LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Summer has traditionally been one of the most popular times to catch a movie, but theater seats around the country are sitting empty.

With the rise of home entertainment systems and low-cost streaming services, theaters are having a tough time wrangling customers from their couches.

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That’s where Matthew Bakal and Ameesh Paleja, co-founders of L.A. startup Atom Tickets, come in. They think their new app — which has backing from some of Hollywood’s major studios — can help bring customers back to to the multiplex.

“There are 1.5 billion tickets sold, but more than 5 billion unsold seats,” said Atom Tickets co-founder Matthew Bakal. “We wanted to make it easier for people to go to the movies with there friends and family.”

The app uses location services to find theaters nearby, and offers showtimes and movies in a sleek, scrollable display. The app also allows users to purchase concessions before arriving at the theater.

The app can also tailor its movie offerings based on past preferences.

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“The more you use the app, the smarter we get about what movies you’re going to like,” Paleja said.

Users can also use the app to connect with their friends, and invite them along.

The app has won the confidence of some major studios. Disney, Fox and Lionsgate led a $50 million round of investment early this year, according to reports.

Atom Tickets is available for use at Regal and AMC theaters in Los Angeles, with a nationwide roll-out planned for this summer. First-time users get a free ticket.

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