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Pay Per Venue

A new attraction for the movie palaces of old.

Oct 29, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 07 • By ELI LEHRER
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But the real difference is that Fathom’s shows provide true diversity to the moviegoing experience. Older couples in the less-populated parts of North Carolina actually dress to the nines to attend opera performances at the movie theater, and people too young to remember Star Trek: The Next Generation on television wear surprisingly professional Starfleet uniforms to the showings. 

But the sheer quirkiness of the enterprise may not last forever. NCM executive Dan Diamond confidently predicts that technology such as Fathom’s will soon supplant the hard drives and film spools that studios now ship to theaters. It is possible that, in time, Fathom’s network will be given over entirely to standard mass-market fare, and its decision to bring oddball entertainment to all corners of the country will be forgotten. 

At least for now, however, a division of a big company best known for annoying moviegoers has brought variety to America’s increasingly homogenous moviegoing experience.

Eli Lehrer is president of R Street.

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