I’m Ready to Say Goodbye to Movie Theaters

With more movies coming straight to our living rooms, I’m ready to say goodbye to theaters for good. Are you?
Image credit: Ronny Coste/Unsplash

The current state of the world has wreaked havoc on the film industry. Multiple releases have been pushed back a full year or more, and movies we never knew were in production have surely been canceled or postponed indefinitely. It’s not just the people who make the movies who are affected though.

Theaters have taken a massive hit, with social distancing regulations forcing many theaters to close for a time. Studios have started to release films that would once be shown only in theaters for home purchase and rental right alongside their theatrical counterparts.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier about that last part.

Hell Is Other People

Okay, I know: I’m willingly misusing this quote, but that is mostly beside the point. Seeing a movie on a big screen is great, but unfortunately you can’t pick and choose the people you watch a movie with. If you luck out, it can be great, but when it goes the other way, it can be a bad time.

People talking over the movie or distracting you with various phone notification bleeps and bloops is bad enough. When they start taking up too much room around themselves or blatantly disrespecting your personal space, things get irritating very quickly.

We haven’t even talked about spoilers yet. Have you ever had a scene spoiled immediately before it happens by a loud talker? That’s bad. Having the entire movie spoiled on the way into the theater is even worse.

The Ticket Price Problem

Seeing a movie at a theater isn’t cheap, but I don’t think I’m dropping a revelation on anyone by saying that. Watching movies at home isn’t really much cheaper, and that seems like it’s a trend that could be headed the wrong way.

If you want to watch Mulan on Disney+, you need to shell out $30 for the rental. That’s on top of your monthly subscription fee too. This could be the start of a slippery slope and bad for home viewing in general.

Still, you can rent a movie at home and invite friends over to watch it. Head to the theater with a group of friends, and you’re paying per person. This can add up pretty quickly, especially if you’re bringing your family to the theater.

Of course, snacks add up too. Money-wise, it’s much cheaper to rent a movie at home and microwave a bag of popcorn.

Home Media Centers Are Good Enough

In general, the TV screens we watch at home are getting bigger and bigger. Surround sound is getting better at home too. Even better, you can watch a movie whenever you want instead of waiting for the next screening at the local megaplex.

Even better, you don’t have to cross your fingers if you need to run out for a snack or to take care of any other business. The pause button is a wonderful thing. Not to mention, even with a 24-hour rental, you can immediately watch the movie over again if you find yourself smitten.

Rentals and streaming aren’t perfect, but with more movies hitting the living room the same day they hit theaters, it’s nice for everyone to have the option of going with what they prefer.

Are You Still a Fan of Theaters?

While I’ve mentioned plenty of negatives about theaters, I’m fully aware that people still love the experience of going to the theater. Personally, I’ve only seen a few movies in theaters in the past few years, preferring to wait for home releases, so theaters haven’t been a big thing for me for some time.

That doesn’t mean theaters aren’t worthwhile. After all, they can lead to some awesome cinema experiences. I don’t want them to go away, I just want to be able to watch movies in the comfort of my own home without having the plot spoiled months ahead of the release.

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1 comment
  1. I’ve been mostly done w/ theaters since college where we had a second-run theater on campus with reasonably priced concessions. Since then, I’d hit maybe 1 movie per year – if that. The ticket cost per person + snacks + no ability to pause + trailers + trailers + trailers == I’ll wait for the home release. I also can’t even begin to list how many movies I saw some trailer for, thought “that might be interesting”, and never thought about it again after that. Maybe I’d have some vague recollection if it ever hit streaming, but life went on and I was not the worse off for not seeing it.

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