Material World: Movie Theaters Want You Back, So They're Rushing to Modernize

(Bloomberg) --  

Every other week, hosts Jenny Kaplan and Lindsey Rupp guided you through the consumer universe, breaking down what’s going on with all the things people buy. This will be the last episode of Material World.

For most people, going to movies in the theater is more of a hassle than a joy — why sit in an uncomfortable chair and spend upwards of $10 to get a ticket, plus the cost of popcorn and a drink? As the number of shows on television and subscription services surges and home theater systems improve, it takes a lot to get customers to leave their homes.

Lindsey and Jenny talk with Anousha Sakoui, who covers the film industry for Bloomberg, about how movie theaters got into this mess and the challenges that face them in regaining media dominance. Some startups, like MoviePass, which allows subscribers to see a movie every day for a month for $9.95, are trying to get customers to go to more films by offering them “bad-movie insurance,” says Chief Executive Officer Mitch Lowe. Theater-chain Cinemark is also offering a subscription service and upgrading its locations so customers can enjoy nicer seats and even perks like food and alcohol. Will these efforts to modernize be enough to win back consumers? 

To contact the authors of this story: Lindsey Rupp in New York at, Jennifer Kaplan in Los Angeles at

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