Q. What new material trends do you see in the theater/ hospitality segment?
A: Before the virus we were seeing more experiential design and using the materials to define the spaces; i.e. arcades, bars, restaurants. The actual materials became more woods, stones, and other textures. Due to the pandemic, we will start to see the change of social distancing in public. How do we use materials as semi-natural barriers to create that separation of space?
Q. What impact is COVID-19 having on your projects? What about how you engage clients?
A. I don’t believe we have been in this “new normal” long enough to see an impact on materials yet. However, our clients have started getting creative in how they operate. One client started hanging screens on their building exterior to turn their parking lot into a drive-in.
Likewise, contactless delivery is changing how to food has handled. More and more apps for ordering are being used instead of a traditional concessions counter. Within our office, we are doing a lot more Zoom/MS Team calls, while still continuing to use our phone to communicate with our clients.
A. We are fighting the battle of how do we get families out of their homes and back into the theatres. With so many on demand services, theatres are having to try and reinvent the movie going experience. And maybe it’s not for movies. It might now be E-gaming events, concerts, or TV series finales instead. There are many opportunities for expansion when it comes to big screen theatres.
Q. What impacts have you seen on material selections?
A. We are going to see a turn towards anti-microbial. The materials still have to be aesthetically pleasing, but also very cleanable in order to make the customer more comfortable.
Q. Anything else you would like to add or want people to know?
A. The biggest thing is that a lot of theaters are starting to turn into family entertainment centers, to make them an experience, instead of a two hour event. We are also working very hard to accommodate the “new normal” and bring the movie industry back. Theaters are not spaces where people think of social distancing.
Therefore, our challenge is how to make semi-natural barriers that allow customers to enjoy their visit without feeling uncomfortable or crowded.