The Multi-Screen Theatre In A Shopping Center

The key tenant in a shopping center is often a store from a nationwide chain that carries a wide variety of quality, brand-name items. But the multi-screen movie theatre may attract more people, more often than any type of store. Instead of signing just a department store as the anchor tenant, some shopping center owners and operators have decided that a movie theatre is a better drawing card for shoppers and have signed up both as key tenants. Either before the movie begins or after it is over, people can and will shop. Usually, all of the family members will come to the theatre, although not all together or at the same time. It has appeal for the whole range of spenders, from Mom and Dad to teenagers and their friends. By encouraging people to “get out of the house”, movies also encourage these people to combine a shopping trip with a few hours of movie entertainment.
Special Applications
Because a movie theatre has special attributes, here are some further ideas about the use of a theatre as a key tenant in the shopping center:
• Late running movies end after the stores in a shopping center will normally have closed. There will be no direct benefit to the stores when the movie is over, other than window shopping.
• This means that the theatre should schedule plenty of afternoon and early evening programs to be an effective “anchor” tenant.
• Saturday morning or afternoon shows that are designed particularly for young children afford an excellent opportunity for parents to shop while the kids are safely enjoying the movie show. The shopping center operator should negotiate a realistic programming schedule with the theatre manager, a schedule that will also let parents shop for uninterrupted hours.
• Many movie theatres display advertisements on the screen. These ads not only boost the awareness of stores and services available within the shopping center, they suggest to movie goers: “Go shopping.”
The Shopping center operator could also prepare a directory of all stores and services available within the center and include hours of business for each. This “pocket size” directory could be taken back to the car and then home as a ready reference for the theatre patron.
• Think about security for packages during the time shoppers are in the movie theatre. Security guards and a roving patrol car help minimize problems. Stores might hold packages purchased before the movie starts for pickup later.
Locate The Theatre Within The Center
The whole idea will be wasted if the theatre is located off by itself, near the end of the shopping center. The best location is in the middle of the shopping center with retail stores on each side of the theatre’s main entrance. This permits, and encourages, theatre goers to walk and see the stores nearby. Some shopping centers have the exits from the movie theatre lead patrons to the retail stores. Positioning of these exits, of course, would have to be approved by the fire department.