Local theaters situated in our towns always hold a special place in our hearts. At times, they are iconic landmarks that have been entertaining a city or town for centuries. These theaters have made us laugh and cry, have been generous hosts on our first ever date or have been givers of fond memories. Unfortunately, most theaters these days are calling it quits just because they are not able to sustain.
To address this very same problem, there is a new web app in town called Movie Heroes. Rightfully named, this app allows the members of the community to be heroes and do their part in saving the theater with the reward of being able to watch unlimited movies. Movie Heroes works on a subscription system that not only massively helps the theater but also the movie goers, and the studios as well.
Introducing the Masterminds of Movie Heroes!
The start-up was co-founded by childhood friends Keith Walker and Matt Sconce. This company was started to change the way people watched movies and also for theaters to have a steady strength for sustenance.
Keith has a degree in Engineering Physics from University of the Pacific and masters from Carnegie Mellon in Software Engineering. He worked in the aerospace industry for 9 years where he received the Air Force Chief of Staff Team Excellence award for extending the life of a military satellite fleet. He left the aerospace industry to join Klout, a start-up in San Francisco, and left to co-found Movie Heroes.
Matt is an award winning director/writer/filmmaker, and has produced 11 shorts, 5 feature films, and has written 6 feature screenplays. His most recent feature length film, Firefall, was released theatrically in 2013. Matt has four blackbelts and has been a youth leader at a large church in Oakhurst, California for the past 11 years.
Know More About Movie Heroes
This app offers an unlimited-viewing membership model for physical movie theaters and turns the average moviegoer into an avid one. The members watch movies at a rate of six to ten times the national average. Also, the statistics show that they have stopped renting movies at Red Box and stopped waiting for Netflix. This is because the members can watch all the movies they are interested in, on the day of its premiere.
Every theater that is working with Movie Heroes has dramatically increased attendance. On average, attendance at Movie Heroes theaters is up more than 150%. Now people are seeing more movies the way they were meant to be seen, on the big screen and they day they come out.
It’s a beautiful solution because it’s a win-win-win. The consumer wins because they love the product and see way more movies. The theaters win because they are on overage seeing a 100% increase in their revenue and an increase in their profit margin. The Studios win because they are making nearly three times the revenue from these theaters over what they used to.
What Inspired It All?
“Our hometown theater closed its doors in November of 2012. This was the theater that we went to as kids. Matt has his first date there. I watched October Sky there, which influenced me to pursue engineering.
The doors closed and the whole town was in mourning. Our childhood friend, James Nelson, learned of the closing of the theater and thought about how the only thing the theater was missing was stability. He wondered why membership model wasn’t used in the theatrical space given its popularity in other media. He picked up the phone and called Matt and I and we thought it was a great idea. We dropped everything and started to build a plan to make it happen”, says Keith.
On Hurdles Faced & Competitors
As with most start-ups even Movie Heroes faced the challenge of finding a product-market fit. In addition to this hurdle, the team also had the challenge of convincing the studios to try something new and give them movies. Also, some studios have restrictions around becoming membership theaters.
However, the team was fortunate to make a connection early on with Joe Crotty, who is a very well know figure in the industry. He had recently retired and believed in what they were doing. He helped the duo convince the studios that this was a good idea. He also had the connections to get Matt and Keith meetings with studio execs.
In terms of competitors, there are companies like MoviePass and DealFlicks that are innovating in this space. MoviePass offers something similar to consumers but does not transform and save a theater the way Movie Heroes does. Movie Heroes’ monthly subscription is less than MoviePass’s because the offer comes from the theater instead of a third party that needs to cover the whole ticket price. DealFlicks is like Priceline for Movie Theaters and works to fill seats but not at the triple percent digits like Movie Heroes.
On Expansion Plans & Target Audience
“Our product is geared towards the small town theaters and we anticipate most of our early growth will be with struggling independently owned theaters in a rural setting. That’s where the idea originated and that’s what it’s suited for. There are roughly 1,500 theaters by our estimation that fit this criteria”, says the team.
Every moviegoer in a town that has a Movie Heroes theater is the app’s target audience. The team is looking to target towns across America and internationally. The product is great for avid movie goers. Also the inexpensive subscription is attracting many average moviegoers and turning them to avid moviegoers.
How do they plan on monetizing the app?
“Our customer is the Movie Theater. They buy the membership system from us and we enter into a revenue share agreement with them. We own and operate the first theater where we tried this. Movie Heroes has been profitable from day one”, says the team.
To sum it all up, with this app in the picture you never have to worry about your beloved vintage theater shutting down in your town. Movie Heroes in a way is a life savior for theaters that were struggling to get a constant house full.
For more details about the app, do make it a point to visit: https://movieheroes.com
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