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Is Cuban our savior?

05.09.2007
Mark Cuban must still be reeling from the shame of his beloved Dallas Mavericks' elimination in the first round of the NBA playoffs at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, so it looks like he's decided to take his mind off it by tackling other endeavours. That or he just likes making millions (or in his case billions) of dollars. He and his partner Tood Wagner, who run 2929 Entertainment, have announced that they'll try to revolutionize the movie-going experience by radically altering the traditional concept of today's theatres through their Landmark Theatre chain.

They'll begin by opening three 'experimental' cinemas in Denver, Baltimore and at the Westside Pavillion in LA which will feature a melange of your typical Hollywood fare as well as smaller, arthouse films (question: are they still arthouse films if they're no longer shown in an 'arthouse'?). But as we all know, in today's multiplex nation, the actual movie is only part of the movie-going experience. Which is why Cuban wants to arm his theatres with VIP seats, couches, and maybe even bean bag chairs. On top of this, Cuban hopes to inject some fun into movie snacks by reinventing the concessions stand with a madcap scheme known as the Wall of Popcorn, where for an extra cost included in the ticket, you'll be able to gorge on unlimited popcorn and beverages, and if Cuban is feeling extra generous (which he should be, he's a billionaire), maybe some milk duds.

Cuban's whole motivation behind this whole revamping is to turn the multiplex into a more adult-oriented place. Along with the 'improvments' mentioned above, Cuban has a few other tricks up his gold-plated, diamond-encrusted sleeve:

"In our new Denver theater, we completely removed the concession stands," says Cuban. "The original design had the traditional concession stand taking up prime real estate and dominating the look and feel of the theater. We decided that we would rather use that space for amenities, retail sales (movies, books, indie cinema related items), and 'interstitial' type entertainment that complements our 'datenight for grownups' concept in a lounge-like environment. Basically it became a place where you could go on a date, have a drink, food and be entertained before and after seeing a movie."

That's pulled from an extensive Variety article which you can read HERE. What do you guys think? Are modern-day theatres in need of a radical revamping from a megalomaniacal quasi-billionaire? Is he fit to decide the fate of our collective movie-going future? I saw SPIDER-MAN 3 in a massive multiplex and could not wait to get out of that soul-pulverising joint, all yellow walls, arcade games, and effing over-priced Burger King stands. All that combined with the shittiness of SPIDER-MAN 3 was almost too much to bear. So you have my blessing Mr. Cuban. Use your world-poverty-ending's-worth of money and save us all from from this theatrical neon nightmare.

Extra Tidbit: Cuban's 2929 Entertainment is also responsbile for the day-and-date release of Steven Soderbergh's BUBBLE, which hit cinemas and dvd stores the same day, enraging many theatre owners (who most likely rejoiced when his Mavs got smoked).
Source: Variety

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