DINE-IN CINEMA EXPERIENCE
My first job was at AMC Coral Ridge 10 in Fort Lauderdale, FL as an usher-concession-box-office-projectionist-in that order. Going back there, it was renovated two years ago into a dine-in theater with reclining seats. It's my first time in one of these (I'm an Arclight bb 4 life). Here are my thoughts:
- •Makes the movie the least important part of the experience.The main selling point is that it feels like you are in your living room, eating finger foods, and reclined in a chair. The problem is, everyone watches movies differently in their living. Some have zero problems checking their phone, talking aloud to their friends, or flagging down the server halfway across the theater. In other words, you're at a restaurant with a nice TV in front of you.
- •Less is more mentalityLess seats, but a higher ticket price and overpriced microwaved food is probably better for them than selling more tix with less concession, since distributors take most of the up front grosses. And in a 10 house theater, turn around is quick.
- •Digital ProjectionI'm a 35mm snob. Needless to say, I spend more time at @newbeverly and cinefamily for that reason (not to mention awesome programming. However, when seeing new movies, I know it's hard to avoid digital. But, in this setting, it really feels like you're watching TV. I yearn to build a print again. It was my fav part of the job. Thankfully, Tarantino, Nolan, and others are fighting to keep 35mm alive.
- •Digital Projection Part 2Christopher Nolan made a great point recently: if shooting and projecting digital is so much cheaper, why isn't that savings being passed onto the consumer? Why are tickets at an all time high and why are distributors still taking 90/10? It was 70/30 when I worked there (2001-2003)
- •TrailersThis is not exclusive to this theater, but can there be a federal law on trailer packs? 10 -12 mins? If I see that Michael Bay Benghazi trailer one more time, I'm gonna lose my mind.
- •ServersThey should not be on call for the duration of the movie. If anyone needs concessions or anything after the trailers, they should have to go out and order in the lobby. This place doesn't even have a concession stand, just a bar called MacGuffins (inside baseball amirite?). And there should not be a check drop 10 mins before the movie ends, this isn't a comedy club (I hate when it happens at a comedy club too, since I have to make peace with whatever bit I'm doing is gonna go over 75% well)