Like a rift in the space-time continuum, the brand-new Venetian Cinemas transports its clientele simultaneously to the past and the future. With architecture that pays homage to the ancient Venetians and Romans, the façade beckons passersby with towering cast-stone columns, enticing them through the doors and into the lobby, where vaulted hallways and more columns with Corinthian capitals sweep them along to the auditoriums. Four screens engross the eyes and ears while more than 800 stuffed leather seats cradle the body, and cuisine from the cinemas' restaurant delights the remaining senses for a complete entertainment experience akin to the famous Roman-gladiator chili cook-offs.
In front of the viewers, granite countertops hold a service button that, when pressed, beckons servers to take orders from the menu. Substantial gourmet offerings such as pizza topped with fresh mozzarella or tacos dressed with green-chili-roasted pork top plates and ready stomachs for belly laughs. While still in their seats, their eyes drawn to the on-screen drama on the wall-to-wall curved screens and their ears bathed in the waves of a 40,000-watt sound system, viewers can order cocktails, microbrews, or margaritas from a fully stocked bar. After the movie, staff members clean up, letting patrons leave their glasses, plates, and ketchup-scrawled plot summaries behind.
Did you know that, on average, 88% of the seats in a movie theater remain empty during a showing? According to the New York Times, this phenomenon really surprised Sean Wycliffe a few years back when he went to see the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and shared the theater with only two other audience members. With all the focus on online video services, Sean realized movie theaters were being overlooked, and came up with a concept that could help movie houses fill their empty seats.
His brainchild became Dealflicks, a website that offers customers discounted tickets (sometimes with popcorn or soda) for same-day showings. Customers shop a selection of deals, each of which is specific to a particular film, theater, and showtime, and upon purchase, receive an email voucher they present at the theater's ticket counter. Dealflicks is partnered with theaters around the country, particularly independent and neighborhood venues, such as the treehouse of the enterprising kid down the street.