Reflections on our local movie-going experience 

Published 1:32 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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This week at Tryon Theatre, we have a second run of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” the Marvel franchise sequel to the beloved “Black Panther” (2018). We were closed for the weekend of Christmas, and we will similarly be closed the weekend of New Year’s. With those inconveniences to the typical schedule, we wanted to extend the run of “Wakanda Forever” in the hopes of giving more people an opportunity to join us for a screening. 


For anyone interested in seeing the newest installment of Black Panther, we recommend you read last week’s article on the film. This week, we’ll talk about a few details of the theater-going experience which we find to be interesting or worth knowing from the customer’s perspective. 

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First, I wanted to bring attention to some of the history of Tryon Theatre. For anyone who has attended a film with us before, you may not have ever noticed some wonderful remnants of history hung on the walls. 


There is an article from our own Tryon Daily Bulletin, hanging right inside the entrance, that details the theater’s reopening in 1938, and gives a glimpse into the Tryon community of our past. As you continue into concessions, we have framed some old Western Union telegrams. The telegrams are all short and sweet remembrances of a fond time at the theater, but if you pay attention to whom the telegrams are from, you are in for a number of surprises from Hollywood stars of the 30s and 40s (Clark Gable was one such star to enjoy a some fresh popcorn at Tryon Theatre). Speaking of concessions, they carry more weight in the scope of a theater’s operations that one might otherwise assume. 


For most any movie theater, from small to large, concessions cover their cost of operations and pay their employees, almost entirely. The reason for this is that ticket sales go directly to the studios. There is a more complicated system in place (deposits, minimums, etc), but the practical result of the system is that a theater like us does not see profit in direct ticket sales, rather only in the capacity that they influence concessions sales. 


If a larger theater has multiple screens and can afford to carry a movie for multiple consecutive weeks, they have an easier time covering the money owed to the studios. That is not an option for one screen theaters such as Tryon Theatre. However, the larger theaters are still predominantly reliant on concessions sales to break even or profit,although many theaters do have exorbitantly priced concessions. That pricing system is a reflection of the studio system, not an independent product of greed. 


We at Tryon Theatre do our best to keep our concessions affordable relative to other theaters, but we know they are an expense that not everyone factors into their movie going experience. With that in mind, we would ask that you enjoy our concessions as you’re able, and if we don’t offer whatever treat it is you like best when attending a movie, please talk to us, as we are always open to feedback! 


Lastly, we don’t bring any of this up to guilt trip you as customers, but rather to reflect how much support you already give and to further validate how much that support is appreciated and valued by Tryon Theatre. 


Thank you for your time in learning more about us, and for your ongoing support of Tryon Theatre. We couldn’t be here without the love of the compassionate community in which we operate. We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas weekend, and we hope to see you at the theater soon!