Snacks & The Movie Experience

Movies can cost a hundred million dollars to make. More impressively, most of them still make a profit. It is no wonder studios and movie theater owners will do their best to pack people in. The negative impact is that studios do not want to take a lot of risks with that kind of money. As a result they tend to lean towards as close to a “sure thing” as they can find. We are thus inundated with sequels and remakes. Creativity takes a back seat to the mighty dollar.

Yet, theaters and studios have started to realize that people will only pay so much for a movie and they can only improve the product so much. Thus, they have tried to make going to the movies more of an experience and charge more for that opportunity. We now have a choice of:  3-D. IMAX, D-Box,and the Luxury Studio. If we have all of that in Champaign, Illinois I can only assume in New York and L.A. they give you a foot rub and a manicure.

I am not a big fan of 3-D, IMAX or D-Box (I have tried them all). I do kind of dig the Luxury Studio seating. It seems to me there is not a lot more they can come up with. Perhaps they will return to Smell-O-Vision or 4D. The former was an attempt to allow the viewers to smell all the action by pumping scent into the theater. The latter might involve spraying the audience with water at the right moment or running a fan when it gets windy in the film. It was kind of like the midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show where the audience would pelt you with rice and toast. I tend to find such things take you out of the movie rather than draw you into it. Who knows maybe they will surprise me with a fantastic new idea I have not thought of.

One area where the theaters are recently making progress but I feel is rife for further opportunity is snacking. No longer do you have to go to dinner and a movie. You can now have dinner in the movie. The theaters around here now serve pretzels, hotdogs and pizza. The prices may be high but not nearly as bad as the mark up of paying four dollars for a box of M&M’s or six dollars for a soda. Some theaters are also selling adult beverages.

My thought, why stop there? Snacks may be the answer to bringing in the customers. Let’s face it, the movie itself will probably be available to down load  before it has finished it’s run at the theater. The theater has to sell the “movie experience” not just the movie.

Nothing says experience like, crab puffs, shrimp puffs or cheese puffs. Hell anything with a “puff” would work. The same is true with, egg rolls, spring rolls or shrimp rolls. You could mix up the menu depending on the flick.  A movie like The Wolverine could have had sushi available during the scenes in Japan. You could serve steak in movies filmed in Texas or Chinese Food for movies filmed in Beijing. You get the idea. Snacks provide a near endless amount of variety and tastiness.

Can you imagine seeing the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory if the theater re-created the chocolate waterfall? The theater could sell cups to the viewers. Perhaps they could show major television events as well on the big screen with appropriate snacks. The Final Four, The Super Bowl and the Oscars were all made for the theater. You might even use two theaters. You could have a separate theaters for Duke fans and Wisconsin fans or Patriot fans and Sea-hawks fans.

I am not asking for the movie people to give me money for these brilliant snacking ideas. That being said I wouldn’t turn down some free passes. I was also thinking that we could add thin slices of beef jerky or fruit leather to books. Why should movies have all the fun. Then again, what if your book gets wet or if it is an ebook. Maybe snack coupons would work better? Well, give me time I am still working on these ideas.