by Vartan Bzdikian The Indie-themed Imagine Cinemas Carlton are offering a student deal that allows you to watch any movie comfortably with a medium sized popcorn and pop for just $15 on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The new offer is a different approach from movie-giant Cineplex and their own old deal, of half-price tickets on Tuesdays.
Carlton Cinema was founded in 1981, and had achieved relative success until their business went well until they faded into the background and were closed in 2009 by Cineplex Odeon.
Rainbow and Magic Lantern Theaters resurrected Carlton Cinema in 2010 and because of how well locals took to its reopening, Imagine Cinemas bought them in 2016.
A self proclaimed regular customer at Carlton Cinema, Nadia Adil says that, “the artistic décor of the place attracts a lot of young people, they try to maintain that old 90's vibe, plus you feel like the customers here respect the theatre and the movie.”
Carlton Cinema is popular in Toronto because they’re not shying to display blockbuster, foreign, artistic, and independent films which would not normally be screened in other larger theatres.
Assistant manager of Carlton Cinema Amelia Cumming added, “we also like to do our retro screenings, like this week we’re showing Wayne’s World, we’ve done things like Alien, so just retro screeners that we know are popular but don’t really get theatre play.”
The cheap prices also attract moviegoers in the community.
These are dark times for the film industry, the tastes and demands of consumers are changing and Hollywood is struggling to adapt.
According to comScore the summer box office was the worst the movie industry has seen in over a decade; it is a 14.6 per cent drop from last summer.
Young people between the ages of 13-30 seem more reluctant on going to the cinemas to enjoy a popcorn and a movie with their friends or even by themselves.
Cumming reaches out to these moviegoers and says, “There are multiple distractions when you watch a movie at home, you can check your phone, pause it anytime, whereas when you’re in the theatre you’re really immersed into the characters and the film, unfortunately we’re losing that.”
Why, is a question many experts are pondering on. It could be the expensive tickets, the disruptions in the cinema (phones ringing, friends chatting etc,) the rise of streaming services such as Netflix, HBO, and Hulu, the cost of snacks, the internet or it could be the combination of all these factors.
Adil adds to the list and says, “I feel like movies nowadays lacks originality, they just conform to whatever they think is the trend instead of just being honest, innovative, mind provoking and original.”
During these tough times, cinemas and theatres are tested and are forced to take risks and experiment to keep their business afloat.
According to Cumming the license to enable the selling of alcohol and concession sales have helped them but what keeps their business afloat are private rentals, “people who want to show their own films on a big screen, so they’re willing to pay us just to rent out a screen and show it, that’s literally what’s keeping us in business.”
Feature photo courtesy of Carlton Cinemas/Flickr