All weekend long you’ve been reading about Box Office records being pounded into submission by superheroes. Theaters running a movie over and over for 72 straight hours because of the sold out tickets. A 3 HOUR movie is bringing in the crowds.
Movies aren’t dead and they aren’t going anywhere. Netflix isn’t killing movies. Like superheroes, movies can escape death with supernatural ability.
- TV will destroy movies!
- VHS (and later… DVDs) will destroy movies!
- Video Games will destroy movies!
- The World Wide Web will destroy movies!
- Streaming services will destroy movies!
But Hollywood continues to make billions and broke records at the box office last year – and will likely do so again.
Movies are where you go to cheer the heroes, laugh at the jokes, cry at loss, and scream at jump scares WITH others! It is a communal experience. It is a shared experience with friends, neighbors, and strangers. It is where you know you are not alone, that these other people too share your tastes.
A movie theater removes you from your home, removes you from the chores and daily tasks. A movie theater sits you down in front of the screen, dims the lights, blasts the soundtrack (sometimes too loudly I admit), and removes all distractions – so there is nothing but the story.
But the economics of showing movies have changed and it is difficult for small local theaters to survive. The chain theaters offer plush seating and a variety of food stuffs which the local independent theaters can’t offer. And at $12 or more a ticket per person and $15 for the coke and popcorn movies are no longer a cheap fun spontaneous option for most families.
Many towns have saved their theaters by turning them into non-profit organizations. Some become art houses and others become second run theaters. Suddenly the local theater offering $5 films become full again – adding foot traffic and smiles to the downtown after every showing.