If you live in a smaller town or city, far from any big cultural centers, the prospect of going out to the movies can often be pretty depressing. It’s likely that you’ve got at least one 30-theater multiplex nearby, which seems like it should do the trick, but when you look at their listings you find that 10 of their theaters are playing the new awful action movie, 10 are playing the new awful romantic comedy, and 10 are playing some sort of CG cartoon for kids. That’s fine if you go to the movies every once in a while, just to eat popcorn and play grabass in the dark with somebody special, but for people those of us serious about watching new movies, the multiplex can start to look like a bleak wasteland. Don’t give up though, there might be hope for us outlanders yet.
Social tech start-ups have been changing the way we do everything over the past five years or so, from how we talk to our friends, to how we find someplace to eat, to how we catch a cab, to how we consume the news. And soon, thanks to a new service called Tugg, they might be changing the way we go to the movies. What this service does is let you set up an account, connect with other film fans, and start choosing what movies come to the theaters in your town. Think of it like a fundraising platform, but for movie screenings.
You pick a movie that you want to see – be it current, classic, mainstream, or independent – a time you want to see it, and the theater you want to watch it at, and if you’re able to get enough people from your area to agree to attend, Tugg then books the theater, sells the tickets, and makes sure that the film of your choice gets delivered. Suddenly you and dozens of your closest acquaintances are elbow to elbow, puking to the latest Gaspar Noé movie right in Bumblebutt, Idaho.
Of course, this is a new service, so they’re only launching in a select number of pilot cities, but if this thing catches on I don’t see why it couldn’t become ubiquitous. They’ve already signed on Alamo Drafthouse, AMC Theatres, Bow Tie Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, Goodrich Quality Cinemas, Rave Cinemas. and Regal Cinemas as partners, so I imagine there could eventually be a participating theater somewhere near even the most wild-eyed of recluses. I don’t know about you, but as a suburbanite who has to take a train ride into Chicago at least once a week to go see movies, I’m pretty excited at the potential of this service. There might be suburban-based midnight showings of a lot of stupid 80s genre movies in my future.