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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » “People don’t want to sit in a theater anymore."

   
Author Topic: “People don’t want to sit in a theater anymore."
Harold Hallikainen
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Posts: 668
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 02-08-2018 09:56 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
http://www.scnow.com/news/business/article_8c930892-0c63-11e8-9c41-3769fc0f9741.html

Drive-in movie theater coming to Pee Dee

HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Grab some popcorn and fire up the ole 1955 Ford T-bird because a drive-in movie theater is coming to the Pee Dee.

Brent Anderson, owner of the Center Road Drive-In Movie Theater, said the theater will be family-owned and -operated.

“It’s going to be a family business,” Anderson said. “My wife, Wendy, and my children, we’re all ready to see it happen. To have something of my own to get to share with people is very exciting.”

The movie theater will be at South Center Road in Hartsville on land that Anderson said his family has owned for more than 75 years.

“It’s centrally located between Florence and Hartsville,” Anderson said. “We hope that it will attract people from Lee County, Darlington County and Florence County.”

After being phased out over the past few decades, drive-in movie theaters are beginning to pop up across the United States.

Anderson said the theater is eyeing a grand opening in March, but it may be April before it’s up and running.

“We went to them when we were younger and it’s really coming back,” Anderson said. “People don’t want to sit in a theater anymore. They want to be able to check their phones and see what’s going on in social media. They can sit in the car and just enjoy it with their family. When you go to the typical theater, you have to sit there and watch the movie without really socializing. This creates a family atmosphere for people to really spend time together. It’s an experience that is different than just going to the movies.”

Anderson said the theater will show “first-run” movies, which means the same movies being played in “normal theaters” will be shown at the drive-in movie theater.

Center Road Drive-In will have two projectors and one two-sided screen that can show movies on both sides.

“We will pick two to four movies to show each night,” Anderson said. “We will show a double feature starting at dusk in which people will have the opportunity to see two movies of their choice.”

The theater is planning to open Thursday-Sunday at first and may expand to seven days a week in the summer.

“We’re at the end of the permits and engineering process,” Anderson said. “Construction won’t take too long once the permits are in, but it takes a lot longer to get access to those than a normal person might think.”

For more information, follow Center Road Drive-In Movie Theater on Facebook.

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Scott Norwood
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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
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 - posted 02-09-2018 08:14 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can't say that I love the idea of people watching movies while being distracted by telephones, but I am happy to see that the drive-in is making a comeback.

The resurgence makes sense, too--when people have many different choices about how to watch a movie, the drive-in offers a demonstrably different experience from the others. At drive-ins that have carload pricing, it can also be more economical than taking a family to an indoor theatre. I wish the owner the best of luck.

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Allan Barnes
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From: GRAND BEND, ONTARIO, CANADA
Registered: Mar 2009


 - posted 02-09-2018 08:19 AM      Profile for Allan Barnes   Author's Homepage   Email Allan Barnes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What type of screen are your installing? Projector?

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Carsten Kurz
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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
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 - posted 02-09-2018 09:08 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's probably not such a bad idea to have people access their phones in a drive in situation compared to a classic cinema. Sort of a mixture between a private living room and an auditorium.
Maybe you have bored kids on the back seat turning to their phones. Not my favorite idea of a family night out, but at least they are together and can still share some experience. The drive-in movie experience is special anyway...

- Carsten

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Dave Bird
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From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
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 - posted 02-09-2018 09:14 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We tell people asking for our wifi password that we don't intend on ever providing public wifi, the drive-in is meant to be social...

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Frank Cox
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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
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 - posted 02-09-2018 10:59 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sask Tel offers a free wifi service to businesses so Sask Tel cell phones will automatically connect to that instead of using their cellular data allowance. I think it's a nice service to offer your customers and I've encouraged a few other businesses in town here to have it installed (since it really is free) but I have absolutely no intention of getting it here since I don't want to encourage that kind of thing.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 02-09-2018 01:44 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't mind seeing a return of drive-in theaters, but building one brand new from scratch is tricky. They require a lot of land per screen; land in a good location could be really expensive. You can only squeeze in one or two shows after dark; that cuts down on ticket sales versus indoor theaters. But then you're not paying a big utility bill to air condition a bunch of auditorium spaces either. Still need bathrooms, a concession stand and maybe a playground under the movie screen.

How many cities or towns have zoning rules for drive-ins? I've wondered about that for a long time. I could imagine a drive-in drawing anger from families nearby if the screen was visible to their homes, showing bloody violence and naked boobies in R-rated movies.

quote: Brent Anderson, from the news article
“People don’t want to sit in a theater anymore. They want to be able to check their phones and see what’s going on in social media. They can sit in the car and just enjoy it with their family. When you go to the typical theater, you have to sit there and watch the movie without really socializing. This creates a family atmosphere for people to really spend time together. It’s an experience that is different than just going to the movies.”
If I'm a watching movie for the first time I'm not interested in "socializing" during the movie. That goes doubly so if I'm paying to see the movie at a theater. It doesn't matter about the theme of the screening room either (traditional seated auditorium, one with recliners, dine-in auditorium, a "home theater" style lounge room with couches and other random crap, or even a drive-in). I just want to concentrate on the movie. If I'm channel surfing at home, eating/drinking at a sports bar or some other experience then the stuff playing on screen can be "background" for conversations I'm having with other people. Otherwise, I'm doing a lot of shutting up and expect others to do so too.

If I'm watching at home (or someone else's home) and have to talk about something, take a bathroom break or whatever the remote control has a pause button.

Drive-ins do allow parents to bring the kids along rather than get a baby sitter or dump them off at a relative's house. My parents took my brother and I along on many trips to the drive-in when we were little. We often fell asleep in the back seat of their Pontiac LeMans while they watched some boring movie for grown ups. That's what the parents want to happen. God forbid little boys are the slightest bit awake when some naked boobs appear on the screen. They really regretted taking us along to a drive-in for them to watch Fritz the Cat.
[evil]

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 02-09-2018 02:06 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bobby Henderson
If I'm a watching movie for the first time I'm not interested in "socializing" during the movie. That goes doubly so if I'm paying to see the movie at a theater. It doesn't matter about the theme of the screening room either (traditional seated auditorium, one with recliners, dine-in auditorium, a "home theater" style lounge room with couches and other random crap, or even a drive-in). I just want to concentrate on the movie.
I picked up on that, too. Maybe he should have said, "People don't want to shut up and watch a movie anymore." But sitting in a car with a bunch of people chattering and/or goofing with their phones would be even more annoying than it is in a theater -- at least in a theater you may be able to move away from the offenders!

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Jack Ondracek
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From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
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 - posted 02-09-2018 03:17 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That was an unfortunate statement. It pits drive-ins against indoor theatres. The reality is that drive-ins can coexist very well with indoor houses, in large part due to the reasons that have been noted here by the rest of you.

Not sure how I came up with the number, but years ago, I estimated there was about a 15% crossover group of people who would patronize a drive-in or an indoor, based on whatever hit them at the time. Beyond that, each seems to have its own set of regulars that the other doesn't see much of.

The drive-in group likes the greater level of freedom. The social aspect is definitely there as well. You see it immediately in the lines of cars in the front rows of the screens and the lawn chairs in front of them. If you can stomach the cost of insurance, a good set of playground equipment is a huge magnet for the kids. There's generally a much wider selection of food choices and, in many cases, you can still bring your own.

For the indoor crowd, there's a higher level of picture and sound quality, not to mention the proliferation of directional channels that drive-ins can't provide. Neighborly distractions shouldn't be an issue, even if it is, in some cases.

Zoning is a matter of pre-planning. Our property is in an industrial expansion zone, which allows for this kind of business. It continues to serve us well, 69 years after it was built. If there's a specific category for drive-ins, I haven't seen it. In any case, selecting property that's outside a town's direction of development is something you need to figure out before you dive, or buy into this business. That also includes screen position, direction toward neighbors, ambient light, sound levels, traffic, etc, etc, etc.

I hope they've got this mostly figured out. No doubt, they'll learn a lot from the experience, well into the first few years they're open. If they've got it right, it'll be a lot of fun and a worthwhile business venture.

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Dave Bird
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From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
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 - posted 02-09-2018 06:48 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I still see reference to them in Official Plans from time to time. Generally only as a line item as "permitted" in Highway Commercial zoning or as "exempted" as to height restriction for the screen. You'd think that would fade away, municipalities seem to love to do a "new" plan every 5 years, but it must be a bit of a make-work project for them. Must be cutting and pasting all the old stuff in with the new.

It's a funny thing, people building them seem to have trouble getting permission with the ancient stereotypes of the passion-pit. But it's more like a family picnic 100 nights a year. Our neighbors tell us their biggest concern is that we'd ever close.

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Jay Glaus
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From: Pittsburgh, PA USA
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 - posted 02-10-2018 12:39 AM      Profile for Jay Glaus   Author's Homepage   Email Jay Glaus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In 1959 my grandfather and his partners built the Fair Ground Drive In in South Park Township, Penna. When the drive in opened a no drive in ordinance was enacted and once the drive in closed in the late 70's it could not be reopened by another operator. That's the only experienced I have had. I wish this gentlemen well but he is about to come face to face with reality. If you look at the article dated Feb 7 the picture shows a open field. If you go to his facebook page he hopes to open March 16th with Imagine. If he can build a drive in 37 days he will end up with the worlds record for construction. In all my dealings I have never heard an indoor theatre called a "Normal Theatre".

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