Jan 15, 2008


I took my kids to see a movie last night. And, as I pondered how the vegetables were holding the sword that was floating out in space inches from their bodies or why about half of them had no eyes (yet one wore glasses), a thought occurred to me. The movie theater is changing - it's not JUST about movies anymore. During the previews, I saw commercials for TV shows and products. I also saw a preview for a showing of an opera straight from the Met in New York. They are also going to do a special on the New York Marathon. In the past, concerts have been broadcast.

The fact of the matter is that Hollywood isn't glittering as much anymore. Movies aren't paying the bills. I assume that's because DVD's, cable, the internet and even the Xbox/Wii/PS3 have competed for screen time at the theater. And, at $9.75 for an adult ticket and $8 for a bag of popcorn, it has to be a REALLY GOOD movie to make you go pay those prices. So, consequently, the theaters are looking for ways to pay the bills. First they added advertisements for local businesses (the slide show). Then they added commercials for products like Coke and TV shows. Now, they are adding events that many of us wouldn't or couldn't attend. I'm no opera fan but if I was, the chances of me going to the Met to see an opera are slim to none. But, I might go to my theater to see it.

One theater being built near me has an "Adults only" screen. No, they aren't showing the naughty movies. It's basically a movie lounge where alcohol is served and art house films will be screened. The luxury seats have tables that fold up in front of them so you can have more high-class (high cost) snacks and wine will be served. Theater staff will come to you to take your order and deliver your goodies to your seat. It's expected to add about $3 (plus the cost of the food) to your ticket price. But, it must be working somewhere.

Now, let's talk scrapbooking! Our industry is not as healthy as we'd like it to be. So, what can WE do to add value, excitement and bring in different groups of people who have photos but have not yet discovered scrapping? Who can WE partner with? Who would have ever thought Opera at the movie theater? It really doesn't make sense at first look, does it? But, does it make sense now? I believe it does. What about bringing runners in to see the New York Marathon? Or skiers into see the latest Warren Miller movie - that has worked for years. The lobby of the theater is full of people selling lift tickets and ski gear.

How do WE diversify? We invite in companies and technology that will invite in other types of customers. Like I have said in previous posts, everyone has photos. How do we tap into helping them preserve those photos? It takes thinking outside the box. We can't be so focused on one type of customer that we miss (literally), the other 90% that have photos and stories they'd like to preserve.

No comments: