Reinvent the Movie Theater: wifi, outlets, low lights, second screen experience

Update 8/5: Wrote a response to the unexpected interest & negativity to my proposal

Update 8/8: Thanks to actor Elijah Wood for explaining why he disagrees with this idea; also to Anil Dash who takes a broader look at the feedback this post has received in the context of cultural norms.

Update 8/10: Thanks to @mike_ftw for hosting an extended chat on his podcast Let’s Make Mistakes. 

In my 20s I went to a lot of movies. Now, not so much. Over the past two years becoming a parent has been the main cause but really my lack of interest in the theater experience started way before that. Some people dislike going to the movies because of price or crowds, but for me it was more of a lifestyle decision. Increasingly I wanted my media experiences plugged in and with the ability to multitask. Look up the cast list online, tweet out a comment, talk to others while watching or just work on something else while Superman played in the background. Of course these activities are discouraged and/or impossible in a movie theater.

But why? Instead of driving people like me away from the theater, why not just segregate us into environments which meet our needs. I’d love to watch Pacific Rim in a theater with a bit more light, wifi, electricity outlets and a second screen experience. Don’t tell me I’d miss major plot points while scrolling on my ipad – it’s a movie about robots vs monsters. I can follow along just fine.

If you took a theater or two in a multiplex and showed the types of films which lend themselves to this experience I bet you’d sell tickets. Maybe even improve attendance during the day since I could bang out emails with a 50 foot screen in front of me. My epic out of office message could read “away from desk – watching Iron Man 3.”

53 thoughts on “Reinvent the Movie Theater: wifi, outlets, low lights, second screen experience

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