It’s funny.  I was just thinking about this earlier today…

Theaters go out of style

Box Office numbers are down and people rightly blame Covid, but at what point do things turn around?  Specifically, WILL they turn around?  The more I think about it, the more I come to conclusion that, in all probability, they won’t.  The two year lockdown has changed things for a lot of people, not just in terms of discretionary measures  but overall convenience.  Yes, I’m sure there are a lot of people who are still leery about going to a movie theater for fear of catching Covid, but I suspect there are a lot more who just can’t be bothered as they’ve come to rely on the ease of home entertainment.  Why weather the inconveniences of travel, rigid viewing windows, big screen commercials, and annoying audience members when you can just stream it in the comfort of your own place.  Yes, there’s the exclusivity that comes with in-theater releases, but it seems like that is becoming less of a draw for audiences who have an endless array of programing to choose from.   I mean, Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City will be landing on Starz sooner than later.  What’s the rush?

Yes, as the article lays out, newer seats and cheaper popcorn may draw in a few more viewers, but I don’t think it will be enough.  So what’s the solution?  Well, I agree with the fact that: “If theaters want to stay afloat, they’ll have to remind people there’s something magical about going to the movies that you can’t recreate in your own living room.”

Problem is I don’t know what that is.

Screen-shot-2021-12-06-at-44454-pm Screen-shot-2021-12-06-at-44503-pm
Also, where the hell’s our Stargate revival?
Today’s Yes/No…
Absolute nonsense.
Finally, check out this SG-1 cameo in the classic issue #8 from Alan Moore and Gene Ha’s Top 10…


19 thoughts on “Are you going back to theaters and why not?

  1. There aren’t any movies I want to see. I’ll go when something excites me. The other problem in our area for movie theaters, is that parents were dropping off their kids. So the kids were acting terrible in theaters. The people running the theaters do nothing. So if I hesitate about going to a theatre it’s because of the kid problem.

    The whole unsupervised kid thing is a huge problem for the Memphis area. Before covid, there were fights at malls, skating rinks and pizza places. Here’s just one story from a local venue during covid: I can find other examples but you get the idea.

    Hey, on a bit of bright news, Charlie (the little boy I told you about getting cancer treatment) ran in the St. Jude marathon. Keep him in your thoughts/prayers, please. He’s getting a new scan soon.

    No on the pot pizza. Marihuana has an odd taste. It’s hard for me to chew on the edibles. Pot on pizza would ruin it for me.

  2. Even before all this (* waves hands around*), it took a pretty big movie event to get me to the theatre. Thing is, I have a large screen w/projector downstairs and surround sound that gives a full movie experience, with the added bonus I can pause and go pee at any time.

    I first read that as “Crazy Happy Cannibal Pizza” and thought no, thanks. Then I reread it and was like, no, thanks.

  3. I went to see Ghostbusters Afterlife the weekend after it opened. Sunday evening show and there were about 15 people in a 350 seat theatre, so they clearly need every ticket and concession they can sell.

    There was also 13 minutes of ads between the advertised start time and the first trailer.

    I don’t mind driving there and back, I can live with overpriced popcorn, and I can understand running ads before the movie is supposed to start. On the other hand, nearly a 10th of the movie’s run time in ads during time I paid money to see a movie is what is going to make me reconsider going back.

  4. I went to the theatre on the weekend to see Dune. Definitely worth it. I mean, I could spend the money on a sound system that shakes my sofa when things explode on screen . . . or I can just spend $16 and go to the theatre. I’m going again on Thursday night to see the new Ghostbusters and later in the year I’ll be seeing the new Matrix in a theatre as well. But that’s probably more movies that I’ve seen in a theatre in one year than I have for many years, even pre-pandemic. I generally only go to watch movies that take full advantage of the cinematic experience.

    I don’t think theatres are dead. But I agree with you, the need to reinvent themselves if they’re going to stay relevant.

    Ooohh, finally some names to some of your past projects! Neuromancer would have been interesting. I think there’s definitely an opportunity for a Neuromancer/Snow Crash/Matrix-esque cyberpunk series. I’d watch it if it was done properly. The Expanse is finishing soon and I’m going to be desperate for another gritty, near-future sci-fi show!

  5. My family are simply not going to risk it as long as there are new variants and unvaccinated people.

    We only learned today that someone who had been sent to replace our upstairs carpets with tile over the next week was unvaccinated, so we’ve had to reschedule, of course. shakes head

  6. I work for a theater that’s part of a rather large chain and I tend to be of your mindset, Joe. We’ve seen decent numbers on big release weekends and kids films still bring ‘em in, but day and date streaming, the convenience of home entertainment, and the pandemic, of course, have delivered a few nearly knockout punches to an industry that in some senses was already reeling. We’ll see what further pandemic recovery (it’s gotta be coming, right? Right??) and next year brings…

  7. When the pandemic is over, I will continue my occasional afternoon matinee to catch a scary movie. The buttered popcorn you can only get at the movies is too tempting.

    The Outer Limits would have been fun to work on. Too bad. I bet your episodes would have been the more comedic ones.

    I’ve stopped drinking my nightly French Vanilla Cappuccino. It was keeping me from falling asleep when I went to bed. Well, that phase is over with. Lasted 4 days.

  8. I barely went to the theater before Covid and will likely go even less now that everything is streaming so soon after the theater release. Yeah, my surround sound doesn’t compare to a theater’s, but my TV is huge, I can pause to go pee, and my dog can snore in comfort beside me while I watch 🙂 I feel for theaters as businesses, but I’m not optimistic.

  9. I’ve gone to the theater less and less. Being able to pause and use the restroom, freshen a drink, or just stretch my legs in the comfort of my own home is so much easier. Plus I can make it an event. Psych 3 came out and my oldest and I piled finger foods on plates. The Wheel of Time debuted and my husband and I made a charcuterie board with wine. No venturing in the cold. I just don’t feel the need to see a movie asap, I’m just fine waiting for it to come to whichever streaming service.

  10. By random happenstance, this morning I am going to see a movie in the theater. The Tinseltown 14 is what’s keeping our local mall afloat. Luxury liners, reserved seating, and if you buy snacks online you can opt to have them delivered to your seat. $5 Tuesdays. A lot of the time when I go during the day, I get the whole theater to myself. I love it. Lyft is a little expensive, but my friend is coming to clean today, so she’ll give me a ride, then work while I am being a Lady of Leisure. I may even Lunch.

    Cinemark is doing concerts, anime festivals, classic movies, and operas. You can rent for private showings very cheaply. I don’t know if that’s enough, but it’s a good try.

  11. Nice shout out to SG1! I’ll still be going to the theater but only way, way after Covid. The one near me finally upgraded big reclining chairs well spaced apart that cut down on the chewing and chattering of other patrons. I get goosebumps when a film I can’t wait to see comes up on screen. And sure often the film doesn’t live up to hype but I like how immersive theaters are.

  12. We have a small town theater that is a 30 minute drive away, if we DO go, we go there. Why? Because rarely is there ever more than a dozen people at a time in a show. Sometimes that is us, with all the grandkids in tow. It’s really nice to not be crowded. However, we went for the new Boss Baby movie a couple of months ago, our first visit since COVID. Just the popcorn/drinks cost was $68. Admission made the total $130. For 1 adult and 3 kids. I’m sorry, but that’s just WAY to expensive. When I can stay home and watch it with them on a 75 inch Samsung and the cost of making popcorn is maybe $4?
    Don’t get me wrong here, I love the BIG screen experience. The Hubs and I went to see Dune just to get the BIG screen experience, but even that trip cost over $70. For 2 people.
    We have entertained the idea of purchasing one of those projector units and turning a big blank wall in the basement into a Big Screen. Haven’t made a firm decision on that yet.
    I hate that it’s so expensive because I truly believe some movies just need to be on the Big screen for the intended impact.

  13. So bizarre it seems so it is: we’ve lost the habit to go theater. We were used to but since last April we went only once. Can’t explain why but it is a fact, we think less of going to watch a movie in theater. Hopefully we will return more soon…??!!

  14. Not going back, but then again I haven’t been to a movie since Endgame.
    The sticky floors, the people on their phones, the high cost.
    I can OWN the movie on Blu ray for less than the price of two tickets, watch it in peace at home with my big screen TV and pause it to go hit the head.

    One – Three months after release the movie is out on disc, why ever go back?

    I will admit though, the one magical thing to happen in a movie was in Endgame, but that one 5 second moment took more than a decade to create. when the whole audience cheered, you could feel it. But no movie has made me feel magic that way since the Sixth Sense.

    If we got actual content that was interesting and not just a remake of the same thing I’ve already seen, maybe I would go again.

    1. Yeah, we’re waiting on Blu-Rays these days, too.

      I do enjoy the in-theatre experience of watching a movie on the big screen, especially since my local theatre upgraded its seats a couple years ago, but not enough to violate common sense.

  15. Used to just go to the cinema for a BIG movie or my favourites, like Alien:Covenant… and similar.
    Then – likely before lockdown over here, I had 10+ tickets care of my credit card rewards so went a couple of times a month for the likes of Deadpool 2, several Marvel movies etc. including Infinity Wars and Endgame…

    Last month joined Cineworld Unlimited for £15/month and already seen Venom:2, Dune, Halloween Kills and Eternals, 2 of these on day of release, and 2 of them I was only one in the theatre! Private screening the attendant said. I don’t do the popcorn or sticky sweets or coke’s etc … and we can take in own drinks and treats!

    Screen and sound are OK, if a bit loud!! but can’t say picture or sound beat the simple 4k UHD TV and surround soundbar/subwoofer at home!

    Still, gets me out of the house a couple of times a month and have lunch and maybe drinks before!!

    I’ll still go, as long as there are films that interest me!!

  16. Joe, how far did Neuromancer get, I loved the book back in the day… could have been interesting or a bit Jonny Mnemonic!

    1. I teamed with a production company and put together a series pitch. In the end, they ended up going with a big streamer. Hard to compete against that.

  17. When I think back on the most memorable movie theater experiences I’ve had, they all involve the audience, not the film. I went on the day Star Trek: The Motion Picture premiered, and as the cast names appeared on the screen the audience broke out cheering and clapping. I’d never seen that before, or since really. I also went to the premier of Star Trek: Generations.The sequence where the Enterprise crash lands was so well cut together (note: it doesn’t really have the same effect on a small screen) that people around me were popping up out of their seats and standing from excitement. I’ve never witnessed that again. The guy sitting next to me was saying, “Oh man, what a trip, what a trip!” Finally, I happen to see Hannah and Her Sisters successively in a big city theater, then in a small town theater. It struck me that the two audiences laughed at entirely different jokes. The big city people laughed and the clever and subtle jokes, the small town people laughed at the obvious and slapstick jokes, but were silent otherwise. In short, what a difference the audience makes!

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