With the increasing cost of movie tickets and a slump in attendance, studio bosses and theater chains are trying to find new ways to get people back into their seats.
With the increasing cost of movie tickets and a slump in attendance, studio bosses and theater chains are trying to find new ways to get people back into their seats. One idea that has been bandied about over the last year is to make those seats bigger and provide a different dining experience.
Movie theaters have begun providing food options such as cheeseburgers, quesadillas, and even alcohol, depending on the location. According to the Wall Street Journal,
At dine-in cinemas, seats typically come in pairs of two, with wide aisles between couples to allow waiters to navigate in and out the theater during screenings without blocking views of the movie. Many guests order during the film by pressing a small button near their chairs. Some theaters have small tables in front of the seats; others feature folding trays that extend across the seat for easy eating. Many dine-in theaters have some age restrictions; some don’t allow anyone under 21 years old.
Theaters are beginning to place major emphasis on the experience of going to see a film in an attempt to renew the appeal of seeing a film on a large screen as opposed to in the comfort of your home. While filmmakers try to buck this trend with extra special effects and 3D conversion, theaters believe if they make going to the movies more than seeing a film than more people will be more willing to spend the extra cash. Ticket prices for these specialized theaters range anywhere from an additional 10 dollars to ticket prices to as high as 29 dollars.
The largest chains in the country, Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment and IPic Entertainment, have all begun expanding their interests into the moving dining experience. According to the National Association of Theater Owners about 300 to 400 of the existing 5,575 theaters in the U.S. offer a version of the dine in experience.
Although the venture is new for larger theater chains theaters such as Alamo Drafthouse have been famous for providing this kind of experience for years. The Austin based theater has plans to expand the chain into both New York and Los Angeles sometime in the near future.