Susan was telling me about a movie she saw a few weeks ago at the local cinema multiplex. I don’t think she could recall today what the film was, but she certainly remembered the cinema itself.
Here’s the sentence that jumped out at me: “I’d go there on my own just to see a film. It’s better than home.”
It seems that in this age of viewing movies on the back of an airplane seat or on a handheld device, the multiplex has struck back by giving customers the full cinema experience – roomy, plush recliner seats with raised leg rests, wide padded arms with embedded cup holders, walking space in front of the seats at least running room wide, smooth metal railings for hand support, and rows raked steeply enough that nothing obstructs one’s view.
Wait, you may be thinking. Theatre chains have been doing this – with wait staff meal service – for a few years. Yes, they have. For a price.
Susan’s multiplex didn’t change the ticket price. What they changed was the viewing experience.
Will it work? Susan’s friend took pictures of the new layout to send her parents so that they’ll consider it next time they want to go out to a movie. Susan’s been back twice already, introducing friends to the experience. There might be better films playing in other theatres. But this theatre feels like home, except for the fact one gets to curl up in the dark with an Imax screen and state-of-the-art sound.
What this multiplex understands is that those who choose to view their films on the wide screen do so for the love of the experience. And so they’ve given them an experience they can love.
And you? As Malone said in The Untouchables, here endeth the lesson.