Photo: Movie Theaters
Movie Theaters Strife
It’s no secret that theaters are struggling. With the rise of streaming services, the theater industry has been hit hard in recent years by multiple factors. That doesn’t mean we should give up on this unrivaled experience.
Theaters are a vital window into our world’s different cultures and societies. They’re places where we can come together and escape the outside world for a few hours. They’re a source of community and connection in a world that can often feel isolating and lonely.
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The Theater is a Pastime
As a younger lad, I was obsessed with going to the movies. It didn’t matter what was playing, I just wanted to go. Once I remember seeing “Lawrence of Arabia” by Director David Lean at a special showing. I walked out of the theater and could not believe that someone had created that experience for me.
These days, going to the movies is more of a rare treat than a weekly occurrence for many. I went weekly for many years. Now with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want, without ever having to leave our homes. We also have very little time for going out these days due to our exceptionally busy lives.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with staying at home for a film, there’s something special about going to the theater that you just can’t get from streaming. The sound, the people, the screen, and the snacks are all part of the equation. This equation works, and it has for over a hundred years.
Watching a movie in theaters is a shared experience. You’re sitting in a room with a bunch of strangers, all of whom are there for the same reason: to be entertained. Even though you don’t know these people, you still feel connected to them because you’re all experiencing the same roller coaster of emotions and manipulations that this form of entertainment provides.
There’s also something about seeing a movie on the big screen that just can’t be replicated at home. Even if you have a big TV or projector, it’s not the same as being in a dark theater with nothing else to focus on but the images on the screen. It is a full-blown experience that your television set at home can’t compare to.
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A Little History
Movie theaters have been a staple in society for over a century. They’ve given people a place to escape reality, whether it be for a couple of hours or an entire weekend. But as technology advances and movie streaming services become more popular, movie theaters are struggling to keep up.
Movies have been around for over a century. The first set of moving pictures was called ‘A Horse in Motion” and was created by Eadweard Muybridge. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that movies started to become popular in society. In 1905, the world’s first permanent movie theater was opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was called The Nickelodeon.
Since then, movie theaters have continued to evolve. In the 1920s, they began to add sound systems so that audiences could hear the dialogue of the film. This was a game-changer for the industry and led to the popularity of “talkies.” In the 1930s, color film was introduced and quickly became the standard for filmmaking.
Throughout the years, movie theaters have remained one of the most popular forms of entertainment. However, they are now facing their biggest challenge yet: streaming services. The main source of profit for these companies are the concessions, and that causes difficulty when designing a working business model for a moving picture house.
The rise of streaming services has caused many people to question whether or not movie theaters will be able to survive. The younger generation had screened-based technology since they were children, helping to cause a shift in the idea of a movie theater. After all, why would someone pay eighteen bucks to see a movie when they can watch it for free from the comfort of their own home?
Why Theaters Matter
As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe, theaters have been some of the hardest hit businesses. Many have had to close their doors indefinitely, and those that remain open are struggling to stay afloat. This is a devastating blow to the arts community, which is already struggling to survive in today’s economy.
Theaters matter because they provide a vital service to society. They nurture creativity and inspire imagination. They give us a place to escape from our everyday lives and experience something new. They bring us together as a community and help us connect with each other on a deeper level.
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Theaters also play an important role in supporting local economies. They create jobs for actors, directors, designers, technicians, and many others. When theaters are thriving, so are the businesses that depend on them, such as restaurants, hotels, and stores.
While the Landmark Theaters on Pico in Los Angeles were open, they brought thousands of people a week to the local restaurants and social environments close by. The number of parties, receptions, and premieres brought a plethora of people to catch the latest flick there. Now that it is shut, the street is suffering unlike before.
The loss of theaters would be a tragedy not just for the arts community, but for society as a whole. We must do everything we can to save them. All this means is continuing to get people in the seats so the professional filmmakers can continue to bring you Cinematic magic.
It would be a shame to let such an art form decline. Theaters are an important part of culture, just as Michelangelo’s statues were important for artistic culture. They provide a communal space for people to come together and experience films. They also foster a sense of community and bring people together in a shared experience. Humans are connected to social groups, it is part of our biological nature.
There are many ways to support your local theater. You can buy tickets to see movies, donate to theater preservation funds, or volunteer your time to help keep the lights on. But perhaps the most important thing you can do is simply spread the word about your next favorite film that you see in the seats.
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In The Theater Seats
We can no longer take for granted that people will go to the movies. We must support our local theaters and see films in the theater seats.
Today, there are more ways than ever to watch movies. You can watch them on your phone, tablet, computer, or even TV. However, there’s nothing like seeing a film in a theater. When you’re in a theater, you’re completely immersed in the movie. You can hear every sound and see every detail on the big screen. You can feel the rumble from the gunshots as they grace the rocks, missing the hero.
Plus, watching a movie in a theater is a unique social experience. We seem to shed our own feelings, adopting the emotional aspect of the film. There’s something special about that shared experience that you just can’t get at home alone. When the movie is over, the clapping for a job well done is always an ovation to the creators.
So if we want to save theaters, we need to start by seeing Cinema in theater seats. It’s the only way to keep these important institutions alive and thriving. Treat Cinema differently than the stuff you watch at home.
By Nathan Paul Pasquale
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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