While teens love being the first to see a movie (and then telling their friends about it), ticket prices are an obstacle. Affordability is a much bigger barrier to attendance than inertia; that is, they would gladly take more breaks from streaming if ticket prices didn’t hit them so hard in the mobile pay app.
The teens surveyed by The New York Times would also like to see concessions and dine-in options priced more affordably. Just be sure to keep the butter churning and popcorn kernels popping. The smell, the taste, and having greasy/salty fingers are a time machine for teens. Nothing takes them back to that first Pixar movie with Mom and Dad quite like the sensory experience brought on by popcorn.
Other value options proposed by teens? Consider “friends and family” pricing or progressive discounting for groups of three or more. They’d also like theaters to consider seating in pods of 3, 4, and 5 along with general admission seating. Also try making more of an event out of a showing. Art house theaters shouldn’t be the only venues that do this. Consider opening weekend giveaways or events to keep teens from streaming a movie (or, worse yet, pirating one).
Convenience is another obstacle for many teens. Some shared that sometimes it’s nice not having to get ready to be seen in public. Others don’t like the idea of waiting in line or sitting through trailers. Some expressed feeling self-conscious when laughing in front of other people in the audience. Even with all of these things in mind, the energy of being in a crowded theater, especially on opening night, overcomes all of these challenges.