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filmfann's avatar

Is this the future of movie theaters?

Asked by filmfann (40761 points ) May 23rd, 2014

A local (for me, 25 miles away in Redding) movie theater is changing its pricing policy. They are going to be something like Netflix.
For $16.95 a month, you can go to the movies here as often as you like.
To me, this sounds crazy, but so does Netflix.
This is in an area where lots of people go to the movies just to get out of the heat. The cineplex has something like 14 theaters, so you will have the chance to see a lot of what you might normally pass.
Does this sound good to you?
How often do you go to the movies?
Can they sustain this business model on popcorn and soda sales?

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24 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

I was a projectionist for three years in the 90’s in a 8 screen theater. I was also a manager that saw how the sausage was made.

1st week in the theater 5% of ticket sales to the theater.
2nd week in the theater 10% of ticket sales to the theater.
A pattern emerges until it hits 50%

upsell popcorn Really, I looked through the numbers. If you took out concessions we would have lost like 75K a month. The power bill was around 20K a month and then toss in the lease and payroll.

It has been 14 years since I worked at the theater. I still get in for free since the manager never changed. I never really go. I torrent.

flip86's avatar

Nope. Not worth it.

Adagio's avatar

I like theatres that have comfortable chairs and offer a glass of wine or a coffee you can take into the theatre with you, they treat you like an adult, these are most often smaller boutique type cinemas that show foreign/art/film festival films, I imagine the majority of patrons are aged 40 +.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Yes, this probably is the future of movie theaters.

I remember going through Redding as I hitchhiked across Norther Cali. From there I went to Weaverville on my way to Coffee Creek, Trinity County and Mt. Shasta. Redding gets hot!

Judi's avatar

I go through Redding once or twice a month.
I think that’s a great idea!

JLeslie's avatar

When I was a teen that would have made a lot of sense (hopefully the price would have been a little cheaper back then) because I went to the movies a lot with friends. I probably would not participate in that deal today, but I think it is a reasonable deal for anyone who goes to the theatre 2+ times a month. I go to the movies about once every three months.

zenvelo's avatar

I don’t think it will work.

The problem is that with everyone having subscribed, it’s hard to plan to go see the latest blockbuster movie. I like being able to buy a ticket online for this evening, then show up when the theater is open for seating. How are you going to figure out who gets to see the next showing of X-Men? Stand in line for a couple hours?

I remember run February of ‘73 waiting in line for The Exorcist the our one and a half showings.We showed up at 5 for the 6 o’clock show, we were about 200 from the start in the line for the 9 o’clock.

Seek's avatar

Dollars to donuts you’ll have to pay extra to go opening week.

Crazydawg's avatar

Until Hollyland puts out more than one movie a year I would want to see I will use that near $200.00 a year to buy really comfy toilet paper instead.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo They still need to book a seat, even if they pay monthly.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The extinction of neighborhood theaters is just another landmark in the transformation of our formerly cozy country to cold bottom line reality. The proliferation of 50” screens in people’s homes, and the tough economics around that $8 tub of popcorn makes me wonder about the future of movie theaters—any movie theaters. I wonder how long they can persist?

Crazydawg's avatar

@stanleybmanly There are still thriving drive in movie theaters where I live that speak contrary to your Doom and Gloom perspective.

filmfann's avatar

The large screens are nice, but something is lost when you don’t have the shared experience of watching movis like Jaws, or the Harold Lloyd films, with a crowd.

Crazydawg's avatar

@filmfann No movie experience is complete without someone saying ‘excuse me’ while they shuffle to go get a refill.

Pachy's avatar

I agree with @filmfann in principle, but theater audiences are so rowdy nowadays that I’m finding myself going out less and less.

Crazydawg's avatar

@Pachy IMO the rowdiness in theaters is far less today than it has been in the past. The ‘wow’ factor in movies to instigate rowdy behavior today is passe as almost any OMG moments have been exhausted in previous movies and it is all retread moments that almost put you to sleep. The only new WTF moments in movies today are cell phones going off in the theaters.

Seek's avatar

If and when I ever go to the theater (usually for a new Star Trek release and the latest Peter Jackson/Tolkien combo) it’s at 9:00 AM on a Tuesday, so my husband and I will be the only people there.

Because seriously, if you can’t turn off your cell for three hours to enjoy a film, I have no desire to share my film experience with you.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Crazydawg You have drive in movie theaters PLURAL? That’s like a claim of having a garage with 2 Ferraris. It’s a good bet that there isn’t an operating drive in within 500 miles of here.

mazingerz88's avatar

$16.95 a month-? That’s cheap-! I would grab that deal. For someone who watch 4 movies a month at least, that deal is just sweet….:)

Nothing like watching movies wide-screen. And the empowerment this $16.95 will bestow upon my movie fan ego-? Struttin and hoppin from one movie to another. Priceless. I could watch the same movie as many times as I want right-?

Crazydawg's avatar

@stanleybmanly I guess I am fortunate then. One has a steel monkey bars with swings on asphalt.

Seek's avatar

We have a drive-in theatre in Tampa, but it’s more of a hangout for people with obnoxious stereo systems in their cars than anything else. One has absolutely no hope of enjoying a film there, even though they do have nightly double features.’

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Are they first run movies or are they those movies that aren’t new but aren’t on DVD yet?

filmfann's avatar

New releases, I believe.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

My daughter was recently given an obviously pirated copy of Maleficient. It was pretty good, except for when the usher had to ask the parent of the crying baby to leave the theater!

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