Making a case for movie theatres.

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People sitting in a movie theatre, watching an empty screen before a film begins to play. Blondinrikard Fröberg (Flickr)

An end of an era

As a big fan of films and someone who finds the movie theatre experience to be unlike any other, the pandemic has certainly put the industry into a corner. With the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crave and Apple TV Plus, TV makes for a much more convenient viewing experience than the big screen. With companies like Warner Bros moving major feature length films to the streaming world, it isn’t hard to believe that now even major studios have lost faith in the big screens ability to turn a profit. For it is, at the end of the day, about the profits.

That being said, I’m not going to change hearts and minds with my stance, but there is a case to be made for movie theatres. As I mentioned in the first sentence of this piece, the experience of the big screen is truly an experience all its own. I don’t care how good your home theatre is, films like Pacific Rim can only really be appreciated via a giant sound system and a giant screen. As well (on the subject of film appreciation) the same goes for up and coming mega releases like Godzilla vs. King Kong. Do you think that watching a 393 foot tall iguana battle a 104 foot tall ape is going to look as cool on your plasma as it is in the theatres? I think you already know the answer to that.

Moving along, this next point is a bit tricky to argue, but here it goes anyway. Cinema is an art to the creator. This isn’t to be confused with studios, to which cinema is simply a mechanism to make giant profits with (looking at you Marvel). No, the creator that I’m referring to, are the directors and the individuals that help to put those onto the big screen. Some of these creators have been against the ‘move to streaming’ conversation for a bit now, specifically with regards to Warner Bros moving features to Crave, as mentioned before. It all just goes to show that there’s at least some filmmakers out there (and even here in the Queen City) that have a true love of movies and want to see them thrive in their best environment, the theatre.

The social aspect of the movie theatre is really on another level compared to watching at home. Sure, there may be times when an individual in the crowd won’t shut up or when someone won’t stop drinking from their empty cup. However, when all is right and the lights dim and you’re able to share a great film with a bunch of folks, that’s really something special. Plus, who doesn’t love the aftermath film discussion where you get to feel like a critic.
 

All in all, movie theatres aren’t perfect and may offer some less than desirable experiences, but it’s a medium we shouldn’t throw out just because we found something more convenient. The theatre brings those larger than life characters into an exciting and dynamic reality for the viewers. To end off with a final point (and film reference), say all you want about Monster Hunter, but seeing a badass heroine fighting other worldly creatures in another dimension while the music is blasting, that’s only an experience that a cinema can deliver.


Ethan Butterfield

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