There is no doubt that the CoVid pandemic, coupled with streaming, has presented challenges for cinemas. But slowly people are starting to watch movies on the big screen again. On its opening weekend, “Black Widow” grossed $215 million. More than the pre-pandemic release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”, which was released in 2019, before the pandemic started. The popularity of “Black Widow” and several other new releases is a strong sign that for many movie theaters the recovery after CoVid has begun.
The interesting thing about “Black Widow” is that it was also available to watch at home via the Disney+ streaming service. For only $30. Although it may be cheaper for couples, families and groups of friends to watch it from the couch, many people still wanted to see it in the cinema.
Cinemas offer a special experience
There’s no doubt that people love to watch movies on the big screen, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Including that the atmosphere in a theater is so much better. People fall in love with the experience. To the point where movie theater owners are very careful about the changes they make. They take a slow approach to updating the look and feel of their locations.
Take, for example, the switch from paper movie posters to digital screens. On the surface, making the change seems to make sense for movie theaters. But as you will see, that is actually not the case.
Why many street-level movie posters are now displayed digitally
On the street, paper billboards are gradually being replaced by digital displays. So are movies that have traditionally been used to advertise upcoming movies. For example, the film posters along the escalators of the London Underground stations have almost all been replaced by digital screens. What is advertised can change several times a day, so it makes financial sense for the ad agencies that manage them to swap paper for a digital medium.
The iconic movie poster is here to stay
But in most cinemas this is not happening yet. There, change takes place more gradually. People want to be able to enjoy an authentic, retro experience. They expect to see traditional posters advertising the movies currently showing. Not a small digital screen. Certainly not one with content that keeps changing. Moviegoers don’t want to queue for what is being advertised. After all, they can’t get out of line to take a break.
Movie posters are collectibles
The fact that movie posters are also collectibles also plays a part in keeping them relevant and desirable. Many of the most avid moviegoers are also collectors. They especially like cinema posters, which have the potential to grow in value. The fact that they are relatively inexpensive, easy to store and can potentially be used as a decorative item makes them a very popular keepsake.
Other ways modern movie theaters use screens
Given all of this, it’s unlikely that traditional movie posters will be completely replaced by digital screens any time soon. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in modern movie theaters. They are used in many other ways.
There is a growing trend for movie theaters to turn themselves into entertainment venues. Many of them open bars and restaurants. Making it easier for people to turn a visit to the cinema into a special night out.
In most of those restaurants, the menu is displayed on a digital screen. They’re easy to see when people come in, which means that by the time their server arrives, most people can order right away, saving valuable time. What important is. Diners don’t want to have to choose between missing the start of the movie or finishing their meals.
Importantly, these menus can be easily changed and updated very quickly. Many movie theater restaurants serve different types of food at different times of the day. So there is no doubt that digital menus are here to stay. Many movie theaters also use digital screens to share important information. For example, at the front of the house to remind people of the mask, social distancing and hand washing protocols. As well as behind the scenes to remind employees of changes in the way they should work.
One-day paper cinemas are of course a thing of the past. But this probably won’t happen for many years to come.