When you hear the words “movie theater”, what do you picture? It’s probably safe to assume that you envision rows and rows of plush seats, buttery popcorn from the concessions area and a large screen showing the latest box office hit. Well, nowadays it’s actually much more than what that image depicts. In recent years movie theaters have branched out to become multi-faceted sources of family entertainment. This means bowling, arcade games, an open bar, in-house restaurants and much more in addition to the expected seats before a screen.
Movie theaters have certainly come a long way since the Vitascope film projector was demonstrated in 1895 and made history with its ability to use light to cast images. Yes, gone are the days when movie-goers could visit ‘nickelodeon theaters’ and only pay “one nickel to go and see the latest film playing” . So what led to the theaters we know now and the cinema industry taking notes from family entertainment centers (FECs)? Quite simply put, people wanted more.
A little something for everyone?
Going out to the movies can mean non-stop entertainment depending on what theater you choose. Increasingly, movie theaters have grown in size and almost dwarf their past selves with all of the excitement packed inside. There is now so much to do with friends and family that while the movie itself remains the focal point, other forms of entertainment are also vying for attention as well.
It has been hard to miss many individual cinemas and cinema chains adding “entertainment components such as bowling, family entertainment and destination restaurants to their facilities” but it’s this move that has increased “their complex’s critical mass and competitive draw” as well as created additional profits . The movie theaters today largely rival any FECs around with plenty of options to keep the entire family occupied like arcade games kids can play before the movie starts or adult beverages that can be sipped after the show has come to a close.
Consumers in this day and age generally expect to “see a movie, have a meal and have additional opportunities to have fun and socialize with their friends” . Unlike in the past, it’s not enough anymore for there to just be a movie. Other onsite offerings have to be present to allow guests to spend the day at the cinema which in turn increases both dwell time and funds resulting from secondary sales.
Cinergy sets an example
Texas-based Cinergy Entertainment Group, Inc. is a pro at showing the public just how big the movie theater experience can be with their Cinergy entertainment centers. Inside every location, guests are able to enjoy these amazing features:
- Luxury reclining seats in auditoriums
- Alcoholic beverages and a menu of chef-inspired American favorites
- Spaces for birthday parties and other events
- A unique selection of interactive games like:
- bowling, laser tag, escape rooms, Hologate VR, Triotech Dark Ride and Sky Walker and an elevated Sky Trail® with Sky Rail™ .
Movie theaters have clearly changed since the first days of their inception but they have done so in a positive way. They’ve evolved to include more entertainment than ever before, which has ultimately allowed the entire family to come together and make lasting memories for years to come!
 Tinubu, A. (2018, August 10). Movie Theaters and Cinema Through The Decades. Retrieved from https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/movie-theaters-and-cinema-through-the-decades.html/.
 Adding Entertainment to Cinemas. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.whitehutchinson.com/leisure/cinemas.shtml.
 Cinergy Entertainment Group, Inc. (2019, May 03). Cinergy Expands Odessa Entertainment Center With 4 New Auditoriums. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cinergy-expands-odessa-entertainment-center-with-4-new-auditoriums-300843525.html.