Cinemas must 'drastically improve' or lose audiences, says Christopher Nolan.

Cinemas must 'drastically improve' or lose audiences, says Christopher Nolan.

No, the issue is paying a small fortune to go to the movies just so people can annoy you with their cell phones combined with the fact that home entertainment systems have improved greatly.

And most movie theaters i know are shit and like you said, really expensive. In my country, for 5 dollars you get assigned seating, brand new, super comfortable seats, and waiter service. In the AMC i go to in Florida, 5 dollars barely gets you a bag of candy

Arclight in LA... I dont go anywhere else.

Its worth the extra 2 bucks. No ads, best seats, assigned seating....

Also hate to say it but its true...The extra 2 bucks also makes the mouth breathers not come in. I've never seen a cellphone out or anyone talking.

Edit: ads as in shit being sold to you. There are still 3 Trailers played before the film.

Edit 2: The reason you want to have assigned seats you pick.

I like Nolan and Tarantino (not as much as most people, but you get the point), but every time they talk about this I just want to plug my ears. They're always ranting about it, they just need to accept that it has happened and great movies are still coming out. If they want to use it so be it, but when they constantly bitch about the good old days of film it just reminds me of out of touch old people

I want to see Nolan or Tarantino's comments posted to /sub/lewronggeneration. Like when Tarantino said he not only hates streaming, but still uses VHS tapes to record things off his TV. These guys have some valid points but they take it too far, they're ridiculous.

I get the feeling like despite their genuine passion for recording on film, they're going out of their way to be almost hipsters about it. They're very pretentious and elitist about it, too, and hate digital with a passion.

Clicked the link expecting to read him defending film and preaching how returning to film would save the industry. Wasn't disappointed.

to the new seats

Ya, you know he's right. When he shot those scenes in Interstellar of everyone going through the wormhole on real film, I was like "man this would be so shitty on a digital projector."

Seriously, you could ask the average movie goer to rank the most important things they care about in the movie theater experience, and I'm 100% confident "fresher popcorn" will come up before "film projectors over digital projectors."

Although since we're on the topic, my AMC has upgraded with assigned seating. And I know some people are lucky enough to have the theaters with things like full restaurants and full bar's, etc.. That's the way cinemas survive, is making the experience better. Not using an antiquated technology.

Tickets are just too expensive these days to justify going. I wanted to see The Martian this weekend and checked online, for the cheapest it was going to be $35 to two tickets.

It makes them sound super closed minded, honestly. Some movies benefit from being digital, other movies benefit from being film.

I can't afford $30 for two movie tickets. I just can't. End of story. I can afford $15 for 2. And would probably go 2 or 3 times a year at that price. But at $30 I won't go once.

And the average movie goer probably doesn't even realise there's a difference.

They're too expensive, most are uncomfy, the snacks and drinks are very very expensive, I'm surrounded by loads of random people, some of which make noises or shine their phone light in the corner of your eye. what's to like?

for virtually the same price, waiting for bluray releases you can watch multiple times in the comfort of your own home and without any one else annoying you.

How many people can honestly tell the difference? I'm sure there is one, and that guys like Nolan can see it as clear as night and day, but for the average moviegoer like me, they may as well be the same thing.

An AMC theater near me has put in reclining seats, an open bar, and some have an adults only premiere for new movies. That, and they crack down on distractions. It's been a very welcome change compared to theaters I went to throughout my life. I've been going to this theater more than any I've been to.

This is exactly the case for me. There's always at least one person that gets on my nerves, whether its their cellphone or talking or whatever. If a theater could guarantee me a dickhead free experience I'd probably go a few times a month instead of once or twice a year.

It's that simple...Throw in soda/popcorn, and you're easily looking at $50+. It's just not worth the cash for too many people.

And let's not play dumb and pretend that free and illegal versions don't exist...

I've very, very rarely had any issue with the audience. It's almost always the theater itself. Out of focus projectors, sound systems turned up to 11 needlessly, and of course the ticket price. $15 for a show it crazy and unless the film is a major event not worth it.

I love Arclight Cinemas, especially the cinerama dome in Hollywood.

I watch a lot of movies on film because I live next to the Alamo Drafthouse and they always have 35mm showings, and I've gotten to the point where I can see a difference, but it's just the obvious things, like the flicker, and the warmth and stuff. People I've went with can never tell the difference, however, so I really don't think the average movie goer gives a shit

Here's a fun call from an irate customer who was removed from the premises

You need an Alamo Drafthouse.

They serve beer and they kick out anyone who's breaking the experience for anyone else.


People being unable to stay off their phones for not even two hours is definitely what is killing the cinema experience for me. I keep thinking it's a symptom of the fact I use the main big chain in my city but even in films where there's not as much of a mainstream appeal there's always that one inconsiderate dick with their face lit up (for 3/4 of the film) two rows in front. The staff aren't paid enough to care if you bother to complain.

I'd like clean floors and clean seats and a screen I don't have to crane my neck to see. I'd like to not see 35 minutes of previews and ads before a showing or the cinema to advertise the "actual" start time.

Cinemas must drastically improve or lose audience. My lounge room is a better deal.

Even a lot of the people in the film and TV industries can't tell the difference. Breaking Bad was done on film, but they're using digital on Better Call Saul because Vince Gilligan said he honestly couldn't tell which is which when both were put side-by-side.

Shoot, $8 would be a bargain here. $10+ is the norm for a movie. And if you want 3D, you're shelling out $15.

I miiiight go to two or three movies a year. It's just ridiculous now.

Cinemas are no longer worth the frustration for me. I used to try to catch a movie a week with some friends, but between people talking, using their phone, rifling through plastic bags to get their bootleg foodstuffs... it destroys why I'm there in the first place: the immersion.

That's why I'm so stoked for the emerging VR market. I've got a DK2 and while the resolution and weight leave a lot to be desired, eventually I'll be able to get a super immersive experience without having to leave my place.

Sources of problems in movie theaters, as defined by polls and discussions on reddit:

Other audience members (99%) Other problems (1%)

Also shootings are bad and Alamo Drafthouse is good.

I've been to those "Dine In Cinemas" in my city.

They're just as annoying.

It's Applebees quality garbage. People are banging glasses and munching away, while the staff weaves through your row.

Where I live you pay 10€ to get into a film, then like 10€ for a drink and some popcorn. No assigned seats (except for 1 cinema in my area) and we don't get a lot of those cool limited release films.

After all that you sit and watch 15 minutes of ads with like one trailer. Yup, 15 minutes of pure ads - we're paying to be advertised to.

So jelly.

Assigned seating is the best thing to happen to cinema since sound and color.

This. More than enough non-big budget movies make millions in profits. That proves that extreme quality is not what people are there for.

People go DESPITE all the annoyances. Others only go to the big movies they don't want to wait to see on DVD or Netflix. Some have given up completely.

Annoyances like fucking commercials. I paid to get in. Why am I bombarded with annoying low-rent commercials for the dentist while waiting for the movie to start? And why do I see the same 3 commercials on repeat? Can't you at least only show them once, and so annoy us less?

Other people suck. Getting my seat kicked constantly because the seats are so tightly packed. Multiple times, I've been the first person into a theater, and only a single other couple saw the movie as well. And they sat RIGHT behind me, and kicked my fucking seat.

Listening to some idiot open the loudest bad of candy he snuck in during a quite scene. Or hearing some young kid asking questions about a Rated R adult movie, only to have the parents answer them just as loud.

Fucking cell phones. Between people not putting them on silent, or the bright screens while texting... Sometimes I wish I could go all Rhonda Rousey on them and kick their asses right there in the theater.

Overpriced. Everything, from the seats to the food is ridiculously overpriced. Even the tiny arcade of 5 machines cost $1 each or more. It's a 1.5 to 3 hour movie at most. That makes for a very bad entertainment hour per dollar ratio. A one and a half hour movie at an expensive theater means it cost's more per hour that the people working there make in that hour!

My wife and I go to the movies 3-4 times a year and always go to IMAX. I've actually never once been annoyed by a person's cell phone or talking. The two things that I run into on a regular basis are babies (its 9pm on a fucking Friday why are you bringing a toddler to see Age of Ultron??) and people who need to sit next to me even though there's only sixteen people seated and six hundred empty seats.

I've never seen an 8$ ticket, is this including international ticket prices too?

Perhaps not you, but I feel like the people with this attitude are the same folks who will easily spend $30 at the bar in a night. When you look at inflation, average ticket prices have only gone up a little bit beyond the inflation rate.

2000 average ticket price: $5.39 / 2014 average: $8.17

If tickets only went up with inflation, they'd be $7.46. So they've gone up with inflation plus 71 cents.

Alamo Drafthouse eliminates all of this.

Vince Gilligan said on his WTF podcast episode that they did a "taste test" of film versus video when deciding what to use for Better Call Saul. He said they couldn't spot the difference and went with video which saved a million or two for the season's production costs. He said that is what broke him from his devotion to film.

Saw Mad Max there, one of the best theater experiences I've had. Close second was Tron in IMAX

Cinemas don't need to improve, the distribution model does. Why spend $50 to see a movie when I can rent and watch in my home theater for $5 on my own time? I would gladly spend $30 to see The Martian at home on opening weekend after the kids go to bed, but I'll eventually just wait for it to rent.

movies now are just as good/bad as they have always been. People could care less about film vs. digital if done correctly.

Losing audience because it's grossly expensive. £10 average for a standard adult ticket here in UK, suck my dic

All I want is for them to make people be quiet and turn off their phones. Sooo many movies just ruined because of talkers

The pre-show propaganda and commercials don't actually bother me that much (although the pre-shows where I am are actually 30 minutes long and don't repeat, so that helps). It just puts something on the screen that would otherwise be dead air anyhow.

What bothers me is that the show time is 9:00PM, but that actually means the "real" commercials (e.g. as big and loud as the movie) start at 9:00 and go for 10 minutes. Then at 9:10PM, the previews start, which are the studios' best attempts to make sure to spoil every relevant plot point in upcoming movies. At 9:20, everyone gets to pull out their cell phone and play some lame interactive trivia games, followed by a reminder to turn off said phones (which I actually appreciate). Then, finally at 9:23 we get the "here's a really loud trailer that reminds you which theatre chain you're in because it's been so long since you showed up that you've probably forgotten" followed at 9:25 by the actual fucking movie you paid to see.

I took me, wife, mom, and niece on Saturday to The Martian. Just tickets, $45, and that includes a reduced price for a child. Oh, and that was matinee.

I agree. The change over to digital has not affected my enjoyment of movies. As long as films are good, I'm game. This year we got a bunch of awesome movies. My favs include ex machina, mad max, sicario, ant-man, the martian. I would say that I enjoyed each of these more than I did interstellar.

beer is coming out of a keg or can or bottle. how is going to be watered down exactly?

It does make it a right pain in the arse if you want to go and see a film with a group of friends, though, as you end up having to sit in completely different parts of the cinema unless someone ends up paying a fortune to book them all together and collects the money back from everyone else afterwards.

I know this is off-topic from the broader conversation, but I really don't understand theater pricing.

There are two theaters in my town (and about a dozen other new-release movie theaters within 30 miles). The one closest to me is in a nice part of town, has relatively new screens/projectors/sound systems, and has nice comfortable seating. It is well cleaned, and it has a fully stocked snack bar with prices comparable to all of the other theaters. They charge $7.50 per adult ticket on a weekend night, and for the rest of the week it costs $5 per adult ticket.

The other theater in town has the same quality and features, and the the location is roughly as lucrative. It's about 3 miles from the theater closest to my house. They charge $12-$15 for adult weekend tickets and $7-$8 for the rest of the week. their ticket price is largely representative of what's offered at the other big theaters in the area.

I really don't understand how two essentially-identical theaters can charge such different prices for the same product. What confuses me even more is that the lower priced theater is often less crowded than the theater that charges higher prices, even though they're so close to each other and both are equally accessible to population centers.

It really makes me think that higher ticket prices are supported by consumers because they associate it with a perceived increase in the quality of experience (whether or not the quality difference is real).

Uh, an open bar?

Vince Gilligan talked about this on Marc Maron's podcast. They were thinking about shooting Better Call Saul on film, just like Breaking Bad, and were told that they could save about $300k per episode if they didn't use film. So they took some test shots on both film and digital and Gilligan decided that they'll pick digital if they can't tell the difference without knowing which one's which. And they couldn't, which is why BTS isn't shot on film.

It is like he belongs in /sub/lewronggeneration.

Here in Australia it costs $25.00 for an adult and $17.00 for a child under 15. Add $15.00 for a regular coke and popcorn. I have 4 kids so if the wife and I take them to see a movie on Friday night and get them a drink and snack each I have just spent the best part of $200.00.

This is for a normal cinema with normal seating, 3D adds about 25% and gold class with reclining seats etc doubles the price.

Movie companies wonder why piracy is prevalent in Australia but I can set up a nice home theater with projector and surround sound for the price of going to the movies 10 times.

My friend just moved to the US and went to the movies for $11.00 complete with nice reclining seating and the popcorn and drink was over twice as large as you get here for half the price.

I'm aware of how he feels towards streaming but I never heard this VHS bullshit before. The mere fact aggravates me.

I noticed because I don't see random distortions, lines and circles when I watch movies now. I'm sure there's a fancy term for that, but I prefer the cleaner picture of digital film.

I love this because as an industry we created things for 35mm to eliminate flicker and now people are nostalgic for that and film grain.

I'll never miss the cue marks, film weave, dirt and grain of film, I love digital, how flexible it is and how much easier smaller independent films get booked now as it costs almost nothing for studios to clone a hard drive. The benefits outweigh the negatives and Nolan is just stuck in the past. I used to like him but now he's just pretentious

Mexico, and the theaters are just amazing.

Surprised I had to go this far down to find any mention of pricing. It's also not the theatres' faults for ticket pricing, as it is the studios'. Theatres' break even on tickets due to having to pay for the film and make all their money on concessions

Well nyc is notoriously expensive so that's not that crazy when a beer will run you like 8-10 bucks

I think what he's talking about is the new trend in Theaters in the US where when you buy a ticket you pick your seat. This allows people to buy tickets early and not have to show up at the theater 30-45 minutes ahead of time to ensure good seats.

I used to drive my friends nuts because i would want to be in the seat at least 30 minutes before the movie would start, just to make sure i didn't get a bad view. Now, i can buy tickets a few days beforehand and walk in 2 minutes before the first preview. It's great.

Congrats, you're one of the few people I've met who actually gets this.

I've worked with a couple of companies spinning out VR tech from military hardware and the results are incredible. The immersion is very close to complete, so much so that it's actually very difficult to respond to questions and prompts from people who are not in-world.

I was pretty dismissive about VR until I tried this generation of system. If movies were real-time generated VR worlds which allowed you at least partial freedom within them, it would change the face of entertainment forever.

Maybe the ideal theater experience is, but the ideal experience is far from the typical one where people end up paying 10 dollars a ticket just to have others talk during the movie, kick the seat in front of them, or eat really crunchy food.

Yeah this is someone just getting up on their personal soapbox. Film vs Digital is not why I almost never bother going to theaters anymore. My issue is that every time I go there are technical issues, sound problems, or a bad experience because of other stupid people there.

*Film will not solve this, there will always be bad operators and annoying people there, not every time but for me enough of the time that I don't often feel like shelling out $30 for a movie night

I've literally never once been bothered by ordering during a movie at Alamo and I've been seeing movies there exclusively for a dozen years now.

Are the arguments for film like the arguments for vinyl? Like that digital can't completely mimic the analog waves of vinyl and is just an extremely close approximation?

You're delusional if you think a big TV can compare to the experience of a theater. The theater experience is still and always will be VASTLY superior.

They are similar, in that the exact look and feel of film is very difficult to approximate digitally. Some film makers, like Michael Mann, deliberately changed the look of their films when switching to digital, going for a unique feel not possible normally with film.

But many prefer the film look even when shot digitally, and have color grading and other post shooting effects, along with careful lighting, to try to make digital look similar to film. They even add artificial film grain (if you play video games, some of them add this to, like Mass Effect). They can get pretty close, and digital has numerous cost and time advantages. But when you have 50 million plus to play with and want the film look to be perfect, an extra million to buy film stock is justifiable.

Also, 35mm cameras are actually quite a bit cheaper generally than the equivalent digital high end video cameras (well, this used to be true, probably less so with RED and so on), so this meant at high end it may not be much more expensive to shoot film.

I tired one in a mostly empty theatre and quite enjoyed it. Though they need to hire restraunt managers to handle service in a more luxurious way.

Says $8 is common in suburbs

Says crazy high in city

MFW I live in suburbs of DC and I pay $12.50 a person for non-3D

No, the issue is paying a small fortune to go to the movies just so people can annoy you with their cell phones

The list goes on:

Get bumped while people pass your to get to the bathroom Foot on your arm-rest Food spilled on you Baby crying Teens giggling Teens groping People shouting at the screen Groups of people chatting with eachother People behind you kick your chair Crunching popcorn during quiet scenes Miss a good scene because you need to pee

It was fun till I turned 20 then I realized it all just takes away from the enjoyment of the movie.

It makes them sound like people who say Macs can't get viruses, or that it was a super cold summer so Global Warming isn't real. Out of touch with reality.

Made the mistake of going to an AMC Dine-In theater once. Burger and Fries with a Guinness. Simple enough, right? Food was served to me cold (there were three people in the theater), beer was watered down hard, and the waitstaff literally stood in the back of the theater after serving the food and held a conversation at a standard volume for being outside, for the rest of the movie. Never again.

EDIT: I've been informed by the community here that I am totally wrong and that this didn't happen to me. Oh well.

Archiving a digital format is very difficult, how do you ensure that people will be able to watch the movies you make in 200 years? With film its easy, the images are there, you just need to set up a projector.

This seems completely backwards to me. Is there film out there that will not degrade after 200 years??

Wait, is that not default in American cinemas? Genuine question, here in Europe (or at least where I live) you choose your seat when you book the movie online and even if you buy the ticket at the booth, they make you choose between the available seats.

Most people book online though, so you get the best seats.

Seriously, I watched that last week and thought about how good it looked compared to the others even though it was from like 2008.

I go the cinema at least 4 times a month and have probably experienced that maybe 2 times, and that's only in the movies teenagers go to see. Annabelle and so on.

I was visiting friends in NYC this past weekend and we went to a 10AM showing of the Martian. The cost of a ticket? $15!

Get the fuck outta here with that shit.

Bad theater management is the worst. There used to be a tiny independent movie theater in my town that lost like 90% of its clientele because of how shitty they were run. They would literally pause movies midway through for no apparent reason. I've never had problems with audiences, aside from the occasional kicking child.

I saw this post in /new two hours ago and am not surprised it's suddenly on the front page.

They're very pretentious and elitist about it, too, and hate digital with a passion.

Reddit (and twentysomethings generally) eat that shit up.

I watched Mad Max at Mann's Chinese. The renovations they've done are just incredible.

We have one theater in the area (Cincinnati) with an expensive section that has nicer seats and serves food, that area is generally less bothersome but you're up behind the normal seats and it's like a sea of cell phones during the show. I can't understand how people are so rude. I'd pay $20 for something like an Alamo Draft House experience!

Geez that's expensive :/. I don't blame you.

That's true, but some people really do, my dad and I travelled 60 miles and paid about double the normal cinema price to go the only iMAX in my country that was showing interstellar on celluloid film. Was not disappointed. Also they had the film set up for 2 weeks, 2 showings a night, all of them sold out before the movie was released. Same with all the batman films, although I didn't go to see them... I'm not made of money.

Our prices in BC are $12/13 per person. $16 for imax/3D.

I haven't been to a bar in years. I go to restaurants maybe 6-8 times per year.

I can find cheaper ways of being entertained. I miss going to the movies but I will not pay that much for crap. There were some pretty dark times when I was going to the theatre years ago. I think I liked 2 out of every 7 I saw. Now I wait to see if people really like it and then decide if a theatre would make it better.

It's not that we don't care it's that no one complains. If we walk in and the person isn't on the phone we can't do anything. Chances are they will be right on it as we leave. We get it, no one wants to miss anything during the movie but if you don't complain we won't know anything about it.

I don't know, was Iron Man 1 shot on film? Because it is still the best looking Marvel movie.

The average movie goer isn't aware of the transition to digital film, and if they are, then they haven't noticed.

I mean... don't eat at a movie theater and get there early enough to get good seats...? I have a nice HD TV and sound system at home, but it is still just not the same thing as seeing a movie in theaters. When I'm seeing popular movies I either show up really early or I reserve a seat ahead of time - otherwise I just go some other day, to avoid the exact experience you're describing. And it works out great - every time I see a movie (which is pretty often) I feel like I am getting the best possible experience.

No wonder he's going there all the time. I would too if my theater had free, unlimited alcohol!

I would pay whatever they asked. Sounds like the perfect movie is experience.

With the increasing size of TVs and the readily available media on them, I have no reason to go to the theater. Plus, paying $20 for 3DImax is insane. Basically my rule now is that the movie needs to warrant being seen on a giant screen. If it's not an action movie or something with ridiculous effects a a la gravity, I'll pass and just watch it at home. To think they think it's about a film versus digital debate is absurd.

For reference he talked about this on Marc Marons WTF podcast.

While it's ridiculously expensive, the iPic in Westwood is incredible.

Bar, restaurant, waiters, electronic lazy boy type seats, blankets, and pillows.

Not that it's reasonable to go there often, but that's what I call a movie experience.

I love going to the VIP theaters when in Mexico. We just started getting things like that in the U.S., and I doubt they are that widespread here yet.

In Texas there is a chain that people think is great called the "Alamo Drafthouse" which is more like a bar, but not anywhere as nearly good as the VIP theaters. The chain here that I go to (which is only in Texas) is called Santikos and I would say that it's the first cinema chain on the same level as the VIP theaters in Mexico, but it is much more expensive.

The Alamo Drafthouse has it's own problems that are arguably more distracting than a cell phone.

Specifically - the food service. People talking about what they want to order, trying to fill out the order slip in the dark, asking the waiter questions, the clinking of silverware and the rustling of basket liners, waiters darting about asking if you want anything else and delivering the bill (without fail, they will do this in the one important scene in the film where understanding the exposition is crucial to comprehending the third act of the film), people discussing how to settle up the bill, waiters processing the transaction, picking up plates, ect.

As much as they like to tout their commitment to a distraction-free environment, all you have to do if you really want to gab away undisturbed is to hold a menu in your hand. If they think for a second that you are about to spend way, way too much money for substandard Chili's-level food, then they won't make you stop your conversation.

Frankly the cell phones aren't that bad in comparison.

Yes. For the price of two people going to see the movie once in theater, you could easily buy the DVD or even the Bluray. And while the screen is bigger, there's a lot of advantages to watching at home. You can have as many (or as few) people watching with you for the same price, including your pets. You can pause it and use your own facilities instead of the nightmarish ones at the theater. You can watch it in bed, or on your favorite computer chair. If you get thirsty or want a snack, you just pause it and head into the kitchen. You can use subtitles if your ears aren't that great. Oh, and of course, you can watch it until the disc wears out, if you want to.

The only theater I go to is the $2.25 one. It's cheap, and honestly, it's about as good as the fancier ones.

And the commercials, I didnt pay the ticket to watch 20 mins of commercials, fuck that shit

The random dust specs on frames that show up as massive black dots, and generally god-awful quality of a few old analog films really irritates me. The cleaner image of digital allows for a much more enjoyable viewing

Where I am in the UK, it costs roughly 12 pounds to see a film in the closest cinema, it's absolutely extortionate and completely sours the experience for me. Bear in mind this is a chain of cinemas I'm talking about, but if I go to the little (kind of) independent cinema I love, I can pay almost half that in a nice intimate setting, and with booze.

You can't recreate the immersive quality of that big screen, though. Plus, some movies, especially comedies, can have an electric feel when you're watching them with a large group. Snakes on a Plane, for example, is a terrible movie, but the excitement of the sold-out screening was one of the bet movie experiences I've ever had.

This right here. It's the number one Reason I don't go see big films opening weekend. There's no parking at the theatre/mall. You have to get there 1 hour early, stand in line with all the mouth breathers, and then sit behind/infront of them.

Honestly? I'd rather just wait, and watch the Blu-Ray on my 65" TV, with my surround sound, on my couch, in my boxers, with a beer that I didn't pay $12 for.

But, there is a theatre near me that does assigned seating. I go there now. I still hate the mouth breathers near me, but at least I don't have to stand in line.

I work for the largest cinema chain in my country who also happen to be more expensive than our competition on average. I reckon it's a myth that we 'break even' when we charge almost triple what others charge. I know our competitors don't operate at a loss so really it becomes more of a money grab thing.

No, hell something like 90% of the films from before 1930 are already gone now. And half of the stuff from before 1950 is lost. Film is very unstable, especially the older stuff.