Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Would you like a DVD with your happy meal?

So I have been putting in a lot of hours lately getting ready for the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, which means many of my meals unfortunately have been from some of the best gourmet fast food places in my neighborhood. On one of my treks out to pick up some lunch, I stumbled onto a McDonald's which had a DVD rental kiosk on the outside. Maybe this isn't new to anyone else (I guess the project was launched several years ago), but it got me thinking. What an ingenious idea. Not only does it provide convenience for the customer, but the customer is required to come back to McDonald's to return the video, at which time it is likely that he will order another McDonald's product. I am seeing many theatres lately who are trying to become social destinations--not just a place to view a play, but to do several other things at the same time. There are your GLBT nights. Your wine sampling nights. During Contact at Virginia Stage Company we even offered swing dance lessons before and after the show. Are our patrons expecting more than just a theatrical experience? Do they want a one stop shopping destination for entertainment?

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