Expensive cinema prices are no problem for outdoor festival goers

by Bob Deutsch

increase in movie theater prices encourage people to go to free outdoor festivalsAn increase in movie theater prices could help affirm why outdoor screens are so attractive.

Though an outdoor screen can be incorporated into various types of events with ease, there’s a certain simplicity about coming to an outdoor venue and watching a film in a large group. In what seems to be a possible push to sway moviegoers into attending cinemas more often, Paramount has recently tried a new scheme to lure audience members in by offering special premium benefits.

As the Huffington Post described, the studio gave interested parties the option of paying $50 for a chance to see the new zombie thriller film “World War Z” starring Brad Pitt. The package included not only an early viewing but concessions and merchandise as well, including a pre-ordered copy of the film on DVD. Whether it’s successful or not, it could signal a change in the way movie theaters are seen, more as spectacle than a regular part of everyday life.

This matches up with the somewhat infamous pronouncements recently given by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas at a special event for the University of Southern California earlier this month. In it, the two of them gave their vision of the future of movie going, with big films costing more than smaller ones and pitched on a larger scale.

Exhibitors making use of outdoor screens don’t have to deal with that change in perception, as the joys of seeing a movie outside are essentially the same as they’ve ever been. And in a time when so much about movie theaters seems in flux, that can provide a sort of stability to consumers simply looking for a way to relax.

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