J.J. Abrams loves movies, and he can make a passionate case for seeing them in the theater. But he does not love watching them at a particular theater in his wife’s hometown in Maine.
“There is a theater chain that I’m convinced hates movies,” he told a dinner audience at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday night. “You go there. They’re angry with you. It’s cold. There’s no music. The lights go out when the movie starts — there’s no ceremony. It’s the most uncomfortable seats… You’re convinced there’s something in front of the projector. Meanwhile, most people in that audience have better TVs at home than the image you’re seeing.”
His point was that theater chains should not be surprised if moviegoers would rather stay home. In making those remarks, he was wading into a thorny debate about collapsing theatrical windows and allowing moviegoers the chance to pay a premium for home viewing of first-run films.