BIG ARTS CUTS ONE STATE OVER: If you are a Louisiana arts organization that relies on small grants from the state, you might start setting up that lemonade stand. Governor Bobby Jindal has slashed the Louisiana Decentralized Arts Fund by 83 percent as the state trims its overall budget by about 10 percent. The fund provides grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 for arts and cultural projects. Christopher Knights over on the L.A. Times Culture Monstor blog skewers the decision pretty thoroughly if you’d like to read more. Who knows – maybe some of those artists will move one state to the west?
MORE MOVIES, LESS POPCORN: You might have read about how moviegoing is way up this year. In fact, January and February had their best months ever. At first that comes as a surprise considering the economic situation. But the general thinking is that, even at $9 a ticket, going to a movie is still a pretty cheap form of entertainment compared with a two-hour concert, play, etc. But according to Variety, moviegoers have figured out what’s not a good value – all those concessions. (As a quick anecdotal retort, I will say that people attending AFI Dallas haven’t really figured that out as I’ve seen what seems like a Coke in every hand. But I digress…) In response, several theater chains are actually lowering prices or creating value meals to drive up business. Which ultimately, IMHO, is still bad for the moviegoer. There’s nothing worse that sitting in a theater in front of the guy constantly rustling his popcorn bag as he’s rattling the ice in his drink. I wish people going to movies could take a cue from people at the symphony or a play and somehow find a way to make it through two hours without eating. I promise you it will result in a better movie watching experience.
That’s not what theater owners want you to think, though. They rely on those concessions to provide a heavy percentage of their revenue, so I don’t blame them for trying to revive that business. As I’ve heard it put many times, movie theaters are really just candy stores that show movies.