The Death of Theaters

Why it is important to keep cinemas alive


The lights dim. The reverberating boom of the surround system bounces off the walls as the big screen illuminates the room. The aroma of freshly popped, buttery popcorn fills the air while the sound of crinkling plastic echoes across the endless rows of the ever-so comfy seats as people begin to crack open their packs of candy. Although movie theaters are a staple of enjoyment and entertainment, nowadays, the prevalence of movie theaters is plummeting. Less and less people have been taking the voyage to go to the movie theater as people find other ways to access and watch films. Some claim that COVID disrupted this crowd, while others claim that the movies being shown have not been good enough to watch. Regardless, this lack of attendance jeopardizes the existence of cinemas. Despite this apparent decline in popularity, movie theaters should continue to live on and regain their relevance as they provide completely unique and one-of-a-kind experiences that we ought not to disregard.  

Why waste their money on tickets and popcorn when the film would just be on Disney+ in a month? One word: experience.

Streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu are one of the main contributors towards this decrease in movie theater attendance. Why would someone interrupt their day just to go watch a movie when they could’ve stayed in the comfort of their own home?  Why waste their money on tickets and popcorn when the film would just be on Disney+ in a month?

One word: experience.

Movie theaters aren’t some capitalistic scheme to drain your wallet; they offer a non-replicable experience that allows you to fully absorb and enjoy a film in a completely unique and once-in-a-lifetime way. Sitting in the cinema allows for the audience to be sucked into the film. You laugh, you cry, you scream, you become engrossed in the material. When was the last time you watched a movie at home without going on your phone? Theaters are distraction free in terms of technology. 

Cinemas also tend to evoke a sense of nostalgia within many people. A multitude of fond memories come flooding back as soon as you enter the building: flashing images of your favorite childhood cartoons, first dates, and even some of those unforgettable films. What seems like a crucial part our youthful enjoyment doesn’t seem to translate onto younger generations. According to Gallup polls (2022), about 61% of Americans saw no movies in the theater in 2021. This is a drastic increase when compared to the data given from a survey from 2001-2007 where only 32% of Americans saw no movies in the theater. There seems to be an emotional disconnect within younger generations and cinemas as they have yet to establish that sense of nostalgia. By pushing for more theater attendance, hopefully they will be able to grow the same attachment to cinemas that many adults do.

If money is a concern, there are always cheaper options when going to the cinema. For example, in local AMC theaters, there are discounted tickets on Tuesday as long as you sign up with their free rewards system. If you like to have a little sweet treat while watching movies, snacks and drinks always cost less at a gas station or CVS, so make sure you stop by to save a few bucks. You can even bring your own food from home, just don’t forget to hide it!

Don’t let theaters die. With the upcoming summer season, you can anticipate many new intriguing blockbuster movie releases. Succumb to the temptation of over-priced popcorn and reclinable leather seats, don’t be afraid to stop by a theater a few two times, and remember to bring a friend or two so you can enjoy the film together. I can’t wait to see you there!