Creating a 'going out' experience

A new cinema chain recognizes that consumers want more than entertainment in their leisure time - they want an entire experience. Monaco Pictures will offer a bar, lounge, upscale food and other amenities sure to put other theaters' stale popcorn to shame.

In last month's article, The death of entertainment, we discussed how focusing solely on entertainment is an outdated mindset that blinds location-based leisure destinations from being competitive in today's out-of-home leisure marketplace. Monaco Pictures has announced plans for a new cinema chain, and based on the description, the company appears to get it right in terms of looking at the entire leisure experience, not just the entertainment component. Monaco is focusing on delivering a great night out - at the movies. The company is taking a holistic approach to the cinema leisure experience. The plan is to create an entire movie-going experience, rather than just a movie entertainment experience, which is the focus of most cinema chains.

Monaco Pictures will offer an upscale atmosphere with private club-like amenities, including a full-service bar and lounge, luxury reserved seating, adult-only areas, state-of-the-art 100% digital theaters and food offerings far different than what you find at the typical theater.

The first location will be in Huntsville, Alabama. "We are extremely excited about rolling out our first Monaco format ...," said Gary Safady, one of the founders. "We believe it will fill a tremendous void for the community, and they will see Monaco Pictures not only as a movie theater, but a place to go for drinks and nightlife, as well."

Monaco Pictures plans to appeal to the person who loves the movies but is tired of the hassle that comes with visiting a typical movie theater: waiting in line to buy a ticket, cell phones ringing in the middle of the movie, sitting in cramped theaters with poor concession offerings. Monacohopes to capture 30 percent of customers after the movie to go to the lobby bar or restaurant. Whereas the average theater receives $3.50 per capita on concessions, Monaco Pictures expects to receive $15 to $20 per capita in concessions with its coffee bar, alcohol (with signature cocktails) and an extensive menu that will include appetizers like sushi, hummus and gourmet pizzas.