How to save Cinema
The future of entertainment belongs to nonlinear offerings. Anytime, everything. To save itself from fading into irrelevancy, Cinema has to adapt to this. A vision about how a truly multi-flexible, multi-pricing cinema booking on demand without limits could happen.
Scheduling, and therefore maintaining control of access, has been an essential element of the filmed entertainment industries since their day one. Cinemas copied the method from Theater, Opera and all the other stage shows, back then probably without any further thought, just by using the same venues and, with that, the same methods of operating their services. Later, Radio and TV got inspired by these programming concepts. Over time, Theatre and Cinema even ramped up their game by reducing their schedules more or less to shows in the evening hours and on the weekends mainly. Always revolving around long-before defined programming and showtimes. Those were the times when audiences could be manipulated well by reduced supply, leading to increased demand during the proposed times of service. *
To be fair, a lot of this scheduling and ahead planning also once was owed to restrictions defined by physical formats, like limited availabilities for storage or delivery. However, one way or the other, by now — April 2019 — almost all such restrictions have been left behind for the most part due to the processes of digitalisation. Or, at least: will be left behind finally in total pretty soon.
Meanwhile, mostly thanks to innovation out of Silicon Valley, for everything happening on a screen, audiences have entered a world of expectations for non-linear offerings. This does not stop for Cinema alike.
Therefore, truth is, by today it’ is almost unexplainable especially to younger audiences why cinema still wants us to follow heteronomous schedules only. Created based on incomprehensible decisions for lay people. For those not having grown up with schedules, this appears like an ancient language spoken once in a now lost world. Or, like the concept of “one dial plate payphone per apartment building only”, while reading about such from your own personal smartphone on your very own sofa.