In a marketing stunt tied to the return of the hit comedy Eye this Thursday, the first season of “Ghosts” is being shown in the middle of the night at venues in Los Angeles, Savannah, Georgia, and Portland, Oregon. empty spaces. Instead, CBS invites you to watch a show about real ghosts – be they deadly.
“We use social media and we have mediums and other people that we use to get the word out to people who are not alive to come into any of these theaters and attend screenings,” says CBS Chief Marketing Officer Mike Benson.
And that’s what they actually do, including pulling down the marquees and showing an episode in the middle of the night at the El Rey, the Wiltern, the Fonda, the Orpheum, and the Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles (most of which are classic Los Angeles theaters built in of the beginning of the 20th century, in which several ghosts probably already live). In Savannah, the screening is at the Trustees Theater, and in Portland, it’s at Cinema 21.
“[The theaters] like it because they sometimes attract an audience that doesn’t compete with other live audiences,” Benson said. “They also really appreciate that their buildings are practically not demolished. Overhead costs are quite low. The downside is that there isn’t really any concession business.”
Of course, CBS pays admission for any ghosts that wander around, covering the theater’s rental fee.
“I haven’t gotten a lot of feedback yet, we understand it’s hard to get traffic data because there’s no real way to track it,” Benson added. “So the only way to track it is through rumors through the media. But so far we hear that undead people like it.’
Benson thanked his team for the idea. “It just goes back to the idea of how we can be authentic, and that’s something that I think only we could do for this show,” he said. “And that’s why we’re doing it, and we’re excited about it. We just think it’s a lot of fun. And excuse the pun, it’s in the spirit of the show.”
For those who can’t make it to theaters, “Ghosts” returns Thursday, September 29 at 8:30 PM ET/PT on CBS.