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Coming Soon to a…. TV Near You? The Future of Movie Theaters

Written by Joseph Holevinski, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)

Movie theaters. Before the pandemic they were one of the best places to see the newest movie releases or to just hang out with your friends to see a movie you have already seen many times before. The environment and the atmosphere that watching a movie at a movie theater gave was unlike anything else, but has this feeling gone out of style? Will movie theaters continue to be a timeless bonding activity or have they just become an extra expense? I’m going to explain why I think that movie theaters, despite having replacements, are here to stay.

There is no shortage of ways to watch movies. There are hundreds of different streaming services with more movies than anyone can watch in a lifetime. So, there is no shortage of home entertainment. However, not all movies are immediately accessible straight from your couch. A lot of the major releases, the ones with the major A-list celebrities, have a period of time where they are only playing in theaters.

So, if you want to be in the know with major movies, you have to buy that ticket. This is one of the major things keeping movie theaters in business ever since the start of the pandemic, because less people were going out of their house for leisure activities.

A lot of people may just wait until it comes out on DVD or appears on your favorite streaming service. However, seeing the movie isn’t the only reason people go to a movie theater. It’s an experience. The big screen, the booming audio and the dim lights are all features that are hard to replicate at home and they really bring the movie to life. Additionally, in some of the newer theaters, the seats recline and some even shake or move with the audio in the movie to give you that much more of an in-depth experience.

In addition to all that, movie theaters have concession stands. Sure, you can buy candies at the grocery store. But, microwave popcorn is never as good as the stuff sold at movie theaters. The “buttery-ness” and the saltiness that comes from freshly popped movie theater popcorn is unbeatable. Additionally, some of the newer theaters serve more than just popcorn, like pizza and hotdogs, even nachos.

While watching movies at home has definitely hurt movie theaters temporarily, they will always hold a place in the hearts of movie buffs and casual movie viewers alike.