I could begin to write this article talking about all of my fondest memories at the movie theater. The smell of the popcorn, watching the previews and feeling the ambience of the theater but I don’t need to. In one facet or another, we all know what that felt like. Now I know my use of past-tense seems to indicate some cryptic undertone but that’s kind of the feeling I have right now. To me, the movie theater is dying and honestly it’s just not fair.
We live in an amazing time for cinema. We can travel through space, connect with multi-layered characters and witness our favorite superheroes fight unbelievable battles. But we’re experiencing all of this… at home. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a night in as much as anybody. Especially with the right people. Heck ultimately watching a movie at home is the perfect setting. A comfortable couch or bed, any kind of snack or meal you want, pants or no pants (I’m a pants guy myself, just feel too… exposed).
All of that is great, but where is the sense of community in all of it? Let’s face it. We don’t have 20 people coming over to watch a movie these days. We have about 5 max and even THAT is a stretch. Movie theaters brought us that sense of community. You could listen to your fellow moviegoers as they yell at the protagonist on screen to STOP MAKING STUPID MISTAKES in a horror film. You could also hear them laugh when someone gets caught in an uncomfortable scenario on screen. Do you see where I’m going with this?
“We live in an amazing time for cinema. We can travel through space, connect with multi-layered characters and witness our favorite superheroes fight unbelievable battles. But we’re experiencing all of this… at home.”
For some of you I know the answer is no. Movie theaters are work. You gotta get out of your house, drive to a theater, stand in line, avoid sticky chairs/floors, sit through previews and then finally you can watch the movie. I’m warning you though. You WILL miss it. There will be a day where you’re sitting there watching “Schitt’s Creek” for the millionth time and you WILL utter the words “I miss going to the movies.”
Okay, fine. So you don’t care to go watch Hollywood films on the big screen. What about our local filmmakers? Aside from YouTube and other streaming platforms, there will be less options to show their work to a live audience. And let’s face it people. Art is enjoyed best when the artist is in the room. Also… you happen to be reading this article ON a local production company’s website. So… help a brother out.
I spoke with a friend of mine who works in Hollywood. He told me about how stressful it is to work out in Los Angeles these days. Unions are getting undercut and more skills are being outsourced. Although I can understand what a business must do sometimes in order to survive, this raises concerns to how this will impact the movies we love today. We need to keep our creative people employed, they are one of the main reasons the pandemic was bearable for some of us. When art is taken away and manufactured, we slowly lose some of the things that make us human. So if there’s one thing you can do this year, go see a local film at the movie theater. Art is going to continue to be an essential part of our species and its survival.
– Josh Taube