QUINCY -- Since 1995, the number of cinemas in the United States has decreased by 25 percent, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.
In the same period, the average cost of a movie ticket more than doubled, going from $4.35 to $9.11, according to data from the association
Cinemas are shrinking, movies are more expensive, and more people are staying home to stream movies and other programs.
Despite the changing demographics, VIP Cinemas Vice President Jake McSparin says the Charleston-based company is bucking the national trend and going in the opposite direction.
"There is a lot said about (theaters dying), but what keeps us thriving is that we offer a totally different experience," said McSparin, who was in Quincy on Friday to oversee the grand opening of the VIP Cinema's three-screen theater in the Quincy Mall.
"No matter how big your television screen is at home, there is something very communal about watching a comedy movie and laughing with everyone else in the theater at the jokes. Movies at home don't give you that kind of experience."
The theater, will employ 8-10 people. The three theaters have a combined seating capacity of 466 people.
"Our more morning shows are actually our most popular shows of the day," McSparin said. He said part of their popularity is due to the discount ticket prices and that all tickets purchased before noon include a free small popcorn.
McSparin said the new theater will offer daily showings ranging in times from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"Our schedule gives people the opportunity to see a movie whenever they would like to see a movie," McSparin said. "People in Quincy haven't had that chance for a long time."
"That is really part of what differentiates us is our family-friendly ticket prices," McSparin said. "We also offer concessions at 40 to 50% less than our competitors."
Tickets for a morning show are $4.99. Tickets for an matinee, or for any show before 6 p.m. are $5.99. Tickets for an evening screening are $6.99. The theater will also offer $5 tickets for all showings on Thursdays.
While the tickets are below the industry average, McSparin said the customer's experience will be above average.
"We are a first-run theater, which means that we will have all of Hollywood's blockbusters on the day they come out," McSparin said. "We've put in all new seating in the theaters, and we did everything we could to make sure that every seat in the theaters could be described as the best seat in the house."
The theaters feature plush, leather rocker-style auditorium-style seating.
"We are thrilled that VIP Cinemas is not only bringing the movie-going experience back to Quincy Mall, they are offering a quality experience with an exceptional value that we know our patrons and the Quincy community will appreciate," said Michael Jenkins who is the property manager for Quincy Mall.
Grand opening weekend showings include "Ad Astra" and "Rambo: Last Blood." Visit Quincy3.com for show times and more information.
"People have been pretty floored with everything so far," McSparin said. "People are excited about the upgrades and are shocked by the ticket prices. Normally when theaters upgrade, ticket prices also go up, so it is quite a shock when they see the quality of experience they get for our pricing."