It’s not easy being a movie theater these days: for more reasons that I can recount, people aren’t seeing theater-going as the best way to enjoy motion pictures. Studios and theater owners are rapidly moving toward digital distribution (see also: customized content for theaters), but this expensive investment in infrastructure sometimes feels desperate. It’s not scratchy prints that ranks highest on the consumer dissatisfaction list.
But digital distribution will allow theaters to use their spaces for more than traditional films. You can now enjoy all the glory of a concert without the hassle of parking and crowds. And if you’re short like me, chances are you spend more time watching the video monitors than the action on stage. . .if only because you can’t actually see over the person in front of you. In addition to music, look for sporting events and conventions (ah, the joy of going to a movie theater and munching on popcorn during the Democratic National Convention). And look for some confusion on the part of patrons:
“I’ve never been to one of these,” one attendee noted, “so I don’t know whether I am supposed to sit and watch or stand and clap.”