Is the Movie Theater Experience a Thing of the Past?

In the past years, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, movie theaters have been reportedly declining in attendees, causing the closing of many theaters around the country. This is mostly due to the increase in popularity of streaming services and the ability to watch movies from the comfort of your own couch. For many, they cannot imagine a world without being able to go to movie theaters and spend time with people you love watching an amazing film.

When this topic was brought this up to the rest of the editors, they expressed different experiences of the movies and why or why not they are still going. While some admire the experience, others would rather miss out on the chance to see Nicole Kidman in her shimmery dress suit in the AMC theaters. So, are movie theaters really a thing of the past?

To get to the bottom of this question, the editors were asked how many movies they, on average, watch per year. A majority of them admitted to watching between 10-20, while others said it was way over 100.
During the pandemic, there was a huge increase in the number of people joining streaming services due to the ability to still enjoy the movies while being at home. Even though the pandemic is over, movie lovers are still enjoying this luxury. During the pandemic, our editors reported that they did experience an increase in watching movies. One editor explained, “I watched a lot of movies at home since there wasn’t a ton to do, but I definitely missed going to the movie theater during COVID.”

Another also said, “Me and my family got outside a lot more during COVID instead of staying stuck inside, although when we did find ourselves inside, we were watching a lot of movies and TV.”

When asked how many times they had attended the movie theater in a year, one editor said, “I think I go to the movie theaters more than the average person. I go every Christmas, for my mom’s birthday, and for a couple of other special occasions. I would say I probably go to the theater around 10 times a year.”

Another: “Not often I would say 2 to 4 times a year if I am going to the movie theaters the movie has to really peak my personal interest or if I’m going in a group setting.”

“My total, if I’m remembering correctly, was four in a theater (with two times being the same movie),” stated yet another.

So, some of our editors keep going back to the theaters, but what is really bringing them there? One of our editors explained, “Nothing beats watching a movie at the theater. It truly immerses you in the movie-watching experience. It just doesn’t hit the same at home.”

“The experience,” a different editor agreed. “There’s nothing like getting fresh popcorn with melted butter and watching a movie on the big screen. Nobody can replicate that experience at their home.”

While some can’t get away, others acknowledged the problems with the theaters and why they might not go as often as they would like. “None of my friends ever want to go, it’s usually $40-50 after you pay for a ticket, and then you empty your wallet for a stale bucket of popcorn and a flat soda,” one editor lamented.

“The main reason I don’t go to the movies is because I can be patient enough for something to come to one of the hundreds of streaming services of today,” explained an editor. “While there is a different atmosphere about seeing a movie on the big screen, I’d much rather enjoy the feeling of being home.”

While movie theaters may not be a thing of the past, they are still not as successful as they have been in previous years. Despite many of our editors agreeing that the theater is a beloved location, we can only hope that they will not die out— especially if we have anything to do with it.