Hollywood Unscripted

Episode 13 - John Fithian : National Association of Theatre Owners

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Go to the movies or stream at home? Do streaming services help or hurt the the movie theater experience? Are movie theaters still thriving? John Fithian, President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), joins Hollywood Unscripted to answer these questions and discuss the growing state of movie theaters today and where theaters will continue to thrive.

John Fithian, the President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), sits down with Scott Tallal to discuss the exhibition side of the movie industry.

John opens by shining a light on the continuing myths of disruption in the business (1:21). He discusses how streaming services actually boost theater attendance (2:38).

They talk about how the quality of technology at home and in theaters is changing (5:28). John talks about the differences between the experiences of movie watching at home and at the cinema (6:10).

The conversation moves to the high end cinema experience with Dolby Cinemas, IMAX and PLFs (8:55). John talks about the exciting technology coming down the pipeline (11:09), explains the debate about high dynamic range in cinema (12:00), and discusses other technology that may or may not work (13:43).

John talks about the incredible cinemas being built across the country (16:34) and explains what a ScreenX theater is (17:04). They then talk about the industry debate of flexibility in programming and the potential of what kind of special programming theaters could do (19:54).

The conversation turns to alternative content (24:10), benefits and controversy of dynamic pricing (26:26), and subscription services in cinema (28:08). John reveals how he got involved with NATO and what the best part of this business is (30:09).

John explains to Scott why direct-to-home content (32:11) and the premium service of Red Carpet (33:10) is not currently concerning to the business of theater owning. He discusses the challenge with Netflix and hopes for further negotiations (35:28). They review 3D technology and how the roll-out of 3D in America did not succeed as it could have (37:14). They wrap up with a discussion about pre-show content such as short films (40:57) and post show possibilities (41:38).