Digimart: Wisdom of Crowds to program movie theaters

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Thanks to the folks at Revolver3, I was able to attend day 3 of the Digimart conference, whose objective it is to “foster discussion and debate as innovative distribution strategies and new devices radically transform the business of film”.Peter Buckingham, Head of Distribution & Exhibition at the UK Film Council had what I think is a brilliant idea to re-energize the movie theater industry under assault by illegal (and legal) movie downloading, poor consumer experience (sticky floors, intrusive ads, people talking and ringing cell phones) and its “Hollywoodization”: Consumer-programmed movie theatres.It involves the creation of a virtual local “cineclub”, a Web site where people would come and vote for which movies they want to see next month at the local theatre. Obviously, it requires movies to become digital instead of film and it requires theaters to have the equipment needed to show digital movies, but it’s just a question of time before that happens.

What it means: local and social Web applications do not mean the end of the real world. In this scenario, those applications would actually help theatre operators fill more seats and make more money while building a loyal consumer base that would go back to the movies more often that today.

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