Who Knew? Big, Comfy Chairs Important Attraction Of Movie Theaters

Mobile screens where people can pick and choose their TV, movie,  other video content would seem the answer to many folks’ needs. It’s personal, it’s portable.

In the opposite direction, we have movie theaters: a communal place to gather and watch some big-time entertainment.

For many this would seem like an media anachronism, but young millennials are still a big reason why the major movie studios are in business, marking the likes of the next big “Avengers” franchise -- or even the return of another “Star Wars” movie.

But what about those moviegoers who may see only two or three movies a year? Those consumers would seem like a lost cause, happy to wait for a VOD/Netflix/HBO showing of movies on their ever bigger in-home TV screens.

Because of this, in part, one Wall Street theater chain analyst, Eric Wold, senior analyst of B. Riley & Co, recently told investors to sell all their movie theater holdings -- the likes of AMC, Regal, Carmike, and Cinemark.



But before you call your broker, think about a new survey put together by RBC Capital Markets.  Seems a big percentage of those adult, perhaps light movie-goers still like going to theaters -- especially when there are cushy recliner seats. RBC says 42% of respondents would pay an extra dollar for a premium seat.

Seats? Who knew? Seems those consumers would also like theater owners to provide full-service meals along with those movies --40% of respondents wanted that. I’m sure car valet service would seal the deal.

What about the movies themselves? RBC says “alternative” content was in high demand -- not traditional movies, but live events, classic films, multicultural events and even TV content! 

For several years now, Metropolitan Opera has seen good business from airing live simulcasts of operas in theaters during the daytime hours and other times when movie theaters face sparse attendance.

Perhaps all this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Big entertainment events -- music, theatrical or otherwise -- can still draw the crowds.

Still, many adults like may have to wait for that special entertainment content to come around to their neighborhood. Think I’ll relax on my sofa -- with a big meal -- and watch a Netflix movie.


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