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Why Don’t You Go to the Movies Anymore?

Why Don’t You Go to the Movies Anymore?

By: Brandon Eberhart

A few weeks ago, I asked our forum members a simple question: when was the last time you went out to a movie theater? I expected some answers dating back to the invention of the Kinetoscope, but even I was surprised by the results. The most recent reported visit was six months ago. Not too bad. The most distant trip? Over 15 years ago. On average, it seemed like people who owned their own home theater went out to a movie about once a year — maybe for a special occasion or a movie they just couldn’t wait to see, or maybe because the theater offered something special (like The Hobbit in 48fps) that they couldn’t reproduce at home.

So what keeps us at home versus venturing out for a night at the movies? Has the home theater made all of us theater owners who show what we want when we want, with no need to go out for a movie anymore? Is the home theater experience better? There are pros and cons to both, some of which may carry more weight for each of us. As someone who owns a home theater and still goes to the cinema regularly, I think I can break things down and examine the benefits each setting has to offer.

Downsides to the Cinema
When I was younger, I remember trying to sneak past ushers into R-rated movies every chance I could get. I got caught more than once and dragged out of the theater in shame. It was hard back then, as there were ticket takers at the entrance to every single theater. Now, there’s just one person taking tickets for the whole multiplex. So go ahead, kids: buy a ticket for DespicableMe 2 and walk right in to A Million Ways to Die in the West. This is my personal pet peeve. Kids in R-rated movies who shouldn’t be there, distracting everyone else because they can’t handle the nudity and violence overload. Yet theaters no longer employ ushers to walk the aisles and check for this kind of thing.

That ties in with another big complaint I hear: texting/talking on cell phones. It’s so distracting. Without ushers to monitor the room, your only option is to confront the annoying texter yourself or leave the theater to get a manager and miss part of the movie. Fun. I find it hard to believe that theaters are so strapped for cash they can’t hire a high school kid for 10 bucks an hour to shine a flashlight up and down the aisle every twenty minutes.


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