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  • I'm a creator, entrepreneur, author of DREAM YEAR, and aspiring novelist. My wife Ainsley and I live in Virginia Beach with our five kids Wyatt, Dylan, Cody, Annie & Millie

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I love this idea! Yes, anything to avoid the "sticky" of the megaplexes but I still want the theater feeling.

Yes! Yes!

I completely agree with you about the nicer experience, but not all the food (popcorn and soda all the way). I also enjoyed the curated experience at the Alamo Drafthouse. This could easily fit that mold. I wonder what the investment is...

YES! ...because another thing that we love is somewhat elitist, snobbery ;-) There is something about feeling like a VIP or that you are having an exclusive, intimate experience. Make it aesthetically pleasing and I can't see how people wouldn't flock to it.

This to me is a much more desirable way of viewing a movie. I love it. Of course I'm now going to scope out Nashville for a screening room!

I absolutely would rather have screening rooms!!!

Love it...as long as it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg...because I could still have almost the same experience around my big screen with 20 of my closest friends.

right... i'm thinking $12 movies in a screening room. i'd pay it. =)

Like the idea. Can it be done profitably?

I think it's cool. We kind of do this with the people I work with. We'll have our own photography shows in someone's backyard (with maybe 30 people), and watch movies together.

Did you read this article? Kind of related, and very interesting read:
http://gizmodo.com/pariscatacombs/5794199

Next time you are in Chicago you need to go to Gold Class Cinemas. It's exactly what you are talking about!

Also, last week I was in Orpah's screening room at Harpo Studios... it was absolutely amazing.

tim you can't say that without posting a twitpic =)

Love this idea!

I'm a fan, Ben. My wife and I went to a 50-seater in Mexico... black leather recliners, tables & lamps, and a button to call the server :)

Sounds great. I don't mind the sticky floor, and eclectic food. But goofy, noisy audiences I abhor. And it must be totally shielded - not even the IDF can get a cell call in there!

I've had the same idea for awhile. There could be a restaurant in the middle with small theaters off to the sides that you can watch before or after your meal. I could see Mark Cuban doing this with his landmark theaters. He has done some other innovative ideas and has mentioned building theaters to specific genres (i.e. tweens).

@mike O: You're describing Cinetopia in Vancouver, WA. Amazing place for a date. Smaller, more intimate dining & first-class viewing.

@Chris Oakes: profitably? Sure. Cheap? No. The economy of scale would be much lesser than traditional theaters (which are struggling as it is). You'd need all the expensive hardware (digital projection, Dolby sound, etc.), but for fewer seats.

However, I do think there is a place for the "premium experience". It's certainly not about the films themselves, which look pretty much the same visually on Blu-ray or Netflix/Vudu/ITMS.

Is it for me? Not likely. I like the sweaty, chattering crush of humanity. My wife would much prefer your vision of cinema, though.

Don't know about your urban area, but here in Portland we have some really wonderful, old restored theaters that have unique experiences. Cinema is a huge part of the culture here.

Have beer & pizza at the Bagdad or on the sofas at Kennedy School theater. Watch a film festival at the Fox, or an annual pilgrimage to Warren Miller at the Schnizer Theater (an opera house). Lots of unique options, none of which have the odious 3D.

I agree with you that the improvement in home cinema systems has had a negative impact on cinemas and movie theatres. However, movie theatres still enjoy a monopoly on new releases. Unless viewers get pirated and illegal CAM format movies (which are of a very poor quality), there is no way to watch a new movie other than cinemas. It is the reason why DVD versions are normally issued once the movie is no longer exclusive to movie theatres. With the huge screen at the cinema, I don't believe that cinemas will die any time soon.

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