How is a top-notch, precisely tuned private cinema like a collection of fine wine? Both are aspirational luxuries whose purchase is driven by emotion, yet the latter enjoys a much greater community and awareness.
On Wednesday morning at CEDIA Expo 2019, Sam Cavitt of Paradise Theater led a class on the ways in which purveyors of home theaters can elevate their trade to the prominence and eminence of other more mainstream luxury pursuits—something he feels is essential for the long-term success of the CEDIA channel.
“There’s a lack of enthusiasts, there’s a lack of community,” Cavitt said. “What we have going on right now, it’s never been better. We’ve got all of these capabilities, but at the same time people are pushing back, saying it’s not necessary, it’s not needed.”
Cavitt began with a look at the state of the industry, which despite having an unrivaled product is reduced to seeking customers, rather than being a sought-after service. Part of this, he believes, is due to advances in consumer of home entertainment technology and the fact that people are more inclined to research things on their own.
“Back in the day when we didn’t do it right,”—when the technology wasn’t as good—“we had a lot more buy-in, a lot more passion by the clientele desiring what we offer than now, when we outdo the professional rooms. We’re commoditized.”
The solution to this, Cavitt believes, lies in being able to better convey the passion behind private cinema to bring it on par with categories like art, watches and automobiles.
“It’s an art form that conveys emotion,” Cavitt said. “How many other art forms convey emotion? And we’re in the position of delivering that to people so that they can have it time and time again, better than they can at any commercial cinema.”
Cavitt shared some methods for building this understanding in clients, such as finding something they’re passionate about and relating the superiority of a well-engineered cinema to their own discerning tastes. Also important is discussing the ways in which a theater will improve their lives, for example, by bringing their family together more often. Ultimately, however, he feels that success hinges on improved cooperation.
“We have to work together as an industry to raise the awareness that we’ve got something great,” he said. “If we can unite and be talking about that, and not just be willing to compromise all the time, then we can make a difference.”