Saturday, June 11, 2005

Are Movie Theaters On Their Way Out?

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban has a long post on his blog asking what's going to become of movie theaters in an increasingly crowded media marketplace. I posted a comment on his blog suggesting two main things:

(1) There ought to be more theaters that have built-in cafes, like The Angelica on Houston Street in Manhattan. An on-premise cafe (with a nice assortment of interesting food, including raw vegan recipes) would create a sense of community and would attract people.

(2) Megaplexes ought to dedicate one or two of their screens to indy films, ones less likely to get distribution.

As a writer/director, I prefer to watch movies in theaters, as there's something magical about an experience shared with a large audience, not to mention the larger screen and top-notch sound.

But there are a few things that bug me:

(1) When we're paying $8 to see a film, we shouldn't have to sit there watching commercials.

(2) It used to be that films would have long runs, but now they're here and gone in a flash. The window of opportunity to see a film in a theater has become way too small.

(3) There's just not enough intelligence and wit in most theatrically distributed films. Hollywood keeps sliding downhill--maybe it's the mud?--and we wind up with dreck: RawStyle

(4) There are lots of films that get made that don't ever find distribution. Google will soon be showing people's films online, and that will make a huge difference in the quality of films that are out there and widely available. https://upload.video.google.com/

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