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Hoping to reverse years of decline attendance at movies theaters, cineplexes across the country are increasing their offering of entertainment options beyond the typical Hollywood fare:

On a recent Saturday afternoon, a crowd of elderly patrons bought tickets to see Fabio Luisi conduct the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of Wagner’s “Twilight of the Gods” — at a movie theater in Burbank.

The show was among more than 40 special events shown in movie theaters in Los Angeles and around the country this year alone, including the National Theatre’s stage production “Frankenstein,” a live stage version of Ira Glass’ radio show “This American Life” and the boxing match betweenFloyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto in May.

Along with improved food offerings, bigger screens and 3-D projections, theaters nationwide are programming more so-called alternative content. Hoping to reverse long-term declines in theater attendance by luring customers away from an increasing array of entertainment options in the home, they’re showing live rock concerts, plays, operas, boxing matches, college basketball games and even public radio shows, often to sold-out houses.

Photo by Chepe Nicoli/ShutterStock.

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Originally posted by Dane Carlson on December 5, 2013 in Featured.

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