Luxury movie theaters
Some movie theaters are being redesigned and updated in an attempt to bring back consumers who have decreased-or totally stopped-their regular movie outings (largely for economic reasons), even with the advent of bigger screens, 3-D and IMAX sound.
Skyrocketing ticket prices, the same-old same-old regarding concession selections and the impact of 60-inch TVs with surround-sound systems have given the movie-going public other options to spending $20 or more in one day or evening for one movie that may be a real “stinker.”
Some of the redesigns and updates include: Expanded drink selections, including alcoholic beverages, seats that recline like beds (with expanded legroom between seat rows), menus featuring glazed shrimp, Tuscan pepperoni flatbread pizzas, premium wines, Long Island iced teas and Coca-Cola's Freestyle fountain machines with more than 100 flavor combinations.
The redesigned and updated theaters may not become the norm, however; tickets are often even more expensive, sometimes there's a limit on kid attendance, there's a limit on available seats (because of the extra legroom needed), and the new menu items will cost more.
One theater demographic is a misconception, according to Patrick Corcoran, a spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners. There's a variety of different moviegoers, ranging from traditional families to affluent professionals to seniors. And many movie places are catering to each distinct group, creating a winning strategy, which in turn gets noticed on social media and increasing attendance (1.36 billion admissions in 2012; the peak was 1.57 billion in 2002 in the U S and Canada, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. Box-office grosses were a record $10.79 billion in 2012, party due to increased ticket prices).
As apartment and other housing costs in New York City continue skyrocketing, many of its residents who refuse to pay astronomical rents-or can't afford to-are buying secondhand recreational vehicles to live in.
These “mobile apartment” dwellers are becoming real-estate pioneers; the RVs give them a way into exclusive or desirable neighborhoods that they otherwise would not be able to afford. And there's no dealing with landlords, rent increases or obnoxious neighbors.
But there are challenges, including: Getting electricity hookups for the RV, getting winter heating-and the cost, mail delivery, and sewage lines for toilet use (some circumvent these dilemmas by finding (and parking by) facilities that will allow them to use their utilities, bathrooms and place of address).
Even though average incomes have stagnated (or in some cases, totally disappeared) because of the sluggish economy, Wall Street profits have roared back and economists also say that another big factor is that the well-to-do (and wealthy) financial class and foreign investors have driven up real estate prices and rents (renters are paying record amounts, averaging $3,105 a month. New Yorkers on average pay more than double what Los Angeles folks pay and almost 50 percent higher than San Francisco renters pay).
Sources: “Now showing: Theaters offer luxury seating, fine dining” by-Atlanta Journal-Constitution-The (Sunday) Vindicator, December 15, 2013 and “”Rvs are one answer to city's soaring rents”-Los Angeles Times-The (Sunday) Vindicator, December 1, 2013