Movie theaters struggle as Netflix and on-demand streaming allows customers to watch movies from home. They make money by selling concessions, but they could bump profits in other ways.
A detractor for customers is the emphasis on not using cell phones during the movies. This may be especially true with younger audiences.
Instead of asking customers to put away their cell phones, theaters can create an experience around the cell phone instead. Make it easy for moviegoers to access an app that allows them to buy concessions, gift cards, and more. Deliver popcorn to them in their seats instead of making them wait in line for it. Try to change behavior less and let the customer behavior drive the business.
The app could offer experiences that reach far beyond what traditional theaters provide to open up other revenue opportunities. They could allow for commenting during movies and more.
A family goes to the movie theater to see the latest Disney movie. Before the movie begins, the theater could ask the moviegoers to pull out their phones.
Get them to use your app and make the app worth it. Deliver concessions, provide details about the actors/actresses that are unavailable elsewhere, and allow them to interact with each other. Give them behind the scenes details as the movie goes on. This experience would drive more people to the movies because it creates an experience unavailable from their couch.