This and That Blog

Stop playing games

I recently read some news about a Canadian movie theater chain that got under my skin. The company announced its plans to rent downtime at 29 of its theaters across ...
August 19, 2008

I recently read some news about a Canadian movie theater chain that got under my skin. The company announced its plans to rent downtime at 29 of its theaters across the country to video gamers looking for the thrill of playing their Xbox 360 games on the big screen. (I’ll withhold any comment on how the gamers could better spend their time cleaning their apartments or, say, dating. Actually, I guess I won’t.) I’m not sure how much the theater execs aim to make off this endeavor, but they’re charging $179 plus tax for a two-hour gaming session. Seems about the same price as four popcorns.

But I’ve got my own suggestion for the use of theater downtime, which the article says is roughly 12 to 24 hours a week (and will likely increase once the school year starts). Rather than fill it with Red Bull-addicted gamers, why not use it to screen docs for – gasp – free? I’ve always been a fan of film fests offering free or reduced rates for seniors and students, so why not take that idea one step further and make it a year-round gift from mega theater chains and filmmakers to the general public?

It’d be an honorable practice and I’m sure the masses would come away more enriched after seeing a doc like Andrew Jenks, Room 335 or The 11th Hour than a small group of gamers would after blowing each other up in something called ‘Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.’

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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