NY Foundation of The Arts' Matthew Seig pointed out Michael Feingold's recent Village Voice article to me. Although it addresses the problems of NY's theater world it is equally applicable to the film world. Give it a read. Feingold lays out both the benefits and the challenges:
testing actors, challenging directors and designers, setting the bar high for playwrights to extend their reach. And I know, too, that if made affordable (but how?), it would benefit a New York audience that has long since given up going to the theater, an audience not interested in fighting its way through ill-mannered tourist crowds to see old musicals redone cheaply and stars that it can see for free (or the cost of a Netflix download) on its home screen. The audience is ready; the artists are ready. What will the theater do?