Last week, we told you about Screening Room, the streaming video startup from Napster co-founder and guy-who-was-played-by-Justin-Timberlake-in-that-Facebook-movie Sean Parker that hopes to sell home video access to new movies the same they hit theaters. Even though the Screening Room model reportedly includes plans to share the wealth with theater owners, an industry lobbying group is shrugging off the idea. [More]
Yesterday, Netflix announced that it would be releasing a new movie, Beasts of No Nation, later this year simultaneously on its streaming service and in theaters, leading the nation’s biggest exhibitors to cry boycott and say they will refuse to show the film. But not Alamo Drafthouse, which doesn’t seem fazed by having to compete for consumers who can just stay home and see the movie. [More]
By now you’ve likely heard about last night’s horrible shooting at a Colorado movie theater that left at least a dozen people dead and several times that number injured. In response, some theaters have already begun beefing up security for opening-day showings of The Dark Knight Rises.
After waiting in line ~10 minutes I swipe my credit card only to get the following message “Tickets cannot be found, please try another machine.” After trying several other machines, I quickly realize that nobody can find their tickets.
At the last place I worked, we unfortunately encouraged ushers to do whatever they could to get as much money as they could. Why? Because the theaters that collect the most get special bonuses, or some other sort of incentives (I forget what exactly). So, some of our staff became quite aggressive with the customers in asking for their coin. They’d make remarks behind the backs of people who didn’t give, for instance, or otherwise attempt to make non-givers feel guilty in some way.
Everyone likes to help the less fortunate—at least, that’s what we’re going to go with publicly for the sake of this argument. That said, is it really appropriate to be asked to pony up donation money when you’re sitting in a theater waiting for your movie to begin? You’ve already paid more than you probably wanted to for the tickets, not to mention any refreshments—shouldn’t that ticket price also include an implied guarantee that you won’t be asked to tithe?
- Regal Theaters, the nation’s largest theater chain, has begun testing devices in 25 of its locations that allow patrons to summon ushers if audience members use cell phones or become unruly. Regal Chief Executive Michael Campbell told the Reuters Media Summit in New York Wednesday that a second button will notify management of faulty projection, a third about uncomfortable room temperature, and a fourth about any other problem. Campbell said that ordinarily customers won’t say anything such problems while the film is running. “They just will complain on their way out or, in the worst case scenario, they don’t come back.” He said that he expects the device to be available nationwide next year and that it will be given to “mature” audience members, who will receive free popcorn for their efforts.