lazyboy recliner seating and serving dinner and drinks as part of a "dinner theatre" package. Something like they do at the Vegas hotel entertainment shows. Many people consider a dinner and show to be a good date evening, so why not have a theatre that provides both together?

In Ontario, they have or had some oddball laws pertaining to this sort of thing ... such as alcohol not being allowed to be served with movies (probably to prevent disorderly drunken patrons ruining the show for everyone), but I think if it was done properly, perhaps kept on the upscale side with a maximum number of drinks involved, it could work. After all, the Vegas shows don't seem to have a problem providing drinks and entertainment together. The more I think about it, it would have to be fairly upscale with a price to match to compensate for the reduced seating per sq. foot, and to appeal to the Frazier Crane types who don't enjoy rubbing elbows with the riff-raff at regular theatres.
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Mar 25, 2006 at 2:34 PM Post #7 of 22

zachary80

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mbriant
I agree. I stopped going to the reasonably priced second run theatres years ago because they simply became too run down. They're in old theatres with musty-smelling, often broken seats .... a condition brought on by neglect because of the fact they offer budget priced admission, and the money just isn't there to maintain the theatre properly. I've long wondered if there'd be a market for a slightly upscale theatre which would give a pseudo home theatre experience with big comfy lazyboy recliner seating and serving dinner and drinks as part of a "dinner theatre" package. Something like they do at the Vegas hotel entertainment shows. Many people consider a dinner and show to be a good date evening, so why not have a theatre that provides both together?


They have one here. Sadly the food is not very good and they don't serve alcohol. I believe they are not doing too good

I always thought it would be cool to have a theater at least occasionally show sports on the big screen sort of like a big sports bar. Itd be a big screen and the atmosphere would at least be similar to being at the game (which i like)
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 3:19 PM Post #8 of 22

mr_baseball_08

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I've often wondered why theaters haven't employed some sort of system where if you're watching the movie, and you get hungry, thirsty, etc, you have the ability to call (ring or whatever) and they can bring you whatever you want. Surely theaters are missing out on lots of money because people are simply lazy and don't want to miss part of the movie. So make it a convenience for them to get concessions whenever they want!

JD
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 3:22 PM Post #9 of 22

raisin

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Sadly, cable TV, DVD's, and current society's lack of manners have diminished the call for the theatre experience. Fortunately Turner Classic Movie's has a spot on my cable lineup. (watching " The 39 Steps" right now!)
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 5:23 PM Post #11 of 22

sleepkyng

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dougmwpsu
My idea: Open up a second run theater that shows all older films. Classic films that people love to watch over and over. Independent and foreign films that don’t make it to regular theaters. Instead of letting the studious determine what your theater’s offering, why not decide yourself? If I could see Raider's of the Lost Ark or Reservoir Dogs in a modern theater I think I’d jump at the chance. Also, from what I read, most of a theater’s profit is derived not from ticket sales, but from concession sales. If this is so lucrative, why not sell something other than popcorn, candy or soda? What if you got yourself a liquor license and replaced the popcorn with a bar? Let the corporate joints have their teenagers, market the whole thing to people with real money to spend. Instead of getting people though the process as fast as possible, draw it out a bit, make people feel pampered and taken care of. Help separate them from their wallets. Give them a place to sit down and have a drink or a snack afterwards. Make them feel like they're getting somthing more than just a movie, somthing indefinable. Sell DVDs of the movie they just watched at the door and give them a list of upcoming titles and showings so they can plan in advance.

Well what does everyone think? Am I just being crazy?



welcome to Paris, France.

on any given night there are more than 130 movie theatres just in the centre of paris. this week alone there are no less than 6 retrospectives on just American directors - that's not counting the weekly retrospectives on French film at la Cinematheque.
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 5:28 PM Post #12 of 22

shplorgh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dougmwpsu
Well what does everyone think? Am I just being crazy?


That would make far too much sense for the movie industry to actually do it! They'd rather just try (and fail) to guilt people into going to movies instead of making people want to go to movies.
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 5:54 PM Post #14 of 22

rickcr42

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Quote:

That would make far too much sense for the movie industry to actually do it! They'd rather just try (and fail) to guilt people into going to movies instead of making people want to go to movies.


never happen unless they could charge a premium for this added comfort level and movies costing what they do already for mostly a BAD product with sound systems not suited at all to enjoying the movie not likely.

When i was a youngster we had a few HUGE theaters in town that had a large center area,seating to the sides and multile balconies.Then in an affort to make more loot in the same building they went and carved up these lovely Big Screen theaters into three "mini theaters" so they could show multiple movies at the same time.The forerunner to the "multiplex" theaters we now have.

I liked the old way.if you wanted to see one thing you went and if the movie was an "adult" flic you were in the company of other adults but now,now we have a disney cartoon playing in theater 1,a slasher film in theater 2,a chick flic in theater 3,etc, so a mixed crowd and usually an unruly line to stand in and to me just not worht the B.S. so i wait for the DVD to come out and then rent or buy then watch the movie in my own "mini theater" and can drink or eat whatever I want,pause the movie for attending to "business"
very_evil_smiley.gif
,and set the sound levels to apoint where I do not feel like I will go deaf.

The old single crowd/single theaters were cool and run very professionally with their well thought out screen size and sounds to match but now we have nuthouses called a theater that I sometimes wonder if it is more video gaming room than theater anyway since the crowd in the lobby area/game room is often larger than actual movie viewers.
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 6:26 PM Post #15 of 22

dougmwpsu

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Well all I need now is a huge pile of cash to drop out of the sky. There’s an aging 2 screen in my town that's been shut down for a few years, it'd be so cool to turn it back into a single screen, renovate the place and open up the antidote to the Cineplex’s and Tinsel Towns of the world. I wonder if it's even possible to get old reels of movies once they've gone past their second run. Would the Godfather cost more than Larry the Cable Guy? Could admission be as low as a dollar like other second run places? Would people pay more for a better experience?
 

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