According to a survey of moviegoers at downtown Delaware’s Strand Theatre, one of the 10 oldest continuously operating cinemas in the United States, patrons love their movie theater, often combine a night at the movies with dinner in the downtown, and buck the national trend in preferring to buy tickets at the theater rather than online.
Those are some of the highlights from a comprehensive audience survey conducted earlier this year, said Tracey Peyton, the Strand’s managing director.
“Our board of directors decided last year that we needed to get a better handle on who our audience is and what they value,” Peyton said. “Working with Dr. Bob Gitter at Ohio Wesleyan University, we developed several different surveys that were administered to audiences in March. People were great about completing them, and we have gotten back results that were very gratifying but also will be really helpful in guiding our decisions in the future.”
Details from the 502 surveys collected included:
• 67.7% of respondents live in the Delaware (43015) area and 75.4% drove five miles or less to get to the theater.
• 49% combine a trip to see a movie at the Strand with dinner, while a total of 62% are grabbing dinner, dessert or drinks in town, most often right after seeing a movie.
• Saturday is the most popular day of the week to see a movie, followed by Friday, Sunday and Tuesday.
• 66.7% of respondents use either the Strand’s website (www.thestrandtheatre.net) or its Facebook page (@Strand.Theatre) to find out what movies are playing.
• 79.1% prefer to buy their tickets in person at the Strand.
• 89% of survey respondents said they were “highly likely” to recommend the Strand to a friend and 11% said they were “likely” – adding up to 100% of respondents.
“We also learned that our customers really like the friendliness of our staff and the ease of finding the theater,” Peyton said. “And while the challenges of parking in downtown Delaware were noted, the combination of our low prices and unique, historic setting gets us very high overall marks for customer satisfaction.”
As for the future, Peyton said, the Strand hopes to explore news ways to collaborate with restaurants and other downtown businesses to create a rich entertainment experience for guests.
The Strand Theatre, 28 E. Winter St., first opened in 1916. Today, it is one of only two first-run movie theaters in Delaware County and the only one that has featured first-run silent films on its three screens.
The nonprofit movie house has recently renovated all three of its theaters and is in the process of implementing improvements to the lobby and concession areas, all designed to enhance the patron experience. For more information about The Strand Theatre, visit www.thestrandtheatre.net.