This article from The Atlantic lays out what’s in store for moviegoers when they return to cinemas after a year-long hiatus. As with many other industries, exhibitors have had a lot of time on their hands to reflect on how to upgrade their business to be more appealing to consumers, and are now ready to show what they have come up with. Moviegoers can expect some or all of the following on your first trip back to the theatre.
Theatres will be more “digitized” – cashless transactions for ticketing and concessions, with apps on smartphones the norm.
Theatres will be more private – expect theatres to showcase the wonders of private auditorium rentals, seven days a week.
Theatres want to be your first stop away from home – rejuvenated loyalty programs with active digital marketing will encourage customers to come back to the theater often. Said Alamo Drafthouse’s CEO Tim League, “I think we’re an out-of-home experience competing with bars and restaurants and nightclubs”
Theatres may still continue to close – some local movie houses may not make it to the other side of the pandemic, overwhelmed by the challenges of a year without income, ongoing capacity restrictions, the requirements to retrofit their facilities to meet new health regulations.