25 Apr FUTURIST TRENDSPOTTING: MOVIE THEATERS RECONSIDER THEIR VALUE PROPOSITION
Movie theaters have been an integral part of the entertainment industry for over a century. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that in recent years, the industry has faced numerous hurdles, including the rise of streaming services and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. What will the future of movie theaters hold? I can vouch for the fact that it’s a thought exercise that definitely bears engaging in.
Here are just a few trends to keep in mind as we go:
- Immersive Experiences: In the future, movie theaters are likely to offer more interactive and sensory experiences for audiences. This might include using technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to enhance the movie-watching experience. Some theaters are already experimenting with sound, vision, and sensory technology (think air squirts and water splashes, a la theme park rides), and you’ll only see more widespread adoption in the coming years.
- Premium Experiences: Another trend in the movie theater industry is the focus on top-end service and food offerings. Think luxury seating, gourmet food and drinks, and exclusive events. Provided you’re willing to pay the price, it’s the type of evening out you can’t get from streaming services.
- Hybrid Models: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many movie theaters to close or operate at reduced capacity, leading to financial challenges for the industry. In response, some theaters have adopted hybrid models that combine traditional movie screenings with other events, such as live concerts or comedy shows. This could help to generate additional revenue and attract new audiences.
- Shorter Theatrical Windows: The traditional model for releasing movies in theaters has been to have an exclusive theatrical window before the movie is released on home video or streaming services. Noticeably though, in recent years, studios have been experimenting with shorter theatrical windows or even simultaneous releases. This trend is likely to continue in the future, as studios look for ways to maximize revenue and reach audiences in different ways.
- Collaborations with Streaming Services: Despite the competition between movie theaters and streaming services, there is also an opportunity for partnership here as well. Looking ahead, you’ll see more crossovers and team-ups between providers, such as exclusive theatrical releases for certain movies or special screenings for streaming service subscribers.
- Sustainable Practices: As society becomes more conscious of the environment, sustainable practices will also increasingly take over within the movie theater industry. Imagine greater use of renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable transportation options. Green business practices can help to attract environmentally-conscious audiences and reduce costs for theaters.
- Digital Innovations: The digital revolution has transformed the movie theater industry in numerous ways I’m sure, from digital projectors to online ticket sales. But coming years will only bring more fun and futuristic upgrades like mobile apps for ordering food and drinks, or interactive movie posters that use AR technology.
Long story short: Things are changing rapidly out there in Hollywood – and the movie theaters which screen its latest films, motion pictures, and award-winning shorts as well.