Adapting to Change

For the last year+ companies have had to deal with the changes brought on by the pandemic. Much has been written about being adaptive, agile, flexible, customer-focused, etc. While some businesses have had no ability to adapt because governments effectively shut them down, others have found interesting ways to adapt including focusing on take out food rather than inside service; find ways to allow outdoor dining even in cold weather; remote learning including remote exercise; remote medical visits and more.

I recently saw and experienced a truly unique adaption that combines many attributes to solve multiple problems. The Cinemark Theaters here in Reno, (and likely other places) are allowing you to create a Watch Party for you and about 20 of your closest friends.

For a fixed price you rent the entire theater. You can bring about 20 people with you. The price of renting the theater is $150 if you see a new movie and $100 if you see a classic movie. They give you choices of times and movies throughout the day. Concessions are extra of course, but discounted as well.

How does this solve multiple problems? Movie theaters in the modern era have multiple theaters together to reduce overhead. In “normal” times there are lots of movies to show and the theaters are kept busy. In today’s world we see several problems: Only a few movies are being released so there aren’t enough to fill the available screens; the number of people allowed in a theater is limited due to social distancing; and many people are reluctant to go out.

A private watch party solves all of these problems. People pick the movie they want to see when they want to see it. And the theater is not restricted to just “first run” movies. Thus more theaters are in use.

The number of people is limited by the rules and can be further limited by the person arranging the watch party. If you allow the maximum number of people the cost per ticket is about 1/2 the going rate. You can then reduce it further if you like and still pay about the going rate. The theater sells concessions and they have their own “salesperson” selling out the theaters for them. Win Win Win.

And it is great fun and my neighbors love it.


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