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Will Movie Theaters Become The Next Blockbuster Video Stores?


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22 years ago in film school my professor predicted that one day people will be watching new movies premiere on their living room TV's but just like how people go to bars to drink alcohol, people will still pay to go see films in the theater for the the experience of seeing a movie in a theater.  I think the pandemic has pushed this to happen much sooner, but i still think my professor's prediction makes sense as a likely scenario.

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Wow.  At first I thought the idea might be movie theaters will start offering movie ownership via DVDs sold in their lobbies.

But I don't think streaming will totally replace theaters as:

Not EVERYBODY in this country streams.

And there's no such thing as "theater quality" popcorn you can make at home.  Believe me, I've tried 'em all.

And even the largest LED/plasma screen you can find at Sam's Club or Costco, as impressive they look in the store or in anybody with the room in their house and has one can compare(IMHO) to how a movie looks on a theater's screen.

Sepiatone

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4 hours ago, Shank Asu said:

22 years ago in film school my professor predicted that one day people will be watching new movies premiere on their living room TV's but just like how people go to bars to drink alcohol, people will still pay to go see films in the theater for the the experience of seeing a movie in a theater.  I think the pandemic has pushed this to happen much sooner, but i still think my professor's prediction makes sense as a likely scenario.

And why aren't we doing more of it?  The same reason 22, and 38 years ago, as today:
YOU DON'T CHARGE US $30 @#$%IN' BUCKS FOR 'EM!   💵💵💵😡

(Never mind that at various points, the industry was pie-in-the-sky dreaming of $50 and $99 fees...Okay, just try the morality of that one, Next Person who's about to say "But with expensive ticket prices, it's already $30 for two people!")

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When video rentals first came out, it was in my area very cheap.  First  were CED videodisc then VHS.  I hated the cinema's at the mall because the screens was small, sound too loud and didn't have the same "feel" as my downtown theatre which closed up during the same time period.

Cable satellite TV was in it's infancy and didn't have many channels. Did have the MATV cable on steroids since the 1950's though

Now Directv is charging too much for pay per view - cheaper to wait a little and buy a movie on Ebay.

Not missing much today since 99% of everything produced today is boring or crap.

 

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I haven't seen a movie in a theater since 2005.  I've got a decent video collection of movies, however, so I'm not deprived of watching movies + I watch TCM often.  I'm never far from movies!  :)

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21 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

 

"And there's no such thing as "theater quality" popcorn you can make at home.  Believe me, I've tried 'em all."

Sepiatone

It still doesn't taste the same as "theater quality" but try using bacon grease to pop it in instead of oil.

It's little fluffy, smokey, salty pieces of heaven 🤤

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And let's not forget;

The same questions have been asked before about television.  That's one of the reasons for CINEMASCOPE coming about.  And that concern was nearly 70 years ago. And despite the advent of television, and with one or more in every home, movie theaters survived through all of that.  And it's the demise of DRIVE-IN theaters that saddens me.  :(  But despite that loss too, young love will survive....  ;) 

Sepiatone

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2 minutes ago, Citizen Ed said:

It still doesn't taste the same as "theater quality" but try using bacon grease to pop it in instead of oil.

It's little fluffy, smokey, salty pieces of heaven 🤤

I've quit popping corn on the stove since the invention of the "air popper" and the advent of the microwave oven.  But----

Bacon grease?  :blink:  Be still my heart!( and that bacon grease will certainly help that along  ;) ) .   It's easy to see why you picked SYDNEY GREENSTREET for your avatar!  ;) 

Sepiatone

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The article asks a flawed question then answers it in the last couple paragraphs.

IMHO, if cable and video store didn't kill movie theaters, then streaming wont either. The only threat to the cineplex is crappy movies. Those vintage theaters that can survive demolition will always have customers because seeing movies in them is what it's all about. 

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I'm not as confident as many of the posters on here. I'm reasonably sure movie theaters will be completely gone in a handful of years, save perhaps for a few nostalgia-oriented museum pieces like the Blockbuster described in the article has become. Like when the last handful of video stores were still around in my city, I'm still just trying to enjoy movie theaters while I still have the opportunity. 

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6 minutes ago, hamradio said:

Samsung’s Bonkers 292-Inch ‘Wall Luxury’ TV Is Set to Be the World’s Biggest

 

Yeow!

I suppose after buying a house with walls BIG ENOUGH to accommodate it, then being able to afford the set is another several years off. 

Anyway, I really don't see the average "Joe the plumber" type shelling out hard earned bucks for it.  So it seems movie theaters aren't threatened much by it.

Sepiatone

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18 hours ago, EricJ said:

And why aren't we doing more of it?  The same reason 22, and 38 years ago, as today:
YOU DON'T CHARGE US $30 @#$%IN' BUCKS FOR 'EM!   💵💵💵😡

(Never mind that at various points, the industry was pie-in-the-sky dreaming of $50 and $99 fees...Okay, just try the morality of that one, Next Person who's about to say "But with expensive ticket prices, it's already $30 for two people!")

I hear you about the prices.  Before our first kid came along, my wifey and i would go to the theater every Tuesday for the economy night, regardless what was showing, just to get out of the house during the week.  Otherwise, I rarely go to the cinema unless it's a film i really want to see (i.e. a new Wes Anderson film, anything Star Wars up until The Last Jedi ruined it for me or a new Tarantino). 

There's also a good second run cinema in Portland that will show great classics for cheap and I'll make a point of going in to see classics films that i've  already seen a dozen times and own at home, such as Breathless, Casablanca and Dr. Stangelove, just because i want to see them in a theater,  Sadly, i won't go anywhere near downtown Portland anymore.

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5 hours ago, hamradio said:

TV's are getting larger then why go to a cinema.  The exception  if there's an IMAX in the area

There are three ways to spot a 90's kid who's never known anything in his life but corporate shopping-mall cineplexes:

1) Wait for him to use "cellphones" in a sentence.

2) He doesn't understand why people would want to go to such a painful, annoying experience as a public movie.

3) He assumes the idea of going to a movie is to acquire the experience of seeing the movie himself, and is therefore not worth the effort unless it's a year-hyped uber-event blockbuster.

That changed during the pandemic, when communities had to start boosting their old-school Main St. indie-arthouses from before the 80's, and started throwing makeshift drive-ins together, even if it was just to see the live-action Aladdin from two years ago.  Oh, and before AMC Cineplexes became the next new "doomed" stock after Gamestop.

You can bail out Regal and AMC all you want, but something's going to replace them.  And unless movie studios start getting their stalled-production act back together again, it will either be home theater, or smaller community theaters...The aforementioned kids have no idea what the latter is.

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Well, ERIC,  one disappearance I noticed even way before streaming came about were the "Dollar shows".  Movie theaters that were once legitimate first run movie houses until the advent of huge, multi screened  hulks.  There used to be several within a short drive from my house, but only a couple remain.  Surviving mostly by patronage of civic minded loyalists, as the two are theaters that were centered smack in the middle of their city's busy downtown business district.  And also, I imagine, patronized by the "forgotten".  ;)  You know, those who(and there's more than you think) don't have cable service, satellite service, home computers, just regular cellular phones and even maybe just land lines.  And maybe not even once owned a VCR and now not even a DVD player.   Yes, they do exist,  not being sheep-like enough to be beguiled by the electronics market and never in their lives have lemming like chased trends over the cliff at the ends of common sense.  ;)  B)

And did someone bring up the AMC theaters?   Well, in my area only one remains.  Across Eureka Road in Taylor, MI.  from the Southland Mall.  The theater in the mall just reopened after being shut down at the end of the '90's.  And the one in the Sears shopping center is long gone too.  So are the rest of the stores in that center(they were razed) and the Sears store is closed up too.  They mostly had all their customers swallowed up by either the MJR theaters or the EMAGINE theater chains.

Sepiatone

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There's already far, far, far fewer movie theatres in existence today than there were in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and even 90's.

I foresee this trend continuing - I don't expect theatre-going to experience a resurgence at all. Most people don't feel the need for the expense and bother when they can see any movie they wish on a big widescreen high definition 5.1 sound unit in the safety and convenience of their own homes.

My expectation is that there will be fewer theatres 10 years from now than there are today.

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55 minutes ago, 37kitties said:

There's already far, far, far fewer movie theatres in existence today than there were in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and even 90's.

I foresee this trend continuing - I don't expect theatre-going to experience a resurgence at all. Most people don't feel the need for the expense and bother when they can see any movie they wish on a big widescreen high definition 5.1 sound unit in the safety and convenience of their own homes.

My expectation is that there will be fewer theatres 10 years from now than there are today.

Like the old traveling stage shows, vaudeville, movie theaters had their day.

image5.png

 

Trivia..Movies (silent) did not kill vaudeville, talkies did.

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9 hours ago, 37kitties said:

 

 - I don't expect theatre-going to experience a resurgence at all. Most people don't feel the need for the expense and bother when they can see any movie they wish on a big widescreen high definition 5.1 sound unit in the safety and convenience of their own homes.

 

Quite fitting there is a song tribute to the experience. Lol, wouldn't it be nice one had the theater all to themselves! (oh one does today AT HOME)

 

(OMG! This turns 40 next year! :o)

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4 hours ago, 37kitties said:

There's already far, far, far fewer movie theatres in existence today than there were in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and even 90's.

I foresee this trend continuing - I don't expect theatre-going to experience a resurgence at all. Most people don't feel the need for the expense and bother when they can see any movie they wish on a big widescreen high definition 5.1 sound unit in the safety and convenience of their own homes.

My expectation is that there will be fewer theatres 10 years from now than there are today.

Most of that is likely due to downtown real estate, and what USED to be the competition of megascreen cineplexes--As the growing concept of the "Event movie", and the studio-hyped need to create "Record-breaking weekends" for Harry Potter and Marvel gradually hypnotized the public out of the idea that you could go to a downtown movie in your hometown on Wednesday night just to get out of the house, and that you needed to acquire the movie at your one-stop shopping location.

I can recall every downtown mainstream theater that played downtown Boston throughout the 80's, and by the mid-90's, all of them were gone.  This was the 90's-00's, when movies were still popular, but you had to go to the suburbs to see them, until a crumbling downtown hotel across from the Commons was turned into a four-story 20-screen AMC cineplex.  Well, at least you could see movies again.   But the Charles, where I saw the Star Wars OT premiere, was now a Mass General hospital office, the 57 was no longer next to its two hotels, the Paris was no longer showing Woody Allen movies across from the Prudential building, the Exeter St., which helped create the Rocky Horror midnight show long before NY did, had long since become a bookstore, and the Pi Alley, hidden in the first floor of a parking garage, now had a Dunkin' Donuts in it.  The last first-run theater still standing was the Cheri, which always got the hit movies just up the hill from the convention hotels, and I always hated its seats.

My own town in the suburbs used to have five 2-3 screen theaters in the 80's-90's: One downtown, one in the college town, and three in the strip-malls by the groceries.  But then, around '97 (or was it '98?--What year did "Cutthroat Island" come out?) developers tried to awaken the off-the-beaten-track industrial-park fringe of town with a new 15-screen Plex, and bus service thereto, which at first played only the leftover second-runs, and then started to get more premieres...And then more, and more.  And then the downtown theaters started closing.

...It wasn't because of unpopularity, and we didn't have DVD yet.  😡

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Most of the theaters within driving distance of my house are 24 screen multiplexes (AMC, two Cinemarks).  The smaller multiplexes have been converted to other uses: a couple of them are churches, one became a dollar theater (10 screens), and a few became dine-in theaters (meals at your seat, with wait service).   Some of them have been razed.

The area in which I live is too new to have old-school, single screen theaters.  The area wasn't developed until after the rise of the multi-screen theaters.

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