The Future of the Movie Theatre

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Amanda Treston, Features Editor

It’s no secret that movie theaters have been declining in popularity for a while now. Even though we buy a theatre ticket from time to time to see a film with our friends or family, new streaming services make streaming films far more convenient and affordable for all. According to Eric Kohn from IndieWire, box office revenue fell by 9% in 2019, a number that will continue to go up as theaters face more competition from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+. Since this number shows no signs of improvement, it is only logical to assume that the theatre will soon be doomed by these streaming service giants, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of stopping any time soon. For example, people’s urge to stay inside, and social distance caused the average weekly Netflix usage to rise a whopping 72% since the quarantine began.

Additionally, following recent news that “No Time to Die” would not be released until April of 2021, Regal Theaters announced it would be closing all of its American theatres!  With this discouraging announcement, it seems as though movie theatres are facing their inevitable end. 

However, there is still some hope for these theaters. A 2018 survey of 22,500 moviegoers revealed that 65% of those who took the survey considered their local theatre valuable to their overall quality of life. So, although many of them are in the process of closing, movie theaters are the places where people make memories and have impactful experiences. They have shaped our culture and will continue to change and improve as time goes on.

Without movie theatres, advancements in the film industry would have been made impossible. Companies would not feel the drive and passion for making good movies without the promise of millions of people going to see them at once and create a profit. Some of the best movies that have helped shape lives would not have been made had it not been for the cultural phenomenon that was the movie theatre.

Even now, people are creating drive-in movie theaters again so that people can enjoy movies at safe distances. These innovations prove that the classic pastime of going to the movies is far from over to the delight of moviegoers everywhere!