Civic minded theater owners
I'm not sure how many of you are on first name basis with your local theater owners, but I'd encourage you to talk with them if you can get a chance. Ask the person who sold you a ticket or popped your corn who the owner is and go say 'Hi'.
I think my area has probably the best owner around, but I'm curious about everybody else's. The local theater chain, in addition to main-stream fare, runs local interest movies, documentaries, and even TV programming.
The owners in my area built a new theater and SO many thought it was destined for failure. They built "party rooms" where kids could order pizza (Dominoes is within sight) and have a birthday or other event party. When they go into a movie, their coats and belongings are locked in the room and secure. The theater started with one party room and the demand was there. They now have three. In efforts to be even more kid-friendly, the owners designed and had these 'kid-packs' made (at a local company BTW) that hold about 2 cups of popcorn, an 8oz cup of soft drink and a mini-pack of M&M's. They run $4 and have helped balance the books, I'm sure.
I'd mentioned the showings...
The theater shows Green Bay Packer games -at no charge- and the crowds get about as rowdy as you'd expect. No carry-ins allowed, but what a great way to watch the big game.
A few weeks ago, I watched a mountain biking documentary that was co-hosted by the theater and a local bike shop. The theater was nearly full of biking enthusiasts who sat and visited -well after the credits, Q&A with promoter and door-prize drawing were done. Now, next week they are showing a TV special, tourism info-mercial featuring our area. Just before the Oscars, the theater tried to carry all the nominees. Some were just for a one or two night showing. We even had a couple of local film students make a feature-length mystery movie. They got an opening night with a limo, red carpet, and got to 'open' their movie.
I'm not bragging, (well, maybe a little) but, have any of you got a civic-minded theater in your area? Since the owners built that theater (8 screens) they've purchased another local chain comprising a late-run 'budget" 2 screen, a 6 screen stand-alone (not part of a mall or complex), and a drive-in. The 6 screen has been extensively remodeled. The drive-in will be as well.
How about it? Is your theater owner approachable enough to implement some of the above? Do you, or could you get "local interest" showings? Pro-sports? -They can't charge for those, but sports fans are a hungry and thirsty bunch.