LET THEM OUT WHYCategory: Cinema + TV/Radio
Do the executives who sit in their panelled offices really know why more people are not going to the cinema? We doubt it. Because to the best of our knowledge none of the major film companies has done anything to find out what cinemagoers do and do not want.
The old Wardour Street cry, “There’s nothing like a good film to put the box-office right,” is as hollow as the man who originally coined it (whoever that genius was). It takes much more than a good film — and we doubt if half a dozen of Wardour Street moguls would ever agree on a definition of “good” — to put the exhibit! industry on a sound basis.
These are just a few of the reasons why Films and Filming reade (according to the letters they send us) do not go to see films — eve films that get critical “raves”.
Dirty cinemas. Noisy usherettes. Continuous performances. Lac of seat-booking facilities. Starting times that are too early 4o g before dinner… and too early to go after dinner! Double featur programmes, with a shoddy supporting feature. Sales interval and advertisements (which are inflicted on TV, anyway). A Releas system that means that unless the film is seen immediately (an this may not be convenient) there is little prospect of a return play date.
So much could be done to make local cinemas more attractiv to the paying customer. A smoothly operated cloak-room wher one can leave the dripping rain-coat and the cumbersome umbrella And what about a well-run coffee bar where the cinema-goer ca meet his friend before the show? Exhibitors will have to realise tha showing films is not enough! These days before and after sales serv ice counts.
All of these shortcomings the cinema industry could put right. It may discover that in some instances it is only a minority complaint. But at present nothing, absolutely nothing is being done to discover why people do not have the cinema at the top of ,the list for the week’s recreation…
The film moguls have for too long assumed that the customer is always wrong. There are hundreds of wonderful films… and thousands of badly run cinemas.
(Films and Filming)