Saturday, January 07, 2006

Give Us a Reason to Go to Movies

Less people are going to see movies in theaters. To anyone who's been to a movie theater in the last decade, this doesn't come as much of a shock. The movie theater experience stinks:
  • Commercials. It still boggles my mind that theaters have commercials now. I never minded the static local advertising that played innocuously before the start of the movie, but having to sit through ten minutes of loud, obnoxious Pepsi and Gap ads is ludicrous.
  • Concession prices. $3.50 for a watered-down diet Coke? Come on. The unpackaged foods (nachos, hot dogs, baked pretzels, etc.) are not only overpriced, but they're barely fit for consumption.
  • Ticket prices. $9 for a movie that I wouldn't even watch for free is criminal. Is there any limit to what theaters are willing to charge? Do they really think people will keep coming when tickets hit $12? Let's hope not.
  • Sound. As much as theaters may tout their sound as Dolby-enhanced multi-channel blah, blah, blah, theater sound is still bad. Within the same movie you sometimes can't hear the dialogue and other times you have your eardrums blown out.
  • Cleanliness. I realize that theaters are made messy by inconsiderate patrons, but theaters need to figure out a way to keep floors from getting sticky and bathrooms from getting disgusting.
  • The movies stink. Obviously this is not the fault of the theater, but perhaps there should be a quality scale for ticket prices. One star movies are $3, two stars are $4, etc. Of course they'd need to get Hollywood on board with the idea, which will never happen.
  • Uncomfortable seating. Who can possibly sit still for an entire movie in the crappy seats they provide? There's no back or neck support and nowhere to put your arms.
  • No value-added service. Apart from the big screen, what do you get at a movie theater? Give me one reason (except for the big screen) to spend $30-$40 for my movie experience instead of waiting for the DVD or cable.
I visited a "deluxe" theater a few years ago and was impressed with it. There were a limited amount of comfortable seats, the sound quality was good, and they actually had waitstaff bringing popcorn, drinks, and desserts around. It added up to a solid movie going experience. Why can't this just be the standard movie theater experience instead of being the "deluxe" version?

1 comment:

Rahul Gupta said...

Whoa , I can't believe it. Me , here in karnal( city of Kalpana Chawla , if u remember her),India, think exactly the same when it comes to going for movies in theatres.I think this feeling is universal.haha.