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My senior thesis at the Ohio State University.

The problem

Movie theater attendance has consistently decreased over the last several decades, despite the huge amount of films being produced in this age of digital media. There is no doubt that consumers are still engrossed in film, television, and digital media, but theaters do not provide a compelling reason to be in a physical space to consume this media.

The solution

FRAME is a new theater model that can provide unique, nuanced experiences for moviegoers. FRAME is movie theater franchise concept passionate about visual expression and cultural exchange. Utilizing different global locations of the theater, FRAME focuses on exchanging film, art, and other forms of media between regions and between nations. This provides a framework for discussions on film, culture, and global issues.

Frame logo in white with girl wearing glasses lit in a pink and teal neon color scheme in background
Photos of The Metrograph movie theater in New York City and The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. Interviewee names include: David Filipi, Director of Film and Video at the Wexner, Alex Olch, Founder and Creative Director at The Metrograph, and Jacob Perlin, Artistic and Programming Director at The Metrograph.

Research methods

Secondary Research​

My secondary research focused on two areas: the historical tradition of theaters and market research into creative innovations in the field. The goal of this research was to discover how past design choices influenced the choices of today.

Target User Survey

The user survey collected information about filmgoer experiences, good and bad, and how those experiences could be enhanced or improved. My target audience includes primarily young adults, who drive a large part of the visual media industry.

Participatory Observation

The observational research consisted of visiting local theaters and taking notes on audience behavior, amenities, and variety of visual media available in the space.

Influencer Interviews

The most influential part of my research was connecting with theater directors and designers who are currently innovators in their field. I interviewed one local director at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio and two individuals from the Metrograph in New York City.

A variety of responses to the survey question "If a movie theater could be anything, what would you want it to be?". Answers include: "feels like home", "conversations before and after", "interactive", "intermission", "knowing more about the film", etc.


Intimate vs. Social Interaction 

User opinions on personal vs. social experience vary (as seen in the survey results to the left), so the theater design solution must allow for different types of experience. Specifically, moviegoers should be able to have a personal experience while having the option to access social experiences as well.

Unique Experiences

Theaters have the opportunity to curate multiple forms of media for audiences, creating a unique experience that they would not be able to have at home. This could include an array of visual media that connects to real-world discussions and problems.

Living Local

One important subject that resonated with my target users was the idea of supporting local artists, filmmakers, and businesses. Having a theater that is integrated and unique to the user's city is important in creating loyalty amongst audiences.

Final deliverables

Concept promo video

Concept theater system design

FRAME poster highlighting the key features of the theater franchise. Includes brand imagery, photos of the theater houses, exhibition space, and cafe. It reads: "A movie theater franchise passionate about visual expression and cultural exchange. FRAME focuses on exchanging film, visual art, and ideas internationally, providing a framework for discussing media, culture, and global issues. Theater Houses: Small to large production films, cultural exchange network, smaller houses for groups of friends, and stage performances and live events. Exhibitions: Local and exchanged artwork, behind the scenes of film, collaborative and creative workshops. Cafe + bar: Local and exchanged food, film-themed food and drink, community and social spaces.

Concept program

Page one of the FRAME print program, featuring a Columbus, Ohio mural on the cover and a schedule of exhibitions, film openings, workshops, and events on the interior flap.
Page 2 of the FRAME print program, with a more detailed view of film openings, exhibitions, workshops, and live events. Featuring photos from Avengers: Infinity War and Moonlight, along with spotlights for Columbus poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib and Tokyo visual artist Yoshitomo Nara
FRAME print program, thesis project development book, and brand takeaways like buttons and stickers
FRAME print program, thesis project development book, and brand takeaways like buttons and stickers

Concept instagram account

FRAME Columbus Instagram account with sample posts for featured movies, artists, and local photography.
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