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Will The Theaters Return As They Once Were?

 In late February, I went to see 2020's Universal Studios remake of "The Invisible Man."

I was aware of what was going on in China and there was a lot of uncertainty and conflicting information coming from our leaders. It was in the back of my mind when I went to the show, but I felt that we were okay (though I was very aware of when a movie patron would cough or sneeze and would naively cover my face briefly with my shirt).

I never thought that it would be the last film I would see in a theater. 

The entire country shut down and I was in lockdown for months until I had to go back to work. But here in my hometown the theaters are still closed. They may soon open, much like what's going on in the rest of the state of California, but the projection of us seeing the other side of this crisis is closer than it was then. So I'm not exactly sure if I even want to bother going. Most of the films I wanted to see anyways are either going straight to streaming or their release dates have been bumped to Summer of 2021. To attend a show then with a little more piece of mind would be ideal.

But will the movie theaters survive this period in history? The jobs and employment outlook going into October don't look good at all, Congress dragging their feet when it comes to a compromise in funding those laid off and the rest of the businesses that aren't big business, unrest in the country. It seems not even worth bothering. It's only entertainment. And movies and television will always be here. Just in a new way.

I get a kick out of the Drive-In making a comeback but then I'm immediately reminded of a time gone by and how new technology makes old traditions obsolete. 

I have no illusions that the Drive-In is going to remain a thing in 2021 and beyond and I'm very concerned about theaters going away.

Everyone makes jokes about how the movie theaters charged obscene amounts for concessions like candy, soda, and popcorn, but that was how they made their money. The movie studios took a large chunk of the revenue as the theaters were trying to profit. 

The now defunct MoviePass pushed the theaters to create their own movie club passes and they seemed to give new life to the theaters. I myself own a membership and was very happy to attend the shows every month (usually more than that) and support theaters.

I understand technology changes the way we live. Streaming is a great way to watch films, television shows, and original content. It saves the movie fan a lot of money when it comes to all the goodies you get when you watch your show and because you're in the safety and comfort of your own home, the possibility of a virus is not even a thought. 

But for someone like me who loved going to the show...my pastime...it's sad for me to think of them making their way out. 

The way Hollywood has held their big tent franchises for next year gives me hope that a future without theaters isn't assured. And that's comforting. It's just a matter of making it to the finish line...




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