A Big Idea: Letting Audiences Pick What Plays at the Local Cinema
Donald Ranvaud of the Rain Network, the biggest digital cinema operator in Latin America, talked about this possibility last fall at Digimart, during a panel I moderated. (Video is here.) He talked about the cinema becoming a sort of "jukebox." But he wasn't very specific, and he didn't respond to my e-mails asking for more details.
So I'm glad Variety has now done a story on Rain's initiative. From John Hopewell's piece:
...Beginning early next year, Rain's novel TOD [theatrical-on-demand system] will allow moviegoers, grouped in online YouRain Internet film clubs, to recommend what films play when and where over Rain's digital cinema network.
Virtual cinema club members can also refer wishlists to friends, and, exploiting YouRain's social networking system, let other people know what films they're attending.
...Films will be rented from rights holders on a revenue-share model, he added. Digital cinema already eliminates print costs. With Internet networking marketing hot and hip movies, TOD will also slash advertising costs, Lima argued.
Pretty cool... but I wonder if you'll have to charge people to participate -- perhaps making them buy a ticket or two in advance -- to make sure they actually show up to see the movies they vote for.