Monday, January 23, 2023

The Movie Theater Era

I haven't been to a movie theater since the pandemic started. This is neither a brag nor a lament. I was someone who used going to a movie as an excuse to be out of the house for so many hours as a teen, who had a regular weekly meetup with friends in and after college where we figured we'd see something, TBD. But it is an interesting look back. One of the first movie theaters I remember going to as a child was in a shopping center that also had a small carousel. That shopping center and theater are long gone. The theater I could walk to (a bit, it was like a mile, but I could) growing up, was 2 screens and was later replaced by a larger multi-screen before the mall it was in shut down. 
One theater near me was bought by a larger chain, then closed, then "saved" by locals but only after a complete rebuild.
The theaters I went to as a teen who was allowed to metro a little farther have all been some combination of closed, redone, replaced. 
Even ones like the one in City Place or Gallery Place that seemed newer have closed, rebuilt, closed. 
And I could cry about things changing, but if course, my home TV is approximately six times larger than one of the TV's I used to have. At home I can enable close captioning, listen to movies on my headphones, and gather all my preferred snacks. The moviegoing experience has changed, and the pandemic is just part of that. 
I expect, like many industries, it will reinvent itself. I loved doing the summer screens with food trucks and music. Some of them even had inflatable seating you could borrow. There are ways to lure me out of my living space, but for me at least, it has to be more than just seeing a movie. 
Of course, I say this, and my friend sent me pictures of some of the outfits at an opening weekend near her, and it was amazing. So maybe that's it. That might be why the movies that encourage cosplay are doing well in theaters, and some of the others are thriving (I hope) in streaming.