Introducing innovative ideas to the cinema bathroom.
Tonight I sit in a coffee shop across the street from a neighborhood movie theater. It seems to belong to a nostalgic bit of yesteryear, when people lived near where they shopped. It’s the kind of theater with only one screen. The sort that people walk to, either because they want to, or because the nearest available parking is at their own house.
The marquis lights reflect off my coffee mug’s ebony glaze, and I'm struck with a longing to watch a film on the big screen. Instinctively, I dismiss the thought as inaccessible. But why?
Having spent quite a few years afraid to stray more than 10 seconds from a bathroom, I'm accustomed to doing as many things at home as possible. During that time, most of my movie-watching was in the comfort of our living room, well within the protected porcelain perimeter. We got in such a habit that I automatically wait for movies to come out on DVD, without considering a trip to the cinema—even when I’m feeling well. My instincts have definitely been altered; I used to love going to the movies.
It strikes me as odd, in this day and age, that a trip to the restroom should be such a chore in a theater. We live in an era of mega-plexes where the restroom is a zillion miles from your seat. But is that really necessary? Couldn’t those giant restrooms be divided up into smaller bits, and distributed more evenly throughout the facility? One per theater even? Most definitely the answer is yes, but we see it so rarely. In a single-screen movie house the restroom is naturally likely to be much closer, however.
But then there’s the issue of missing essential parts of the movie while sitting on the can. To resolve this, I have thought up a solution that’s so simple it amazes me someone hasn’t already done it. Why not play the movie on a TV screen in the bathroom? It can’t be that difficult—after all, for years we’ve had access to sporting events while standing in line at the concession stand. Even without the video screen, at the very least they could pipe in audio from the movie so you can follow the dialogue.
This is the day and age when TV screens are popping up everywhere... on billboards, in cars, in the backs of airplane seats. People are watching movies on their cell phones, for crying out loud. It seems to me that if they can figure out how to play ads to me on a TV at the gas pump, they ought to be able to put one in the bathroom at the cinema. Especially when the smallest soda they sell is darn near a full gallon.
We can rethink this. We have the technology. We have the capability to create the world’s best cinema bathroom. Better than it was before… closer, smarter, friendlier.
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