Movie Theaters: Will They Stay?

May 25, 2012
By VictorHugo GOLD, Binghamton, New York
VictorHugo GOLD, Binghamton, New York
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

One cannot talk about movies without talking about their homes, their birthplace, the theater. Up until the mid-1980s, when in home entertainment began its dramatic rise, movies could only be found at your local theater, which meant getting your buddies together, paying for tickets and food, just to see the explosions or the guy get the girl as usual. But the magic is in the big screen. Seeing John Wayne ride off into the sunset or seeing the Terminator fade into the smelting furnace at the end of T2 is made all the more magical when you see it on a 130 foot screen. It's the cheers of your audience when Harry finally defeats Voldermort after eight movies, or seeing the girl in he next row crying over the death of George Clooney. To describe the emotions and feelings of movies on the big screen to one who has never been there is nothing short of surreal. But with a generation of DVDs, Instant streaming movies, and the Internet, is the magic dying?

Economically, yes. Since the rise of Netflix in 2010 the box office has seen a huge drop in the number of tickets sold and the amount made. Being in a recession has not helped to motivate the movie going masses either, rather leading them to the $7 a month subscription per month over the $9-$13 movie ticket for something they may not even enjoy. Many speculate that because of this movie theaters will fade out of towns and cities, similar to the fall of Blockbusters and Hollywood Videos. Between the movie ticket prices, the overpriced food, the cramped seats and the noisy audiences why would anyone bother to go through all that if they can stay in their cosy homes and snuggle up in their beds to watch a movie?

Because thats not what movies or the theater is all about. People fail to realize that the magic is still there, even if it cost more than before, and we need it even more now than ever before. Back when I worked at my town’s local theater I would watch the reactions of people who entered and left the theaters. Going in I would hear complains of the "price being too expensive,”, “the food is too overpriced,”, “the chairs make my back ache” and so on and so on. Afterwords though, that was always the magic part to see. Large masses of people talking about how awesome it was to see the motorcycle chase through Paris, how they never expected the dad to be the killer, of how amazing Renee Zellwigger was as the single mother facing the world. Nothing but big grins, excited little kids making explosion noises, old couples hand in hand smiling at each other, girls giggling and dudes high fiving all around. Rarely did I ever hear a parent complaining about the price AFTER the movie, even parents dragged to cartoon movies by their four children (which would normally come out to $50+.) There lies the magic of the big screen, it’s mystic abilities to bring people together, create smile and moments out of a dark room, a projector and a large white screen. Something that can never be imitated.

The best instance of this in recent history is the revival of movies that have now been released on DVD back into theaters. Since 2011 I have seen Back to the Future, Top Gun, Star Wars: Episode 1 and the Titanic have a second go at the big screen and I already know that more are to come. People don’t go to see the same thing twice just for the movie, they come for the same feelings of seeing the movie at large the same way they did as a kid. It's a beautiful thing and I don’t believe that it's going anywhere anytime soon.

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