How to Make Your Theater More Than Movies
Movie Theater Industry Ideas That Go Beyond Film
We’re all aware that ticket sales aren’t what keep the lights on in the movie theater industry. So with the space you have, why not implement some new ideas to attract audiences to your theater and entice them to stay longer?
Try a combination of these strategies depending on your size and location and see what works for you.
- Add more food service. Many theaters have expanded their concessions offerings to include full restaurant and bar menus, and in most cases this has been successful. If done right, with reasonable prices and attractive food items, patrons will be happy to have a single destination for movie night.
- Create private-label, gourmet menu items. How do movie theaters make money? Concessions, of course. So make yours better than the competition’s. Gourmet popcorn and fudge are just two easy ways to expand your menu and delight customers. Prepackage these special items and set up a grab-and-go kiosk near the exit to encourage take-home sales.
- Take advantage of empty space. Whether it’s extra screening rooms that no longer bring in enough revenue to open, an available storefront in the mall, or even your lobby, think about how to use open spaces. Make your cinema a family destination with activities like laser tag, escape rooms, mini golf, and arcades.
- Become a gathering place. Advertise all-inclusive kids’ birthday parties, where attendees get concession food, a children’s movie of their choice, decorations, and access to your arcade for a fixed price. Add-ons can include cake from a local bakery and movie character appearances by actors, such as Disney princesses or superheroes.
- Support community events. Just like your local coffee shop, there’s nothing stopping you from hosting local musicians and writers. Offer happy hour specials and bring in a local artist for a talk or performance one night a week or month. You could even invite children’s authors to do a reading for kids and offer specials on kids’ meals and snacks.
- Give away free stuff. People love giveaways, and FOMO – fear of missing out – is real. Whether it’s movie-related merchandise available for a limited time during a new release or simply a series of collectible items (think Dish Night from the 1930s meets fast food kids’ meal toys) that changes periodically, people will naturally want what others have. Publicize your giveaways and encourage guests to share with a wider audience on social media.
Thinking outside the box will help you bring in new customers and keep your business fresh and exciting. And of course when people are ready to see a movie, they’ll have your cinema top of mind! Make sure you’re ready for them with movie theater popcorn supplies and equipment.