It’s Showtime!

illustration by Brianna Ashby

Official Memo

From: Wienclawski Consultancy Group
To: The Spectrum Theater – Board of Directors
Re: Recommendations for Revitalizing an Independent Cinema

Hello! Thank you for your interest in our company. If you reviewed our website, you already know that Wienclawski Consultancy Group is a top-notch creative team dedicated to delivering powerful results through innovative and cutting-edge strategies. Below are the key takeaways from our research. A downloadable .PDF of the full report is available upon request.

A Revitalization Plan for Your Independent Theater

  • We’ve made some major strides in developing technological advancements for the concession stand. On page 138 of the full report you’ll find a detailed schematic drawing of the Self-Serve Popcorn Trough. Not only will this 50 ft. stainless steel bin of popcorn save on labor (fill it once a day, no concession workers needed), but it will also increase your theater’s Fun Factor! by having hungry viewers use one of the provided novelty scoops to fluff their own popcorn and shovel it into a bag they’ve selected from the Popcorn Bag Vending Machine (schematic drawing on page 139 of the full report). Additionally, our newly designed soda fountain reinterprets the standard beverage dispenser as an elegantly crafted three-tier fountain that allows the soda to flow in an aesthetically appealing manner like an actual fountain. You would only need to install as many individual, four-foot fountains as types of soda you would like to offer.
  • We took note of the fact that you requested information about IMAX installation and its potential benefits, but we feel this isn’t the right direction for you. Let’s be honest: IMAX is dead. It’s everywhere now and has lost a bit of the luster it once had. The bold new direction for you is in developing a revolutionary movie-going experience we’re proudly calling iMIN. It harnesses the rising appeal and prevalence of viewing movies on mobile devices and brings it directly into your cinema. By replacing one or two of your screens with a mounted iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, or other mobile device, you immediately transform the space into a cutting-edge venue. You will also save thousands of dollars by passing over those clunky IMAX projectors, screens and high-end sound systems.
  • Speaking of mobile devices, you should seriously consider rebranding in order to align yourself with a younger and more digitally-connected audience. We spent hours in Research and Development fine-tuning a new name for your business that we’ve enthusiastically agreed is tuned-in to the times: The Sprectrum Theatr. It would position you as a trendy, forward-thinking and thoroughly modern establishment. (If you want to push the envelope a little more, we also tossed around the idea of The Spectrm Theatrrr.) It’s easy to see either option on your marquee in big, flashing lights, signifying you as the vanguard of a new cinematic movement.
  • Kids and young adults are a target demographic for your industry and it’s vital to cater to their needs. Through no small amount of investigation we found that children and teens are becoming desensitized to media at an alarming rate while their attention spans fall precipitously. To cut through all the noise, it’s imperative for you to install the newest class of Wienclawski-tested, high-octane arcade games: Neon Dance Fever IV, Bloodbath: Plumber of Rage and Inexperienced EMT Freakout Racing. Our team is supremely confident these systems would ensure a more than adequate level of sensory stimulation for your younger movie-goers.
  • It would, however, be foolish to ignore the additional media needs of the rest of your audience. People are increasingly drawn to more participatory events, especially if they integrate seamlessly with their social media platforms. Creating hashtags for each screening would engender conversation among those watching the film (ex: #5pmLeeDanielsTheButler). And to take this a step further, using a ticker along the bottom of each screen to display the tweets that correspond with each movie would increase the collective enjoyment of the film by nurturing a greater sense of shared experience. Also, the social aspect doesn’t need to end when the movie does. Encouraging movie-goers to use proprietary InstaReview Booths (schematic on page 274) to record brief reactions right after watching the movie, which would then be looped on screens in the lobby, has great potential to heighten feelings of self-worth. Movie theaters have been serving as halls of monastic devotion to film for a long time and this is your opportunity to shatter that paradigm. Ultimately, you’re proclaiming yourself as a new type of contemporary theater with its finger on the pulse—and, as this report shows, we’re just the team to help you do that.

Please keep in mind that this is only a top-line overview of all the information compiled in the full report. And just as a bit of professional housekeeping: An invoice for the total cost of our research and development ($186,000) is attached and is expected to be paid in full no later than the due date indicated.

It’s truly been a pleasure working on this project, and we look forward to discussing next steps.

Sincerely,

Marc Wienclawski
C.E.O.
Wienclawski Consultancy Group


John Pels is a writer living in New York City (typical) and is left-handed (marginally atypical). His work can be found on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and his personal website, An Educated Fool.