Local Independent Theaters should stop trying to play David

Posted: April 26, 2012 in Random
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We have two local theaters in Jacksonville that are independently owned, have one screen, and serve food and beer.  One of these theaters reopened within the last 6 months, and since then they have been playing this David & Goliath routine on Facebook.  They’ve bashed the local multiplexes as carrying “boring movies” and most recently referred to 3D as “more or less a gimmick.”

I have a problem with this. First, let me address the “boring movies” accusation.  I understand that some people have the opinion that all mainstream movies are trash and only art-house movies are real films. Whatever. Recently, tho, this theater picked up Jeff, Who Lives At Home. This was a good choice for them; however, I saw it a few weeks ago at one of the local multiplexes while this smaller theater was running The Hunger Games for about 3 weeks.

Today, said smaller theater was promoting the upcoming release of The Avengers and mentioned that they were carrying it in 2D.  That’s fine. I’m sure that some people prefer to watch it in 2D, but that doesn’t mean you have to bash 3D as a gimmick.  Sure, in the 80s it was a gimmick and an excuse to throw things at the camera. If you’ve seen a 3D movie in the past 5 years, then you know it’s not so much a gimmick anymore as it is a technique. Movie makers aren’t throwing as much stuff at the camera. Sometimes the 3D simply adds depth to the movie, and you actually forget that it’s in 3D even though you’re wearing the glasses. I think the only reason to refer to 3D as a gimmick is to be petty.

My advice to the smaller theaters is that they should play to their strengths.  I think it would be tough to argue that the multiplexes don’t have better sound and picture and bigger screens. Since you can’t logically win that argument, carry the movies that the bigger theaters aren’t carrying. Have special events (which they have been bringing in some independent film makers to show off their short films). With that and the food and alcohol offerings, you’re doing things that the bigger theaters aren’t.  You’ve got plenty to brag about without attacking the big guys.

How does that make you feel?

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