Topic: Movie Theaters

So, COVID has taken out movie theaters. While this is obviously terrible for the people who made their livelihoods projecting movies, cleaning theaters, and selling us delicious, delicious popcorn and overpriced sodas (not their fault, they don't set the prices!), how do people feel about cinema chains like Regal withdrawing from the US and reducing the number of theaters? Is PVOD (premium video on demand) going to replace all movies in theaters? Some movies in theaters? Will there always be demand for theaters for blockbusters and tentpoles, or will cinemas be reduced to a special experience one cannot get at home, like a Fork and Screen or Dolby Theater/XD experience?

I know that I much prefer watching movies at home now, having caught Frozen 2 and Onward on Disney+. But I also have a reasonably decent 4K HDR TV that's large and a hand-me-down Dolby Atmos surround sound system, so I can get a pretty-close-to theater experience at home. One can argue that a good enough setup at-home can actually be better than a theater due to calibrated colors and sounds, a more comfortable seat, and the ability to pause when you inevitably have to run to the restroom.

But that's enough of my thoughts. I ceed the floor.

Re: Movie Theaters

I expect that when the dust settles what we'll be getting is the Disneyfication of a big chunk of the theater experience—studios buying up theater chains and using them to show exclusively tentpoles. I don't think contemporary arthouse/indie cinema will cease to exist, but I do think it will become far more of a niche interest and that VOD will become the norm for anything below a certain budget.

That said, I don't think rep cinema is going anywhere—it remains consistently popular, and has much lower operational costs than chains do. I think the communal experience of seeing old movies on a big screen with others will endure, though it's certainly not out of the woods and things like Disney putting the Fox archive in its vault will make it harder.

Re: Movie Theaters

Drive ins did pretty well showing old movies this year. I could see venues like that doing well outside of tentpoles... maybe? I don't know in what ways the drive-in business has different needs than in-building theaters.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: Movie Theaters

Welp . . . that's the ballgame, as far as mainstream theaters are concerned.

Re: Movie Theaters

In the immortal words of Riley and Jonesy, "that's a real kick in the knackers, boys."

Re: Movie Theaters

Now that you can have a 60’ 4K TV or 100’ projector and screen for about the cost of ye olde living room 27” Trinitron, and you can pick up a secondhand surround receiver and speakers for pocket change or free, you can have that view-filling, high-res, gut-punching experience at home. You’re no longer just pretending that it’s just as good, it actually is pretty much the same at this point, just with the field of view optics swapped for the smaller audience size. And you always get the best seat, are never late, and can pause the show when ya need to pee.

That said.

Had to be in a giant group of people who confirmed that it wasn’t just me to watch Cats.  So maybe there’s a future for comedy or other shows that rely on a level of audience mass participation?

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