Independents’ survival means knowing movie audiences
When the Regal Majestic Stadium 20 in Silver Spring added an Imax screen last month, some independent theater owners sighed, others shrugged.
On one hand, indie operators often hedge their bets on big-ticket films with movies that cater to their tried-and-true fans.
On the other hand, the high-definition system stands to steal away moviegoers who are eager to see every pimple on Harry Potter’s face. And during the holiday season, that dent in ticket sales could be crucial.
The owner of Cinema Arts Theatre in Fairfaxm, Mark O’Meara, is more focused on cultivating relationships with his customers that they’re unlikely have at any other theater. “We give customers a sense of ownership,” said O’Meara, who also publishes a weekly newsletter for movie fans and holds monthly film club events. “But I know if I want to compete, I’ll have to keep up with the Joneses and go digital.”