Would you believe that theaters in the 1940s sold 4 billion tickets each year, at half the current population? Today, with the advent of TV, cable, DVDs and the internet, that number is down to 1.4 billion. So will theaters slowly disappear? The more accurate prediction is that they’ll evolve with multiple uses…
A multiplex theater in Millbury, MA (pictured) features a bar, ice creamery and coffeehouse (unfortunately chains,) a wifi lounge and even screenside waiters serving drinks. Others have restaurants, bowling alleys, and skating rinks, such as the Metreon in San Francisco.
Digital projectors will allow live rock concerts, major sporting events and other shows to be broadcast – in other words, theater experiences where you’ll be encouraged to make noise. Such theaters will also be used by corporations and even churches for their own audiences. It’s the mass customization of the economy as participants rather than spectators, via more unique, peronalized experiences.
For more on the recent history of theaters and its future, check out this Fortune article.
Now, this is my idea of a back to the future theater.