Arts Journal weblog neighbor, Martha Bayles, published a great little article the other day about how the atmosphere at a typical Cineplex is one of the predominant factors in the declining attendance figures for that industry. Says Martha,
“[Will] the new “Star Wars” prequel will reverse the overall decline in theater-going. Surely not! Long before we humble consumers figured out that we were not alone in preferring to watch DVDs at home, the industry had us pegged. For some years now, Hollywood has been happy to take its real profits from shiny little discs than from all those dreadful Cineplexes with their icky decor, endless ads and previews, crummy projection and sound, and sticky floors.”
Does this sound familiar? It should, because the same root issues exist for orchestras. It’s not the classical music itself which is the cause for what some in the business describe as “market driven declining demand”. It has much more to do with the actual experience of getting to the concert and enduring the venue.
I’m going to publish an article on Monday at Neo Classical, my column over at The Partial Observer, which explores this idea in more detail. It’s just too important of an issue to let slip away. In the meantime, go give Martha’s article a once over, it’s well worth the time.