Movies go straight to stream, not theaters

Payton Cook, Staff writer

You would be lying if you said you didn’t watch more Netflix than ever before during quarantine.

Netflix, along with many other streaming services, has become increasingly popular over cable television and going to the movie theater.

These streaming services are reasonably priced considering the amount of shows and movies available, and viewers can just stay on the couch.

Many people choose Netflix over the cinemas because they prefer the comfort of their own home, enjoy the plethora of movie options and want to avoid the expensive snack choices at the theater. There is also the option to watch almost anything, at any time. Streaming services also allow viewing across multiple devices, such as phones, tablets or laptops, which just adds to the overall convenience and justification of the monthly subscriptions costs over one-time tickets to the theater.

Due to COVID-19, around 500 Regal movie theaters across the nation were temporarily shut down, and some are still struggling to re-open.

Some big movie premieres, such as the latest “James Bond” movie, “Wonder Woman” and “Black Widow” have been postponed until 2021.

Other major movie premieres, such as “Greyhound” and Disney’s “Mulan” debuted on streaming services.

Although some premieres were available over streaming services, nothing beats the huge movie premieres of movies in the theater for me. Watching a premiere on the living room television is not the same as seeing it on the big screen. The aesthetic of the movie theater makes the premiere that much more exciting, because the dark room, loudspeakers, large screen, popcorn, drinks and candy really contribute to the overall experience.

Theaters are starting to re-open, and some places showed the premiere for Christopher Nolan’s movie “Tenet.” However, attendance was not as high as Warner Brothers would have liked. This begs the question: will movie theaters ever return to normal?

Personally, I have mixed feelings on the future of movie theaters. I believe that once there is a vaccine readily available, people will be more willing to go in public and fill the theaters. I go to the theaters once a year or once every few years, and my favorite part is the overall aesthetic of going to see a movie. I would definitely hate to see movie theaters disappear. I would rather pay for a night out and pay for the experience of watching a premiere. Paying to stream a premiere on top of the monthly streaming service fees can quickly become expensive.

On the other hand, I am perfectly fine watching a movie at home. There are no crying children, nobody whispering to each other, no cellphones going off and no one kicking the seat. The movie can be paused in order to get another snack or to take a bathroom break, and the volume can be turned to whatever level is desirable.

There is no doubt that Netflix and other streaming services are more convenient, but there is something about movie theaters that we just don’t want to get rid of yet.