Saturday, March 8, 2014

Movie Programs Part 2: Movie Going Experience in Tokyo

By my estimates there are two generations in the USA that have no idea what it's like to get a movie program at a theater.

It's simple, give your audience something extra and they can take home and they will appreciate you for it.  In this age of virtual media, the value of tangible mementos is increasing as they become more and more scarce everyday.

Going to the movies at one time was on par with going to a theatrical stage performance.  It was an experience.   It was a company presentation, complete with ushers standing in aisles (not just the ticket door), theater programs and even in some cases, intermissions.  Anyone remember those?

Now that films are accessible on demand, literally in your pocket, downloadable to watch anywhere, there can be no argument its magical aspect has been lost.  Movies are cheap in terms of long term emotional value.

The paper industry in Japan still has a considerable amount of power and leverage.  (Which is why Kindles and e-books have been having a tough time here)  So it's likely the future of movie programs is quite secure.

I could be wrong but I feel that there is a higher level of "respect" given to movies in Japan.  Just about every time I go to the theater,  99% of the time NO ONE leaves the theater until the credits (in English, mind you) have completely scrolled up.  In the USA however, people are infamous for leaving their seats as the music crescendos at the movie climax.

Leaving the theater with something tangible in hand definitely enhances the experience. American movie theaters and Hollywood would do well to take note.  Not only would it increase the gravity and appreciation of their films but they would make more money too.

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