Variety & THR Take Aim At Exhibition Industry
Gregg Kilday writes in today’s Hollywood Reporter:
“Hollywood spends millions of dollars hawking individual movies, but precious little attention is spent to selling the notion of moviegoing itself…Potential ticket buyers need to be reminded that moviegoing is a communal experience that can’t be duplicated at home, even with the best home entertainment systems. If the film industry doesn’t begin to speak up in its own defense, it has only itself to blame as audiences continue to drift away.”
Meanwhile, Jonathan Bing opines in Variety:
“HERE’S AN UNCONVENTIONAL solution for Hollywood’s box office problem: Redesign the multiplex. Bulldoze the thousands of poorly subdivided concrete boxes dotting America’s cities and suburbs; rebuild them as state-of-the-art retail and entertainment centers. Dim the garish lighting, plant new cars and other attractions in the lobbies; and customize the place by movie genre — date movies could be screened in theaters with love seats; teen movies could be screened in theaters that can be hosed down at the end of the night.”
He concludes, “Consumers are pissed off. Faced with rising ticket prices and 20 minutes of onscreen ads, it’s going to take more than stadium seating and free refills to win them back.”
BRAVO!!!!!! to Jonathan Bing you are so right. Where is the imaignation that accompanies this creative industry. Instead of seeing how many screens we can construct under one roof, why not build a creative 8 screen theatre, not a cinema, but a theatre. Spend the type of money it takes to build 12 into 8, this industry has to give the public a reason to go out, and currently neither Hollywood, with its re-makes nor the exhibition with its boring designs is accomplishing that. If we look at history what happend in the 60’s the last time this industry when thru a significant change.We need to listen to the movie going public. They re flat out tired of excessive pricing, not only at the boxoffice, but the concession stand as well. They can get all the commericals one wants on television. This is a very creative industry, it’s time we use that creativity to bring the general public back to the movies.
National Amusements brings folks in by offering luxery services at their Cinema De Lux locations, these theatres are first rate all the way (City Center in White Plains by far a wonderful theater) – I think folks don’t like long lines and lots of previews (City Center starts the commericals seven minutes early, the feature starts about 7 minutes after the start time, thats not so bad).
Then again National Amusements unlike Regal, which built anywhere and everywhere opening plenty of loser sites, studies the sites for years before building one of their high quality theatres. Quality and atomphere are the way to go. N/A and Muvico are the future. Regal, simply dominates because it owns the most screens, but most of their theatres are ugly.
IMHO…Arclight Hollywood is THE PROTOTYPE that all new theatres should follow. Here are some reasons why:
They didn’t tear down the exisiting classic Hollywood palace (Cinerama Dome) and build a new theatre in it’s place. Instead, they preserved the classic theatre and built their new theatre behind it. All theatre chains should be following this example!
Every one of the auditoriums at Arclight is as wide as the screens are. They wisely put the screen masking on the sides and not at the top…insuring that every film that shows on even the smallest screens will have magnificent presentation.
No car commercials/Fantanas/Fandango ads.
Real butter on the popcorn…not to mention a more selective concession menu.
21 and over screenings to keep the kids away.
Crystal clear, THX Certified sound in all auditoriums.
Ushers who CARE about the film experience.
Eclectic programming. Where else can the classics play alongside blockbusters on a weeknight?
The only thing wrong with Arclight is the prices. Lower the prices there and you’ve got the most perfect cinematic experience in the world!
Film presentations are God awful, every major exhibitor has no projectionist tech in the booth. There is not one indivdual that can present a motion picture to acadamy standards, or even know what they are.
A Professional Projectionist is one that has done an apprenticeship of at least two years in the fields of motion picture presentations, in sound, mechanics of projection, electrical and electronic trouble shooting and presentation of SMPTE standards in the industry.
All these exhibitors have in there booths are high school kids that can only lace a machine and know nothing else. They could not rebuild a projector, or maintane its working parts. Nor could they trouble shoot any electrical or electronic problem that occurs. All that is done today is give out a pass and have the patron come back for another horrible screening of the film.
It cost no more to have a skilled projectionst operating up to 15 screens then it does to pay 3 or 4 kids to do the same job. You get an enhanced presentation of showmanship from the skilled projections for the same money.
Now you know why box office is down 7% from last year and expected to continue to decline. You can get a much better movie presentation on your DVD.