Theater goes subscription-based to stay alive

Jeff Horwich Jan 11, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Theater goes subscription-based to stay alive

Jeff Horwich Jan 11, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Two months ago, the Met Cinema shut down. It was the only movie theater in the small, central California community of Oakhurst. Like lots of smaller movie theaters around the country, the Met just couldn’t make enough money to say in business.

But a group of local residents have come up with an innovative subscription-based financial plan to save their theater. It works like this: For $20 a month, theater-goers get unlimited access to movie showings — and maybe even some influence on the lineup.

Sounds like a good deal for viewers, but can the theater survive on the new model?

“The primary income for any theater is actually based on the concessions,” says James Nelson, one of the locals heading up the new theater plan. “A good portion of the ticket [price] that actually goes toward the studios. The concessions will definitely support the theater.”

To hear more about how the Met Cinema plans to stay up to date in the digital age, click on the audio player above.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.