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The Troubles Facing Movie Theaters

By admin Published: February 19, 2009

I have been to three movies in the last two days -- "Benjamin Button," "The Reader" and "Doubt," and I am sure you all can detect the common thread. One showing was a matinee, one an early-evening and one late-evening showing tonight. (I saw "Idol" before the movie but am still in the cone of silence re "Lost.") Total attendance at those movies: 11, three of whom were me. I had the theater all to myself for the late-evening movie.

I know those are all films that have been out for some time, but I also know that the theaters had to be suffering from the plague of the multiplexes -- so many screens to have movies on, so few movies (or moviegoers) to make it worth their while. And I'm not the kind to provide relief at the concession stand: three movies, one bag of popcorn and that popcorn was marked down via a coupon I got with my ticket.

I also came away with a readmission pass to one theater after the projector stopped twice, once during the trailers but -- and here's where the pass came into play -- a second time during the movie itself. I tried to be nice when pointing out the problem -- since there was no one else in the theater to do so -- and the folks at the theater were apologetic and nice about making amends with the coupon, as well as restaring the projector, so I did see all of the movie. But I am sure somewhere in the process the theater guy thought, "Are we really going to all this trouble for a showing with one person in the audience?"

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