Kymberli Frueh
Kymberli Frueh
Courtesy of Fathom Events

With new technology providing more home entertainment options than ever, it takes something truly special to get today’s media-saturated consumer out of the house and into the theater. Enter Fathom Events. Not only does the company offer rare screenings of classic films and specials, it’s transforming the idea of what movie theaters can be used for.

Fathom Events is unique entertainment venture that brings concerts, sporting events, gaming competitions, stand up comedy, theatre and much more to the big screen. In an era of increasingly isolating media experiences, these events are a fun reminder of the joy of shared entertainment, while providing a vastly superior picture and sound experience than what’s available at home.

To find out more about Fathom Events, we emailed the company’s Vice President of Programming, Kymberli Frueh. How did Fathom Events get started?

Kymberli Frueh: It began in 2002 as a test in just a few theaters, but since then has turned into a popular alternative entertainment trend that has seen substantial growth over the past several years.

AXS: You guys have been doing some interesting things with concerts screening at movie theaters. What was the genesis for that idea?

KF: The idea behind showing concert events in movie theaters is that it allows fans to see their music idols like they’ve never seen them before. They’re up on the big screen, not only performing on stage but we also often include backstage moments or additional Q&A that is exclusive to the cinema event. It opens up new doors and experiences for fans that they wouldn’t be able to have otherwise and creates a very intimate VIP experience that often can’t be replicated.

AXS: What’s interesting about your concert events is that it’s not just pop singers, but a wide selection of artists including everything from classical to country as well. How do you choose which artists to partner with?

KF: We like to provide a variety of events in order to appeal to different audiences and ensure there is something for everyone. Even within the music genre we have wide offerings: classic rock, opera, pop, alternative, and more. It’s a combination of us approaching artists who we think would be a perfect fit for in-theater events and also artists coming to us because they want to bring their concerts to a wider audience.

AXS: The Ed Sheeran concert film “Jumpers for Goalposts” is a little different in that he’s very much still an emerging artist. How did you connect with him?

KF: Due to the success of Ed’s music and tour, bringing this event to movie theaters makes so much sense. He approached us because he wanted to bring his music to a wider audience, including people who couldn’t necessarily attend his concerts in person. We know fans are going to love this unique chance to see him perform – it’s almost like he’s performing just for you!

AXS: What are the experiences like for most concert films? Is it a similar atmosphere to the concert itself?

KF: Audiences will feel like they’re sitting front row center with up-close camera angles and often backstage footage and interviews with the talent themselves. That kind of access sets the experience apart from attending an actual concert. All of our concert events are shown with high-definition picture and top-quality sound, so you are getting the best quality at the best price. To add to that, you’re in a theater full of fellow fans all enjoying the experience together.

AXS: You also have a large number of sporting events as well. What are those experiences like?

KF: Our sporting events put you right in the middle of the action with a crisp, digital picture and incredible sound. And not only that, there’s camaraderie within the theater - booing of bad calls, cheering when your team scores, etc. People usually think of movie theaters as quiet places, but not when our sporting events are on screen!

AXS: You’ve also been doing a lot of theater productions. How have theater fans responded to those events?

KF: Not everyone has the opportunity to see world-renowned operas, ballets and plays on stage. Our goal is to make it affordable and accessible to all. The benefit of seeing a theater production in the cinema is that you get to see in high definition every facial expression of the actors, every turn of the dancers and hear every note of the singers like never before. Typically with these events we also include special introductions from cast and crew, and backstage footage to show audiences what goes on behind the curtain.

AXS: What other types of events or entertainment endeavors would you like to get involved with in the future?

KF: Fathom is always on the lookout to screen new and exciting events in theaters. We constantly challenge ourselves to ensure we are delivering top quality programming for every type of audience. We are really excited about our faith-based offerings, pro gaming, more classic films, different kinds of sporting events, TV specials and so much more! Keep an eye on for all of our latest and greatest events.