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Picture the following scenario: you show up for your showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens this weekend, and you really want that customary bucket of popcorn. Unfortunately, the line for the concession stand is about as long as the line for the 1:05 showing in IMAX, and you've only got 5 minutes to spare. There used to be no way around such a dilemma, but major theater chains are testing a way to help avoid such pickles, thanks to a new app that's been developed.
In a piece from the New York Times, it's been confirmed that Regal Entertainment and AMC Theaters have both been toying with easier ways for movie fans to procure the tasty treats they desire, without all of the heartache of a long concessions line. With Regal testing such a program in five theaters, and AMC using this strategy in four of its own locations, the southern / mid-west region is serving as the guinea pig to this new convenience. And so far, the results are looking promising, at least they are with AMC's tests showing a bump in snack sales.
The apps work on the same principle as an in-store pickup would from any vendor that offers such services. You use the app to place the order of whatever concession treats you want, and then proceed to make your way to a designated pick-up point to grab your goods You could probably count a decent amount of instances where the concession lines have been the bane of your existence, especially when those final moments before showtime have found you or your companion craving something from the counter. But with all of the hard work of product selection and payment done through the convenience of your phone, you can have enough time to sprint to the counter and sprint back to your luxurious seat – all while getting the job done.
Obviously, the idea of convenient concessions appeals to major chains like AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment, as this directly helps put more money into their pockets. With the larger margin of profit in a modern theater coming from food sales, big time chains have to not only lure you and your friends into watching a movie, but they need to get you to buy something to help keep their lights on. With the added convenience of app-fueled food purchases, this could make audiences more likely to do both – provided the added convenience helps you overlook the prices of both tickets and snacks.
Don't get too excited about this new convenience just yet, as AMC Theaters is aiming for as many theaters as possible to start using this process in the next month or so. For now, you're going to have to enact the old fashioned gameplan of arriving to the theater early, so you can get your tickets and snacks in an orderly fashion. That said, stay safe at the undoubtedly crowded theater you'll be frequenting this weekend, whether you're attending Star Wars: The Force Awakens or if you're taking in another film available for the picking this weekend.