Following the quick ejection his heavily favored Dallas Mavericks team received from the NBA playoffs, Mark Cuban has a little time on his hands. He’s using his entertainment company, 2929 Productions, to create a chain of movie theaters that Cuban says will focus on adult date nights and improve both the mainstream and indie movie going experience for grown-ups. The company, which owns the Landmark chain of theaters, is refurbishing movie houses in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Denver according to an interview with Cuban in Variety.
Cuban pats himself on the back while saying that things like high end snacks, removing concession stands, and more of a living room feel in seating (with couches, etc.) is some sort of new concept. But these are things many theater chains have incorporated for the last several years. Many theaters have instituted “café” type areas and reserve one or two screens for indie films, as Cuban plans. Of course, they haven’t gone whole hog and planned a "Wall of Popcorn," as the Landmark locations will. Cuban says, “as far as popcorn, soda and theater staples, they aren't going anywhere. We just incorporated them into the price of the ticket and made them fun self-service items.” Wow, self service, that’s what date night is all about.
2929 Entertainment incurred the wrath of the movie establishment last year by releasing the Steven Soderbergh’s Bubble on DVD the same day it was released in theaters. That way, the movie could bore the bejesus out of audiences in two different formats at the same time. When they start doing this with good movies, rather than the horribly boring Bubble, I think Hollywood needs to take notice. It’s the same thing with this “new” theater concept. When Cuban actually does something different than what many chains have been doing for several years, then it will be news.
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