Making Movie Theaters Fun Again!

April 6, 2011

One of the most pressing challenges for those of us who are committed to bringing back The Old Hollywood is the whole theater-going experience, particularly now that independent films are having such trouble getting any screen time at all.

For all the reasons I discuss in my book, and more, people, particularly those of us in Acts 2 and 3 of life, have retreated from regularly attending movie theaters the way we did in the past.

Bringing people back into theaters is going to require some daring new ways of looking at the theatrical experience. As one example, Living Room Theaters (logo at left) have jumped in with some great new innovations.

Lindy Cady, one of the most prolific contributors on our community site, has also  posted the following provocative and fascinating suggestions:

“There was a small movie complex that closed in our town that I thought missed an opportunity.  I could not understand why it competed to show the same movies that were being shown at the larger complex down the road.  (Just like how on TV 120 movie choices are a bunch of bunk.  It’s the same five movies on multiple channels.)  Why didn’t it try to be its own version?

It had three screens in a university town with a heavy Hispanic population.  One screen could have always shown Spanish language films.  Another could have been dedicated to foreign films.  University towns are shoo-ins for foreign films.  The other one would be children’s films and the four quadrant whole family stuff.  For the late night nine o’clock in the children’s film room, the screen could be rented to organizations or parties for special showings or show a documentary.  One thing that’s missing structurally in today’s movie theaters are crying rooms.  There used to be one at the little theatre that we went to in our early dating years.  I thought it was a fantastic idea!  Later on I used one at another theater.  It was also a great place to nurse and burp the baby and I still got to see the movie (without disturbing others).

Put a restaurant connected to it with a romper room area or play structure and you have a family event.  Separate an area in the eating space that’s for adults only with candles and wine or have the foreign film room be also its own café.

The basic idea here would be having different screen rooms that are dedicated to different types of movies located in one facility then adding an eating facility that serves real food.  Movie snacks could still happen but please with REAL butter not some fake stuff with 26 ingredients.  Also, why hasn’t anyone ever thought of having ear plug stations where people could bring or buy a set of ear phones and turn the volume way up or down if they physically needed or wanted to?  (Elderly people hard of hearing.  Autistic/aspberger people sensitive to loud noise.  Etc.)”

It’s visioneering like this that is going to get us where we need to go.

Thank you, Lindy!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: