Opinion: The Future of Movie Theaters is Dim

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Even with the current pandemic, the fate of movie theatres shows a dim future. Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

In the fight between the streamers and the theatres, Hollywood plays a major role in the entertainment business. But with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Apple TV on the rise, the future of the giant screen is uncertain. 

One of the nostalgic experiences in life is the tradition of checking out a new movie at the theatre. What is taking away from that experience are industry leading media companies like Netflix and Hulu. Hollywood feels threatened. 

Living rooms should not be a substitute for movie theatres. The art of not being there is strange and surprising. Home entertainment may be uplifting, but it will never beat a theatre chair. 

“Television is just not first class,” Roger Ebert said.“The screen is too small.” 

On Dec. 3rd, Warner Bros. smashed the idea of theatrical releases for their 2021 calendar year by saying they will release all of its 2021 movies on the streaming service HBO Max and in theatres. 

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Big-budget films like “Suicide Squad 2,” “Dune” and “The Matrix 4” are now being pushed to online streaming. 

While it is noteworthy to say the move to show an entire year’s worth of movies online is due to the current pandemic, it gives a dark glimpse into what the future may look like. 

The decline of the movie theatre experience was tangible, even before the pandemic. Even if their massive screens were to die off, the cinematic experience would transition into everyone’s televisions. 

But the art of “being there” can never settle for choosing to rent movies from your television. The convenience of streaming has placed special blame on the rival with multiplexes, where finding a movie online can be done at home. Whether it be a blockbuster or a classic, streaming offers countless options for a pleasant at-home experience, without any urgency. 

The collections of beloved films, old and new, give the theatre an experience unlike no other. The mobilization of the cinema has shown to be the imperative nature to actually be there. Many films run in the theatre for a month or so before it gets swapped with another. An additional six months are added for those wishing to wait for a DVD release. Going to the movies acts as a welcomed compulsion, whereas streaming remains a loose descendent of facing the big screen. 

Needless to say, I miss the theatre, the physical experience and the magical programming the venues offer. It is a place where films dropping online simply cannot fit into the tangible relationship the obscurity of a dimly lit room can come close to.

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