COVID-19 has made massive changes to everyday life, and the entertainment industry has been no exception. With the exception of “TENET” and others, many movies like “Scoob,” “Trolls: World Tour,” and “Mulan” have been moved onto streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus. Along with that and the re-emergence of drive-ins across the country, discussions have risen over how movie theaters will survive the aftermath of the pandemic.
In his video, 25 Reasons I Hate Movie Theaters, YouTuber The Unusual Suspect lists the problems with going to the movie theater. And while this video is funny, there’s a lot of truth in his criticisms. Speaking as a film critic, I can attest to the points made. The seating is cramped, the price of admission and snacks has gone up over the years, and the fact that you can’t pause makes staying in and watching movies from the comfort of your own home seem like a better alternative. And after going weekly to see movies, going to the cinema went from being a treat to “another day at the office.”
But for all the issues streaming movies from home rectifies, there’s also a good amount lost with the absence of the cinema. Not only with the box office, but also the nostalgic sentiment that comes from it. Much like malls, movie theaters have been more than a physical location for an industry; it was a hangout, the destination of family outings and adventures with friends. Movie theaters have become so iconic that they’ve become one of the most popular date night destinations.
It’s hard to say how the film industry will adapt after movie theaters. Drive-ins are becoming more popular and are welcoming a younger generation with an iconic part of Baby Boomer culture, and streaming services eliminate the inconveniences and health risks that plague theaters. And while the nostalgia of theaters kept them from being completely eliminated before the pandemic, things will definitely change and it will be interesting to watch how some theaters adapt to COVID-19 (though concessions should probably take an intermission).