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There may be someone doing this somewhere in the US, I don’t know. But I’ve not seen it if there is.

Why not create a cinema experience for the well-to-do? Build a one screen theater (or renovate one of the old downtown style theaters), put luxurious leather, reclining seats in it that are spaced nicely so you’re not sharing elbow room with a pathetic, smelly guy next to you. Then charge a flat fee per person and all refreshments are free. If you charged $25, $30, $35 a head (whatever the market would bear), you could make out like a bandit because your overhead would be much smaller (don’t need 16 year olds with an attitude getting people their $7 Reeces bags). Just have a very classy (and immaculately clean) self serve refreshment bar where your customers can grab some candy, popcorn, coke… whatever they need for the show.

Yeah, you’d have to monitor for idiots taking more than they need for the show, but that would be a small task.

Again… the recurring theme here, left over from my last post, is specialization. Niches is where it’s at. Particularly when it comes to catering to the upper 20% of earners.

If you think about it, people pay darn near that much now when they go to the show when you factor in all the refreshments… etc and get treated like cattle in the process. I’d pay $25 for a ticket to an upper scale theater just so I wouldn’t have to put up with sticky floors and people’s elbows on my armrest.

Minor problem… figuring out the box office. You wouldn’t want the owner of the film you’re showing to get 40% (or whatever their take of box office is) of $25. You’d want them to get their cut off the normal ticket price of $8 or whatever. But I’m sure you could figure that out somehow.

Update: A reader (T Bryce Yehl) pointed me to Muvico, a theater company in Florida. They have “premium” seats in their balconeys that are higher priced, with free popcorn. They look really comfortable too. This is along the lines of what I’m talking about, only taking it a LOT further. He said once you spring for these seats, it’s hard to imagine going back to the “regular” seats.

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