Despite the fact that the Internet made movies much more accessible than before, watching movies at the cinema is still preferred by many people today. Movie theaters are the only place to watch movies on the day of release, and many people see going to the movies as a unique form of entertainment and enjoy the atmosphere of movie theaters.
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Although many streaming services exist today that let their users watch movies from the comfort of their homes, releasing a new film in both movie theaters and through streaming services simultaneously is rare and usually results in a boycott from theater chains (Moran par. 1). Because of that fact, you cannot watch a movie premiere on Netflix, and movie theaters are still the only place to watch most movies on the day of release. Usually, a new movie is released on Blu-Ray and through on-demand only months after its first opening in cinema, and typically, if you are passionate about a particular movie, you cannot wait that long.
Movie theaters have a special atmosphere that makes watching movies a unique experience. Cinemas have giant screens that would not fit into your home and offer quality surround sound which makes watching a movie a truly immersive experience. Only the most expensive home theaters come anywhere close. Many movies nowadays are released in 3d to provide the most immersion, and not everyone has a 3d TV at home, let alone a really large one, which is why these movies are more likely to be seen in movie theaters. Moreover, the directors intend their movies to be seen in a darkened theater where no one can interrupt you. The atmosphere of a movie theater makes you feel like you are a part of the story.
Many people see going to the movies as a form of pure entertainment. Watching a movie at home can get boring. They go to the movies with their dates or to socialize with friends who are likely just as obsessive about that movie as they are. Watching a movie opening with other like-minded fans makes it a special experience.
In addition, movie theaters became much more sophisticated in the recent years from the technology standpoint, with such theaters as IMAX showing movies on a very large screen that covers the entire field of view of a movie goer, use a high-resolution film stock that captures much more detail as well as a very powerful top-notch sound system. More and more cinemas offer different food and drink options in addition to traditional items like popcorn and nachos and some even offer meals with the movie. Some cinemas experiment with kinetic seats that provide feedback for what is happening on screen. These factors make going to the movies even more of an enjoyable activity.
The movie’s success is judged by how much money the movie makes in theaters. If the movie release is not met with enthusiasm from movie-goers, it is unlikely that this movie will see a sequel or become a part of a larger franchise. The movies of this particular genre are also less likely to be produced in the future. This tendency explains why people who want to support a particular movie go to the cinema, some of them multiple times. By supporting the movies that you like, you support the director, the actors, and the whole crew, and help shape the future of the cinema. You are telling the production company that you want to see more of these movies made and are ready to pay for it.
Although many people enjoy going to the movies, some people argue that the dwindling attendance rates recently suffered by movie theaters mean that cinema is dying (Lee par. 1). More people prefer to stay at home and stream movies instead of going to the cinema or go out for other forms of entertainment. One of the reasons those people give is that they are annoyed by other people who are loudly speaking, kick other people’s seats or do not turn off their phones in the movie theater. We have all seen examples of such disruptive behavior in movie theaters.
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This behavior is very annoying, and movie theaters are the ones responsible for managing it. Movie theaters managers have to work hard to provide the best customer experience possible. One way to tackle this issue is to enforce strict attendance rules, and there are examples of thriving movie theaters that enforce very strict rules, such as Alamo Drafthouse. For example, they only allow those under 18 when they are accompanied by an adult, and immediately eject those who talk or text during the movie. Young children are not allowed to be in the theater at all. It is no surprise that Alamo Drafthouse generates more revenue per movie screen than other theater chains (Lee par. 30).
These are many reasons why people go to the movies nowadays. Going to the movies became a social experience and the improvement in technology made it a unique form of entertainment.
Lee, Joel. Cinema Is Dying: How Movie Theaters Can Ensure Their Survival, 2015. Web. 19 June. 2016. <http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/cinema-dying-movie-theaters-ensure-survival/>
Moran, Sarah. Could Netflix Kill the Movie Theater Industry?, 2014. Web. 19 June. 2016. <http://screenrant.com/netflix-digital-killing-movie-theaters/>