Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – April 25, 2008: THE CINEPLEX WILL NEED MORE THAN THAT.

The news talked about how some commercial theaters are offering unusual settings to get customers to come to the movies. One offers meals and drinks while you watch. One lets you sit in classic cars. They say they need to offer something you can’t get in your home theater.

It’s going to take more than that.

If you haven’t noticed, TV programming is incredibly good.

Besides terrific weekly series like CSI, Criminal Minds, Numbers, and Cold Case, there are spectacular mini-series like The Tudors and John Adams. Even the special effects in outer space-oriented TV series are as good as first run movies. John Adams, a mini-series on HBO, in particular, was as good as anything I have ever seen at the theater. The screen writer for The Tudors is the same one for the Elizabeth movies.

Because TV is so good, and because the economy is so bad, theaters, with their $10 tickets, $5 popcorn, $4 drinks, and sticky floors, may suffer for ticket sales like they did when TV first came out, and it will take more than Cinemascope, color, and stereo sound to bring us back.

Maybe 3D, but that’s been around since the early 20th century. Maybe we will all just be so depressed about the state of our economy, we will go to the theater anyway, to escape.

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