Three Things I’ll Miss When Theaters Are Gone

hulu-netflix-plusI love videos, and if you do too then there has never been a better time to enjoy them. Its not cheap to make good films, and yet so many good ones can be had now at never before imagined availability! YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, Hulu and friends have made it abundantly clear that the landscape has become stale and must change. In fact FilmMakerIQ.com an interesting article out on the topic now. Everyone seems to have a voice to add into the mix on this topic.

Some are heralding the end of the blockbuster movie as we know it. Its a fascinating read. And fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your point of view) I think this is going to happen and is necessary. The days of Hollywood making movies by the numbers and not by whether a film is good or not is going to come back to bite them in the wallets. Problem is, who is going to house clothe and feed all the wealthy unemployed Hollywood executives once the house of cards crumbles? Well maybe they’ll be taken in by the new kids on the block at Netflix making decisions about future seasons about the show “House of Cards”. On second thought, no. Please no.

As the movie studios like Disney and Paramount keep churning out duds, big name actors and directors (and lots of just film crew staff in general) are moving from the short subject matter of feature films to long formats in television. Never has there been more good TV shows out there then now, and they aren’t even on TV channels! Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright blockbuster of the moment, House of Cards, is a masterpiece, its winning awards left and right and it can’t be seen on the big movie screen or TV channels. Netflix has stolen the bottle of of movie magic and playing the game of “Smash, grab, and run like hell!” (obscure reference from GTA Vice City).

But what does this mean for consumers, and what does this mean for me? Well to celebrate the beginnings of this site I’ll begin with a short list of stuff I’m going to miss about the old order. With movie theaters threatened by the idea that one day you might be able to watch movies on Netflix the day they hit theaters, what point will theaters have to continue? Here are 5 things I will miss the most.

  1. The Big Screen Experience: Movie theaters are shutting down, and or they aren’t carrying the kind of movies that appeal to me. I’m pretty sure that sleeper hits like Indie Game: The Movie and Upstream Color and Cash Back would never have made it to my local theater anyways in the little sleepy town of northern California that I live in. And as the profit margin falls, as the costs of movie tickets increase, I’m going to miss visiting the big screen and finding the things I want there.
  2. The Amazing Surround Sound: I could never afford in my own home (and even if I could I wouldn’t want to bother with neighbors asking me what the heck was going on in my house). There is something about the total immersion that takes place in the kind of surround sound you find in the larger theater. Sure my dad had some amazing setups when I was growing up, but even these just don’t compare unless you own a bazillion dollars. I’ve only ever been in ONE home in my brief career as a window cleaner that had a REAL indoor theater. It was massive and nearly perfectly recreated the film going experience in a theater, but even if I had that money I would prefer to let a theater chain spend their own money to make that kind of arrangement. Cause I don’t want to spend my money when someone else can spend their own.
  3. Sneaking Candy Via My Dates Purse: OH COME ON! You really expected me to PAY your lame concession prices?! Uh, no! I believe whole heartedly they should have found a way around this long ago. Why aren’t there more chains of movie theaters that were a full service restaurant? Make the food good and an affordable price and give us less chairs that are fewer and further between and give us tables, knives and forks! There is NO REASON this shouldn’t be common place. But then again, I feel that the sneaking in snacks things was part of the experience and thus I expect I’ll miss it.

But its not all downers. Next time I’ll submit my list of 3 things that have me super excited about the coming changes in the new “Online Subscription Based Video Service Regime”.

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12 thoughts on “Three Things I’ll Miss When Theaters Are Gone

  1. We have a really amazing home theater set up- huge projection screen/ great sound system/ comfy couches/et…but I still rather go to a theater for a movie. I just don’t like watching them at home. I like the communal experience. My husband and I go to see a movie in a theatre 1-2 times a week and I would so miss it!

    • thanks for the comment! i feel the same. ya know in canada i’ve read reports of movie tickets ballooning to $50 dollars. apparently it comes with a commemorative poster and some other paraphernalia, allegedly cause they are trying to invent methods to get people to fill theater seats! who is to say in 10 years that theaters won’t be more like broadway? Spielberg and George Lucas are predicting that it’ll be like a play, meaning it’ll only be the most expensive movies in theaters, they will stay there longer like say 6 months, and tickets could be $100. O_o

      but there is a lot of great reasons to be happy and positive about these changes, despite what the entertainment industry “might” lose. 😉

      my next post will talk about that

      • I live in Los Angeles and the most that I’ve paid for a movie theater ticket was maybe thirty, but that was for a special experience. I felt that it was worth every penny.

        That being said, I’m not too worried about ballooning ticket prices for average movies. There has already been a huge backlash regarding 3-D and Imax films. I have friends in the industry specifically working in those areas who are facing lay-offs. People are less willing to pay the upgraded ticket fees.

        Personally, I rarely think 3-D or Imax is worth the price. It simply doesn’t add enough value to the experience.

        I also recently tried one of those theater experiences where they serve you dinner during the film. It was in London and although the ticket prices were fairly reasonable – about 20.00 a person, once we factored in dinner and drinks, we were at about 150.00, not factoring in the exchange rate! Cost aside, it was a horrible and distracting movie going experience.

        In my area (again Los Angeles is probably not representative of the greater movie going public), I’ve not seen a huge decline in theaters. They are mostly filled on the weekend and on weekdays, I don’t think that it’s any different than 15-20 years ago.

        I think that there will be a backlash in the rising ticket prices and theaters will use deals to get more people in the seats. They will use the special-event ticket prices to boost up movies that have a built-in audience base.

      • lol, yea LA is not a very good place to gauge the general public though, with Hollywood right there and such a huge arena of folks there that are active in the movie industry from actors to cameramen I don’t know if that reflects the rest of the USA. Also its a big metropolis with a larger population. In my town the other week we went out to Catching Fire and it was the evening on a Saturday night, the time it should be PACKED. Dead as a door nail. We were the only people there. Naturally we texted and talked during the movie without fear of anyone caring. And you are right there will be and there has been backlash, but that hasn’t stopped price hikes.
        I have to humbly disagree with you on one point though. I don’t think the theaters will stop the price hikes just because of the backlash. I think with people turning to renting movies directly on their TV’s instead with Roku and Apple TV, they are struggling to be relevant and keep up with the profit margins. Only time will tell what will actually happen, but they display greed in the movie industry already as they do in many other industries. I just can’t see them letting go of their money that quickly.
        And yea I know what you mean about IMAX and 3D. It just doesn’t add enough to make me care. But the Hobbit and Avatar? Maybe. I dunno it just seems gimmicky to me. I’d rather they supply us with good movies in 2D then have a constant stream of sub-par or bad movies in 3D.

      • Yes, Los Angeles is definitely not representative of the greater America. Maybe I can hold out hope that in my town, the theaters will stay relevant?

        I can’t imagine most of my friends preferring watching films at home to going to the theaters. It’s very much a social thing here ( although strictly no talking and no cells! We kill people for that here! :-).

        At least as far as LA in concerned, I do see theaters offering heavy discounts. Prices (except for the special experiences) have not dramatically increased in several years. If anything, the number of special offers has gone up. I found this to be true in the UK as well.

        3-D is gimmicky. You couldn’t pay me to see Hobbit or Avatar in the theaters, even though I know that they will be big money makers and I know people will want the 3-D. I think this year in particular, we have had a lot of solid 2-D movies, especially the Indy films. Again, being in Los Angeles we have several amazing theaters dedicated to the independents, so it’s accessible.

      • yea but thats cause you’re lucky and living in the kind of place where independents flourish 😉 lol. i got to visit LA recently cause my step-dad lives there, its like Orlando, FL in a few ways so i kinda liked it.
        well i must confess though, me and the misses saw The Hobbit in 3D at the higher frame rate and we both thought it was awesome. but then even that 48 frames per second is kind of just another gimmick.

      • I love Orlando! 🙂

        My husband actually worked on the high-frame rate Hobbit and even though he felt that he should support it for work, we didn’t go. I just couldn’t handle sitting through The Hobbit. Not my cup of tea. We agreed that it was just another gimmick.

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