In November, a Memphis-based movie theater chain called Malco Theaters started renting out its screens. Now, theaters in South Korea are starting to do the same.
Since November, Malco has been allowing up to 20 people to rent a screen at $100 for two hours or $150 for 3 hours. The company has 36 theaters across Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Kentucky, and the practice has been gaining traction, but not enough. According to Malco VP Karen Melton: “It is gaining traction, and is becoming popular, but nothing is adding to our profitability at this point.”
Theaters have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with both US and Global revenue dropping significantly in 2020 according to Variety. US box offices experienced an 80% year-over-year decline from 2019, struggling to reach $2.2 billion in total during the pandemic. Worldwide returns looked similar, with ticket sales totaling at $12.4 billion–a 71% drop from 2019.
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