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TOPIC: Big Screen 2.0 ... what are your most powerful visitor exper

Big Screen 2.0 ... what are your most powerful visitor exper 27 Dec 2007 17:26 #17102

  • marocom
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Greetings,

While not new to business, I'm ultra-new to this forum and to the big screen biz. (In truth, we're exploring the idea of entering the business -- and this forum looks like the industry's best kept secret).

Didn't see a thread like this on the board, so thought I'd start one.

BIG QUESTION:

What are you doing (or have you seen any other theatres doing, to enhance the visitor experience ... beyond the Big Screen?

Interactivity...
Child Care...
Internet Cafe...
Cappuccino Bar...

Anything?

Let's face it, we're in a whole new world ... with tons of competition for entertainment dollars and eyeballs.

What are you guys doing or seeing done that really takes it over the top in terms of drawing people in, keeping them, and making the experience unforgettable.

Making those people want to come back again -- and bring their friends with them?

Thoughts?

Looking forward to answers...

JP Maroney
CEO, Marocom Group
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Re: Big Screen 2.0 ... what are your most powerful visitor exper 28 Dec 2007 00:14 #17103

  • revrobor
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I have owned and operated theatres in the past and am planning to reopen a dark house. I'll share with you my observations.

A big screen (or multiple screens) are not a sufficient attraction to assure a theatre's success. You need to give people a "theatre experience" they are not getting at the "big box" multiuplexes.

First: product is of primary importance. Don't be suckered into playing whatever it is the distributors are promoting. There is product available from distributors from producers all around the world. Don't play at your house what the competition is playing. Make your presentations "family friendly". This does not mean every film is suitable for kids. But it does mean the product is of high quality and does not depend on violent special effects, sex or foul language to draw a crowd.

Offer concession items different from and at more reasonable prices than the competition. Consider including healthy snacks and drinks. Make your theatre ambiance attractive by including screen curtains (most multiplex auditoriums looke like nothing more than giant TV screens. Offer your patrons the best picture and sound quality available and employ only people who will keep it that way.

And your service must be friendly and efficient.

I hope this helps. Feel free to email me for more info.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman

[This message has been edited by revrobor (edited December 28, 2007).]
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Big Screen 2.0 ... what are your most powerful visitor exper 28 Dec 2007 01:25 #17104

  • Ken Layton
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Bob's got it in a nutshell: Showmanship!
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Re: Big Screen 2.0 ... what are your most powerful visitor exper 28 Dec 2007 10:24 #17105

  • Cinemateer
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I think Marocom is looking for ideas to draw people beyond movies.

Interactivity: Anything beyond showing simply movies and on-screen ads will most likely require a digital projector (pay-per-views, 3-D, live events, video gaming, etc.), meaning big bucks.

Child care: Been tried- a logistical and liability nightmare.

Internet cafe: People are used to coming to see movies at a theater. If they want to sit down for an extended period of time, log in, and sip a cup of joe, a theater isn't the place to do so since they are normally only open in the evenings. That's a whole other business plan.

Cappuccino Bar: Many theaters have enhanced coffee available in different forms. I foresee coffee/cappuccinos/lattes/etc. becoming a mainstay for not only theaters, but other venues as well in the very near future.

If a theater has a stage, holding live events (concerts, comedy, plays, etc.) is normally a great draw.

Many theaters are becoming dinner theaters where they offer sit-down menus, alcoholic beverages, and full desserts.

Sometimes an offering as simple as $1 hot dogs will create customers for life.

But if a theater is to survive as a theater, I think most will agree that you don't want to get too far away from movies since that is what customers are expecting. Small enhancements are fine, but major changes in the typical movie-showing business model takes a business somewhere beyond a movie theater, and movie theater owners want to be movie theater owners or they would be doing something else.

Beyond this, showmanship is the key to success, as it has been mentioned.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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