04/18/2013 02:13 pm ET

Movie Theaters Should Be More Boomer-Friendly, Researcher Says At CinemaCon Talk


Pay more attention to the baby boomers.

That was the message delivered to theater owners at a presentation Tuesday at CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theater Owners.

According to, Catherine Paura, CEO of Capstone Global Marketing and Research, told attendees that they shouldn't just focus on courting younger audiences -- they should instead think of older audiences

“Unlike past generations we have not stopped going to the movies," Paura said. "Young people, because of technology, because of the different ways they can entertain themselves, are not as habituated to going to the movies as the older generation.”

The number of people older than 50 who are going to movies grew last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Looking at frequent moviegoers (those who go to the movies once a month or more), the MPAA found that the number jumped from 3.1 million to 3.3 million for people ages 50 to 59 and from 4.1 million to 4.6 million for people over 60.

The New York Times also took note of this trend in 2011 in an article titled "Graying Audience Returns to Movies": "Baby boomers are not their Depression-era parents, who grew up on radio and were very conscious of the price of a ticket," Brook Barnes and Michael Cieply wrote. "Baby boomers were weaned on movies."

How can owners make their movie theaters more boomer-friendly? Paura suggested bigger movie screens and seats as well as better concessions for adults (including wine, cheese or "something that doesn’t make my cholesterol go up"). She also said the movie industry should create movie trailers that appeal to an older audience.

Hollywood seems to be getting the hint. More films are targeting older audiences, and many of them have been big box office smashes and critical darlings. One needs to look no further than Best Foreign Picture Oscar winner "Amour," about an older man acting as caregiver for his mentally and physically declining wife, or "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," the film about seniors traveling abroad which made $136.8 million dollars worldwide.

We asked Huff/Post50 readers on Facebook what they'd like to see in their moviegoing experience, and here's what they had to say:

"Turn down the sound!!!"

"Significantly lower prices for tickets and refreshments. More healthy choices too!"

"Ban the use of cell phones and have an usher available to make people shut them off and stop talking."

How can movies become more boomer-friendly? Tell us your thoughts!