Billie Eilish Is Holding Listening Parties In Movie Theaters For Her New Album, And I Hope It Starts A New Trend

Billie Eilish Hit Me Hard And Soft promo photo
(Image credit: William Drumm)

Last year, movie theaters catered to two major fan bases by bringing concert films to the big screen with Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour and Beyoncé’s Renaissance documentary. Since each of their commercial successes, it has us thinking about what other artists should make concert movies next. Enter Billie Eilish. As the Oscar-winning No Time To Die and Barbie singer gets ready to put out her third studio album, she has announced a unique listening party event that will be held at select AMC Theatres.

On Monday, Billie Eilish surprised fans anticipating Hit Me Hard And Soft with news that she and Finneas are heading to New York City’s Barclays Center on Wednesday, May 15 and Los Angeles’ Kia Forum in person to play the album for fans at a free event. On top of that, Eilish additionally announced on Tuesday that there will also be some listening party events at nearly 130 AMC Theatre locations across the United States. It’s the first of its kind and a really exciting development for the future of movie theaters.

Billie Eilish Is Holding Listening Parties In Movie Theaters 

If you are lucky enough to snag tickets on the AMC Theatres website (many showings are already sold out), you’ll have the chance to see an hour-long “album listening experience”, particularly in Dolby Cinemas, alongside other Billie Eilish fans for $5 a pop. The experience is in collaboration with Apple Music, and a portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales are going to the AMC Cares Charitable Fund.

The listening event will allow fans to be among the first to hear the highly-anticipated album, and the experience will reportedly be accompanied by visuals in spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, which “provides a spatial sound experience as the creator intended — where sounds are individually placed and moved in three-dimensional space, giving you the feeling of sound from all around you, even above and behind you”, per Dolby.

Why I Hope It Starts A New Trend 

As someone who experienced the splendor that was seeing the Eras Tour in theaters among other Swifties, I love the idea of movie theaters embracing music communities more with events like this. Nothing can beat the experience of seeing an artist live, but not everyone has the access or funding to go see a massive pop star like Billie Eilish live. This listening event is unique, and I hope it starts a new trend of more musicians partnering with theater chains to create a memorable experience for music fans when new albums come out.

While I wish there were a lot more showings of this, and they weren’t all at 3 p.m., it’s going to be a blast for those fans to experience the album in this fashion for the first time amidst strangers. It’s going to provide audiences with a communal experience. I’ve seen more and more record stores advertise listening events, but hearing the new Billie Eilish record with some of the best speakers in the world sounds like such a glorious experience. Eilish is already a trendsetter when it comes to fashion, and I hope she inspires the music industry and theater exhibitors to collaborate more with this upcoming event.

Hit Me Hard And Soft comes out on May 17.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.