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Does streaming mean the death of movie theaters?


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My movie going experience has been a lot less traumatic.  Maybe it's a Canadian thing, and maybe it's that I usually go to matinees, and after the initial rush.  One of my favourite places to see movies is a little Art house theatre that dates back to the 1930s

 

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17 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

Because I'm still in "The Rat Race," I can handle the ticket prices . . . but then, I also go to cheaper-priced matinees at senior citizen prices. After I retire, a movie will have to really appeal to me to shell out for it.

Whether new movies are crap is a matter of opinion and taste. I tend to agree with you, Movie Collector OH. Very few new releases interest and excite me. But, I also realize that I live in America, which really doesn't give a good GD about the elderly (at least the non-famous, middle-income and lower-income elderly). Not being in the desirable demographic, I'm "invisible" to most -- not all -- filmmakers. The "crap" produced by Hollywood today is not meant for me.

A new release that did impel me out of my "rocking chair" is The Card Counter. Paul Schrader is one of the very few filmmakers who pique my interest and command my attention.

There is such a theatre not too far from my zip code. Unfortunately, it's been closed during the pandemic. It shows only "classic" movies (1920s through 1960s), sometimes with "guest stars" (a showing of The Reluctant Debutante was attended by Sandra Dee and John Saxon). Ticket prices and concession prices are relatively reasonable ($1.50 for a "jumbo" sized bucket of popcorn).

It is a matter of being of a certain mindset for me, rather than a member of a certain demographic.  I still work too.  My issue with the prices is based on a matter of principle, rather than availability.  I can afford it, but maybe some of the people around me really can't, and are saving up to go or are piling up debt onto to their charge card.  There is also inflation and money has less purchasing power these days, so there is that.

Having said that, most of the modern film makers aren't making theatrically released movies I really enjoy.  Some are, but not that many.  They tend to not be in the mainstream.

I have inadvertently gotten senior prices due to my salt and pepper hair (it's been that way for many years though).  A couple of my friends who actually are seniors, but don't look it and usually get asked for their IDs, don't get bothered when I am with them.  I put them over the edge and make them look like credible seniors, and I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

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No doubt cinemas have taken a hit.  One of my favorite movie theaters in Chicago, Arclight (a beautiful theater that aired many high quality movies that don't show at other theaters with no commercials) went out of business because of the pandemic.  I know that Arclight theaters were in other places too including California.  In Chicago, movie lovers streamed movies at the beloved historic theater The Music Box to help keep it going.  The Music Box is doing okay and now has reopened for movies.  I hope that in a similar way to other businesses that took a serious hit during the pandemic (such as the travel industry) that theaters get a resurgence when the pandemic finally lessens.

As stated by others, there's nothing like the experience of seeing movies on the big screen with a live audience.  This is truly one of my favorite experiences in life.   It makes me think of one of my favorite movies  about seeing movies at a theater, Cinema Paradiso.  In the difficult times after WWII in Italy, the theater helped people laugh and get through life.  I love the scene when they show the movie outside to people in the square.

Cinema Paradiso Town in Sicily, Tourist Attraction in Sicily, Italy

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Kudos to TCM and Fathom Events for bringing some of the big classic movies to the big screen. I've seen Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, The Ten Commandments and The God Father that I can remember at this time. On the 19th of this month my local theater will present Citizen Kane. I will be there. 

As for contemporary movies I have recently seen: Dunkirk, 1917 and The Darkest Hour on the big screen. I consider all of them top-notch movies. For grins John Wick movies. The experience for me viewing a movie on the big screen is superior to streaming. My vote. That being said,  I believe its days as we know it are numbered. 

Have a great day.

https://www.fathomevents.com/events/Citizen-Kane-80th-Anniversary-presented-by-TCM-(2021)

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23 hours ago, Movie Collector OH said:

It is about ticket prices and new movies being crap, for me.

Theaters have traditionally been more of a Winter activity for us.  Too many other things to do when the weather is warm.

The only really memorable issue I've had with other theater patrons is someone sitting directly behind me, slouching down, and resting their knees up against the back of my seat, pushing my seat back and forth.  Had to either kill him or move, so I moved.

Oh yeah, and some pot head essentially doing a hit and run in the theater parking lot, swinging open his door and smashing into the door of my parked vehicle, thereby denting it, then fleeing the scene.  Saw the white paint marks up high with the dent, but no white truck.  My buddies and I walked the entire parking lot.  Little wuss...  All in the timespan of the 10 minutes that it took for our friends to arrive, while we waited at the door of the theater.  Went back to get something, that's when I discovered it.  10 minutes, max.

Next time I go to that theater I will be parking and walking from the nearby Home Depot.  I've gone to many different Home Depots, Lowes, and Menards, and never any damage to my vehicle.  Not once.  Something to do with pride of ownership of their clientele, versus the stupid punks that can show up at the multiplex theaters.

Similar thing happened at a buffet several towns over that is now closed down.  My friend witnessed a fat unkept middle aged woman pull up next to my vehicle, get out, steal one of my plastic hubcaps, then leave.

So movie theaters and buffets.  Beware.  Show up in your crappy old beater, if you have one.  And don't sit in front of any slouchers that stick their knees into your back.

Best mannered/most respectful crowd I have ever been with in a movie theater?  That would be Rambo 4 (2008).  Bunch of middle aged to older guys who looked like they all had served.  That was a communal experience.

Bear in mind I don't go to theaters all that often.  A nice large vintage theater that shows really old films, mostly comedies, that would be a different story.

My question out of all that is...

What made you so sure it was both a pot head and a white truck?  I've seen that sort of thing waiting in a Kroger parking lot for a buddy to come back out with his purchases.  It was a woman trying to park her ragged pick-up while gabbing on her cell phone.    :D Her left  headlight put a nice gouge in the other car's passenger door.  She quickly stopped and looked in every direction for what happened except the right one!  Then pulled out and parked at the other end of the lot.  :lol:

I'm still wondering what the market for plastic hubcaps is like.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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13 hours ago, JakeHolman said:

Kudos to TCM and Fathom events for bringing some of the big classic movies to the big screen. I've seen Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, The Ten Commandments and The God Father that I can remember at this time. On the 19th of this month my local theater will present Citizen Kane. I will be there. 

As for contemporary movies I have recently seen: Dunkirk, 1917 and The Darkest Hour on the big screen. I consider all of them top-notch movies. For grins John Wick movies. The experience for me viewing a movie on the big screen is superior to streaming. My vote. That being said,  I believe its days as we know it are numbered. 

Have a great day.

https://www.fathomevents.com/events/Citizen-Kane-80th-Anniversary-presented-by-TCM-(2021)

Not TCM-Fathom Events presentations, but exciting exhibitions nonetheless!

The Return of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and The Wolfman

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3 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

My question out of all that is...

What made you so sure it was both a pot head and a white truck?  I've seen that sort of thing waiting in a Kroger parking lot for a buddy to come back out with his purchases.  It was a woman trying to park her ragged pick-up while gabbing on her cell phone.    :D Her left  headlight put a nice gouge in the other car's passenger door.  She quickly stopped and looked in every direction for what happened except the right one!  Then pulled out and parked at the other end of the lot.  :lol:

I'm still wondering what the market for plastic hubcaps is like.  ;) 

Sepiatone

White = big chips of white paint and chunks of rust left behind on my vehicle where it was bashed in.  (Mine isn't white and it wasn't rusted)
Truck = bottom corner of door caving in the middle area (about halfway up) on one of my doors, and making a "bottom corner"-shaped dent.  Not hitting somewhere along the lower part of the door or even making a straight-shaped dent somewhere in the middle.
I didn't get around to answering your entire question, but those are the evident parts. 😁

Market price for stolen plastic hubcaps is a free used hubcap for her, and the opportunity for her to continue to be lazy and stupid.  All in a day's work.  :lol:
For me it is a matter of going online and ordering another 5-pack of them on eBay for about $50 or less.  Those things break apart and fly off all on their own anyhow, usually it seems during the Winter.  Probably when chunks of ice hit them.  But it is a matter of principle for me when parts of my vehicle get stolen.

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20 hours ago, Movie Collector OH said:

I have inadvertently gotten senior prices due to my salt and pepper hair (it's been that way for many years though).  A couple of my friends who actually are seniors, but don't look it and usually get asked for their IDs, don't get bothered when I am with them.  I put them over the edge and make them look like credible seniors, and I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

Where I live, ticket sellers are apparently trained not to ask for IDs for older looking people such as myself. Instead, I'm asked ALL the time (I mean, like, every time I buy a ticket, always) if I am an "adult". At first, I wanted to look at the ticket seller like he/she was stupid and say "Ummm .... yes, do I look like I"m 17?" But after like the fifth time this happened to me in a row, it finally occurred to me that they're using  movie ticket sales-speech, in which "adult" means you're at least 18 but you're not 65. What they're actually asking me, I had to learn through intuition and understanding of industry terminology, is "are you a senior citizen?". I'm still roughly 15 years aways from senior citizenship, although I'm already old enough that AARP is sending me sh*t on a weekly basis, and I always pridefully claim my "adult", i.e., non-senior, status. I would probably accept the lower ticket price just like MCOH if the children selling me the tickets just gave it to me, but when they ask me, some small amount of pride in me forces me to tell the truth.

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Oh, BUCK UP 2000!

What bugged me once was one time, just for "kicks" when my wife and I were up at the cashier of an eatery we often patronized, I asked for the "senior discount" which on a sign on the door stated(in small print) the senior discount was for those 55 and older.  

But I was 48 when I asked, and was given the discount, no questions asked!  :o

Kind of disheartening.  But, depending on your level of conceit, maybe you should have been flattered?  ;) 

Sepiatone

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53 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Oh, BUCK UP 2000!

What bugged me once was one time, just for "kicks" when my wife and I were up at the cashier of an eatery we often patronized, I asked for the "senior discount" which on a sign on the door stated(in small print) the senior discount was for those 55 and older.  

But I was 48 when I asked, and was given the discount, no questions asked!  :o

Kind of disheartening.  But, depending on your level of conceit, maybe you should have been flattered?  ;) 

Sepiatone

What's really depressing is being asked for ID upon entering a Louisiana casino at age 37 to being offered a senior discount ten years later.  My hair and beard greyed quickly.   Well, truth be told, my hair had enough and left the party...

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On 9/10/2021 at 9:24 PM, SansFin said:

Radio was supposed to be the end of live musical performances.

Radio was supposed to be the end of newspapers.

Movies were supposed to be the end of live theater.

Television was supposed to be the end of movie theaters.

Video games were supposed to be the end of civilization.

Computers were supposed to be the end of paper being used in offices.

The Internet was supposed to be the end of newspapers, radio and television.

Remember when VCR's were going to ruin movies ? The MPAA wanted a $25 surcharge on every single video tape sold !

Its not just Streaming. Its also Home Theaters, Surround Sound, Being able to drink an adult beverage without fear of a DUI, Not having kids kick the back of your chair, Nor running up and down the aisle during the film, Nor talking (and now texting), while you're trying to watch the movie etc...

And having the Oscars not reflect any movies anyone has actually seen doesn't help. Nor does $8 popcorn and $6 sodas either.

Time marches on, (as the news reel used to say). Nothing lasts forever. The movie going experience has been in decline for a while. It just took this pandemic to toss it over a cliff.

Just like many things, people tend to look to the past with rose colored glasses. I don't miss waiting in hours long lines to watch Star Wars nor, hunting around in the dark looking for a seat.

Movie theaters will always be around. They will have to adjust , just like every other institution to keep up with modern times.

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2 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

Remember when VCR's were going to ruin movies ? The MPAA wanted a $25 surcharge on every single video tape sold !

Its not just Streaming. Its also Home Theaters, Surround Sound, Being able to drink an adult beverage without fear of a DUI, Not having kids kick the back of your chair, Nor running up and down the aisle during the film, Nor talking (and now texting), while you're trying to watch the movie etc...

I miss it being NO BIG DEAL to go to a movie, so you went out when you felt like it, whether there was anything good at the theater or not.  (Remember when movies were cheap enough to see again, because nobody outside of the cities had HBO, and VHS wasn't invented yet?)

In early 80's high-school--the early 80's of those great movies--we lived about a half-mile walking or first-car distance down the road from the local theater, a little four-screen brick-block in its own corner of a mild-mannered strip mall.  And Friday night...you went.  Because Friday.  You went to see whatever of the four movies looked good, and if it didn't, or was a cheap slasher, you could go with your friends and goof it off.  What was $4-5 anyway?

First downtown apartment, back in the 00's, I lived literally right around the corner from the downtown college-town storefront arthouse theater.  (No, seriously:  I used to have dreams about staying overnight in the big city, and going to the theaters.)  They would often show culty midnight showings, of 80's films, or old movies, or public-domain horror in October...Growing up, I would never have gone to the big city for a midnight Rocky Horror screening at the Boston Exeter St. or the Harvard Square, but put on a midnight showing of Haxan at a little university hole-in-the-wall two blocks away, and I'm there.  B)

...THAT'S the problem with AMC Cineplex poisoning the minds of anyone under the age of 30.  And it'll take a long time to deprogram.

Quote

Just like many things, people tend to look to the past with rose colored glasses. I don't miss waiting in hours long lines to watch Star Wars

It hasn't been all disaster since then:  Think back to the story of cosplayers standing in line for '05's SW: Episode 3 in costume, as a charity stunt in front of Grauman's...Which wouldn't have been quite so embarrassing if it had actually been PLAYING there, and not at a new 15-screen across town  😂 (and their fan-protests of "Well, it should be, it's tradition!"), but the fact that new kids were looking at them and saying "Dude...You don't have tickets yet??  There's this thing called Fandango, on the Internet, new invention."

Between online and automatic ticket kiosks, I literally can't think of the last time I stood in line for a movie since the Harry Potter finale, and that was only waiting for admission, with friends who wanted to take their chances.

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22 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Where I live, ticket sellers are apparently trained not to ask for IDs for older looking people such as myself. Instead, I'm asked ALL the time (I mean, like, every time I buy a ticket, always) if I am an "adult". At first, I wanted to look at the ticket seller like he/she was stupid and say "Ummm .... yes, do I look like I"m 17?" But after like the fifth time this happened to me in a row, it finally occurred to me that they're using  movie ticket sales-speech, in which "adult" means you're at least 18 but you're not 65. What they're actually asking me, I had to learn through intuition and understanding of industry terminology, is "are you a senior citizen?". I'm still roughly 15 years aways from senior citizenship, although I'm already old enough that AARP is sending me sh*t on a weekly basis, and I always pridefully claim my "adult", i.e., non-senior, status. I would probably accept the lower ticket price just like MCOH if the children selling me the tickets just gave it to me, but when they ask me, some small amount of pride in me forces me to tell the truth.

Several years ago at a local theatre in my 'hood, I chipperly requested, "One senior" at the box office.

The elderly attendant glared at me, then asked me, "How old are you?"

"I'm 62 . . . today, in fact!" I replied.

She gave me the fisheye, took my money, then grumped, "You don't look it."

Secret of my "eternal youth"? Moisturize!

 

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There have been some positive improvements over the years.......

Cup holders in the seat arms, "stadium" seating(  eliminating someone with Marge Simpson hair blocking your view) And although the concession prices are still outrageous, they eventually made it so you can butter your own popcorn.  For years, insufficient butter was a typical gripe.  ;)  And handicapped seating.  Was nice when I had foot surgery in '93 and spent three months in a cast.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

There have been some positive improvements over the years.......

Cup holders in the seat arms, "stadium" seating(  eliminating someone with Marge Simpson hair blocking your view) And although the concession prices are still outrageous, they eventually made it so you can butter your own popcorn . . .

Furthermore, in some local theatres near me, theatre seats are more like Barcaloungers that recline and can even be heated with the mere touch of a button.

1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

. . . For years, insufficient butter was a typical gripe.

Yeah, me, I like a little popcorn with my butter. . . which ain't butter.

First job I had was in a movie theatre where I sometimes worked the concession stand. You don't wanna know what the "butter" was. Also, stay away from hot dogs. From theatre opening to closing, hot dogs would cook in a steamer -- eventually acquiring a "greenish" hue and turning into a science experiment or a Science-Fiction movie ("The Weenies That Ate Cleveland").

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My roommate during the first year of college worked in a theater in high school.  He said the popcorn that you were served in their theater was actually popped days before and loaded into the bin before opening.  They would pop fresh popcorn for the aroma only and offload it into big plastic garbage bags while the movies were playing (it was a 4 screen theater, so there would be a lull at the concession stand).

I never get "butter" on my theater popcorn.  No telling what kinds of oil are in there.

All the big theater multiplexes near me have "lounger" chairs, which I don't like.  They don't fit my body geometry at all.  The only theaters that don't have them are the semi-art-house chain Angelika, and an older 10 screen Cinemark that is a $1/second run house.

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58 minutes ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

Yeah, me, I like a little popcorn with my butter. . . which ain't butter.

You don't wanna know what the "butter" was. 

Yes, it always looked suspiciously yellow...  😝

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13 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

My roommate during the first year of college worked in a theater in high school.  He said the popcorn that you were served in their theater was actually popped days before and loaded into the bin before opening.  They would pop fresh popcorn for the aroma only and offload it into big plastic garbage bags while the movies were playing (it was a 4 screen theater, so there would be a lull at the concession stand).

I never get "butter" on my theater popcorn.  No telling what kinds of oil are in there.

All the big theater multiplexes near me have "lounger" chairs, which I don't like.  They don't fit my body geometry at all.  The only theaters that don't have them are the semi-art-house chain Angelika, and an older 10 screen Cinemark that is a $1/second run house.

Hell, for about the same price just get a pack of self-heating MREs, bring them in under your Winter coats and cook it on the floor in the theater.  Bring some aluminum foil to contain it while cooking, and to wrap it up and dispose of when finished.
https://www.thereadystore.com/mre-self-heating-emergency-meal-case-of-12

 

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15 hours ago, Movie Collector OH said:

Hell, for about the same price just get a pack of self-heating MREs, bring them in under your Winter coats and cook it on the floor in the theater.  Bring some aluminum foil to contain it while cooking, and to wrap it up and dispose of when finished.
https://www.thereadystore.com/mre-self-heating-emergency-meal-case-of-12

 

Hey.  Remember that bit comedian STEVEN WRIGHT did about movie theater food?

Said, "I got thrown out of a movie theater once for bringing in my own food.  My argument was that the concession stand prices were outrageous.  And besides, it's been years since I had a good BARBECUE!"  :D  

Sepiatone

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43 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Hey.  Remember that bit comedian STEVEN WRIGHT did about movie theater food?

Said, "I got thrown out of a movie theater once for bringing in my own food.  My argument was that the concession stand prices were outrageous.  And besides, it's been years since I had a good BARBECUE!"  :D  

Sepiatone

I had his CD and used to play it for everyone!  That particular joke didn't happen to cross my mind above though.  Plagiarism!  😁

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On 9/17/2021 at 2:31 PM, EricJ said:

I miss it being NO BIG DEAL to go to a movie, so you went out when you felt like it, whether there was anything good at the theater or not.  (Remember when movies were cheap enough to see again, because nobody outside of the cities had HBO, and VHS wasn't invented yet?)

In early 80's high-school--the early 80's of those great movies--we lived about a half-mile walking or first-car distance down the road from the local theater, a little four-screen brick-block in its own corner of a mild-mannered strip mall.  And Friday night...you went.  Because Friday.  You went to see whatever of the four movies looked good, and if it didn't, or was a cheap slasher, you could go with your friends and goof it off.  What was $4-5 anyway?

 

Actually, the theater nearby me is only $5 certain days of the week. It can be done.

They only over charge because they are stuck in an old obsolete business plan. This is just one of the many industries that needs to reinvent itself or risk fading away as a lucrative venture.

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On 9/17/2021 at 11:39 AM, Sepiatone said:

Oh, BUCK UP 2000!

No one has ever called me 2000 before. Dargo would occasionally call me sewhite, which is a variaion on my real name and felt more welcoming than this dehumanization of my self-identity. But you pick a weird online name for yourself, you get what you get, I guess.

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