MOVIE THEATERS TO SLASH PRICES TO GET YOU BACK...
by Janet J. Lawler
Did you hear the great news? Movie theaters want you back. You're staying home way too much. Or playing on your tablets. Put down that phone. Is that really the problem?
Are we just distracted? Too hooked into our tablets to go see a movie this weekend?
If the theaters cut the price for one day a week, as they're proposing, will that make me go to the movies more often?
Hmm... probably not. I'll tell you why.
It's not the price of a good movie that keeps me away -- it's that there are fewer good movies.
I'm a movie junkie. I fell in love with the movies as a kid. My mother took me often. My father took us on summer nights to the Drive In. Going to the movies was an experience.
I still get excited on Fridays... because that's when all the new movies come into theaters.
But guess what? I'm not so thrilled these days by new releases. As a colleague of mine always asks, "Is it WORTH seeing in the theater? Or should I wait for NetFlix?" The only movie I told him that was worth going to see last year on the big screen was GRAVITY. I'm sure there were others worth seeing like ALL IS LOST... CAPTAIN PHILLIPS... THE HUNGER GAME movies, etc. But now we can see those on our big home entertainment centers.
At my house, we splurged for one of those Smart TVs last year and now we hardly go out to the movies, unless invited to a free "screener". I work in media, so sometimes that's a perk. Sign me up! But I wouldn't have seen half the movies I saw last year if I had to open my wallet.
Hey, Hollywood executives and movie theater owners -- HEAR THIS -- it's not the price of a movie ticket these days that bothers us (although they are high) but its the content. Why are movies getting longer rather than shorter? 3 hour movies? Is that necessary? When half of the movie is repetitive... like THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.
Also, staying home in my pjs is a lot more appealing than being in a theater with someone texting next to me, or kicking my seat, or munching popcorn in my ear. I have to say that most New Yorkers are well-behaved movie-goers... you'll get shushed in a NY minute if you're not... but every once in awhile... I get that one person who grates on my nerves.
I remember seeing a movie with my mother years ago. The theater was half-empty. This tall guy sat in front of us... he LEANED WAY back in his seat... his head practically in her lap. She looked over at me as only my mom could and said, "I could wash his hair." Oh, I loved going to the movies with my mother. Never a dull moment.
Speaking about movie seats, my friends rave about the "recliner" seats in theaters. I have to check those out. Some theaters even let you order an entree and someone brings it to your seat. Wow.
"Yes, I'll have the Sea Bass, please. Wine? Sure, I prefer red. Australian grape perhaps, a Shiraz. Thank you."
How about you, fellow Movie Lover? What will you have?
Does this new movie theater experience beat staying parked at home on your sofa with someone you love (maybe just your dog or cat), snuggled, watching a movie you can't wait to see? There is a new release on Amazon Prime or NetFlix.
I love the communal experience of seeing a movie with an audience. The first movie I saw with a packed audience was JAWS. It was like taking a ride at a theme park. The audience kept SCREAMING. Our hearts thumping along with the theme music.
Or ROCKY when Balboa floored Apollo Creed early in the match.
Or seeing SILENCE OF THE LAMBS on a dreary, rainy matinee day with a bunch of seniors citizens and housewives... we were all TERRIFIED in the dark theater.... JUMPING and shouting for Clarice to "get out of that house! The girl is down a well in the basement!"
I will NEVER stop going to the movies. Want to charge me $50 dollars someday for a ticket and make me take a small loan for popcorn and a soda combo? Fine. I don't need all the gimmicks. I don't need to lie down and get a mini massage to enjoy the movie...
All I need, Movie Owner, is one thing only.
A good movie.
And then, you'll see me every Friday night.
Don't forget to Follow The NY Screenwriting Life on Facebook. Janet J. Lawler recently published her debut novel FROM THE GROUND UP available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/From-Ground-Up-Janet-Lawler-ebook/dp/B00F3CYSU8 Or visit www.janetjlawler.com