Has this ever happened to you? You really want to see a specific movie but you REALLY want to appreciate in a big dark room with some friends and a lot of strangers.
This morning, I awoke wanting spend the last days of my summer with my sons watching The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music. We could rent it on a streaming platform but then we would all have to compete with our smart phones and our own distraction. If only there were the art revival movie houses of my childhood…
But wait! There has to be an app for that, right? If there is, I don’t know about it yet and if you’re working on it, please hurry. up already!
REVIVAL- The App
An web-based integrated platform for maximizing viewer experience and theater inventory that can be used to expand happiness by catering to other needs such as fundraising and social networking
The problem: Movie theaters struggle with empty seats and can’t sell popcorn. Theater goers have too many better choices for content and are forced to spend money to have a movie going experience that they know will be mediocre.
The answer: An app that allows theaters to pre-book attendance to revivals of specific movies on specific dates, agnostic of current available content. Fans of a certain movie can aggregate via the app and other connected social media to plan a viewing night of a classic film that they can all enjoy together.
The bells and whistles that will evolve:
- The app can offer multiple search functions and viewing criteria
- Allow for hosts to guide the experience and monetize it as such, integrate with pre and post-viewing events that are social or cause-related.
- Cross-promotion of merchandising, poster signings, and memorabilia.
- Additional points of engagement such as opt-in mailing lists, crowdfunding integration, philanthropic challenges and incentives…
If you ever saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show, you know how powerful a fan-based viewing experience can be.
Imagine a MATCH.COM When Harry Met Sally viewing party with cocktails before and a meet-and-greet with Billy Crystal afterwards!
Imagine an environmental group doing a fundraiser around Erin Brockovich
Imaging a struggling local martial arts studio renting out a few dozen seats to watch The Karate Kid and having the studio owners talk about what the movie meant to them
Imagine rival college political factions co-sponsoring a viewing and discussion around watching the movie Network (a movie of particular import given the low level of trust around the media as I blogged about here).
The problem is that the most recent movies are uninteresting remakes, formulas, and Oscar-aspiring fodder pushing the paper-thin envelope of newer stories. Great art doesn’t just hang in museums. The movies contain great and resonant truths for new audiences to rediscover. Let’s use technology to create a collective consciousness that uses these treasures to elevate and unite us.
So if you’re out there in a Starbucks thinking of how to come up with the next disruptive Unicorn app, then please take my idea and run with it. I don’t want to make any money off of it; I just want to watch The Wizard of Oz with some other Gen-X parents and their kids in a nice, distraction-free setting. Give me and all the other stakeholders what we want and we will make you rich.
If you think about the nuts and bolts of the operation, it is flexible, scalable, centered around user experience, and profitable from the bootstrap phase. It is just a proposed movie revival happening until the money is collected and the critical viewing mass is reached. Aside from payment of royalties to producers of old films, there is nothing more here than some programming, some contracts, and finessing the legal oligopoly around movie distribution. Users say “I want to see Un Chien Andalou” and get on a wait list. If they have a strong preference for a size venue, the algorithm separates them by location, type of venue, and other must-haves. When the list gets to some level of subscription, then the movie “happening” opens up for guests to invite friends and to theaters for fulfillment with the opportunity to add incentives (such as a glass of wine). Users can vote on preferred venues and times and then it is on the books!
Think you have great taste in movies and do you have a gazillion social media followers? Then why not schedule a “date night” with a few dozen of your closest friends, make some money off of hosting, and then blow it all on drinks after the show? The app handles all the back-end stuff and you just go and be fabulous.
Were you an extra in a 70s exploitation film? Why not schedule your 60th birthday party around viewing it?
Are you a bored college student studying anthropology? Why not network with other local colleges by organizing a The Gods Must be Crazy viewing and invite an actual Kalahari bushman to speak?
The possibilities, as with everything in the movies, are endless. I want to see a good movie for a change. Why not do it with some like-minded fans?