CJ CGV in Seoul has begun renting their movie theater screens for two hour time slots. The gamers bring their own equipment and set up on the big screen. Before 6pm they can rent a theatre screen for about $90 and after that the price rises.
The idea was had by CGV employee Seung Woo Han, who recognized the similarities that games share with movies. While speaking to BBC, Han said:
“When thinking about how to make use of empty cinema spaces, I noticed that games nowadays boast excellent graphics and well structured stories just like movies. Both have a storytelling aspect to them, so if someone can enjoy watching a film in the cinema, I thought they would also enjoy playing computer games in one.”
Who’s using this service? Well they’ve seen all kinds of people come in to rent screens but the majority are men in their 30’s and 40’s. Some couples and entire families have also used the facilities to play games.
It’s not just Korea that’s implementing this new use for theatre screens. Other places have been renting out their rooms as well. US group Malco Theatres has been doing the same since November. Malco who has cinemas across Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee allow up to 20 people to rent a screen.
Other US chains like AMC and Cinemark, have been allowing customers in small groups to book auditoriums for private screenings. We haven’t heart of them letting gamers in like they have in Korea but hopefully we will soon. How cool would it be to have a date night in a theatre all to yourselves either playing games or watching a movie that means a lot to you?