With movie theaters around the country closed due to coronavirus concerns, Hollywood film studios have skipped the theater and pushed their movies straight to streaming services like Amazon Prime, Disney+, Netflix and Hulu.
While theaters are starting to reopen and movies will return to the big screen, given the option, would you rather watch a movie at home or in the theater? Associate Publisher Chris Rhoades and Managing Editor Leeanna Ellis debate.
Ellis: Pass the popcorn — in the theater
Maybe it's the smell of popcorn or maybe I'm just a bit nostalgic, but, to me, there's nothing better than sitting in the theater to watch the latest movie release.
The excitement builds as you wait for all the previews to finish and the title frame appears on the screen. For the next two hours, you can forget reality and escape into the land of make believe and movie magic.
With all the latest streaming services like Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix, it's now easier to watch movies from home rather than the theater. Yes, it's cheaper. Most streaming services are less than $15 a month, while the cost to go to the theater ranges from $10.50 to $13.50 for an adult and $10 to $13 for a child. That's just a one time cost, and we haven't even talked about snacks and drinks.
I will admit that I do stream movies on various apps. But it's nothing like watching a movie in the theater.
Going to the theater is an experience. It's waiting in line for the popcorn as it pops in the machine and picking out a box of candy. It's finding just the right seat — third row, center — to watch the movie. It's guessing the answers to the trivia on the screen before the previews play. And it's watching the next big drama or comedy on a 45-foot wide screen with surround sounds. You just can't get that on a 60-inch TV.
Rhoades: Shaking candy boxes and squeaky straws
While it might ultimately prove to be unlikely, I do think there’s an outside chance that I live the rest of my life without setting foot inside a movie theater ever again. Realistically, I’m sure it’ll happen as part of a group outing or a kid’s birthday party. But, if it was completely up to me, I’m pretty confident I’ve seen my last film in a theater.
I do think theaters can be successful and will last well in to the future. I wish those who work there and own them nothing but the best. But, for me personally, the list of reasons not to go to a theater to watch a movie is longer than the amount of space I have available to write. But, there’s a few that stand out.
First and foremost, I’m not a millionaire. The price tag to take my family to a movie these days is staggering. Sixty dollars just to get us in the door. Sixty! Add any sort of snacks and drinks and you’re now well up over one hundred dollars, just to watch “Trolls.”
Now, let’s say for a minute that I’m ok with a $100 price tag for two hours with my family. If I’m dropping that kind of money on a movie, I sure don’t want to do so and spend that time with some random kid kicking my seat behind me. Or, with a large group of people collectively chewing with their mouth open, shaking their candy boxes and squeaking their soda straws religiously for two hours. It’s bad enough when my own kids do this, but when a room of more than 100 do it in symphony, it’s enough to drive a sane man mad.
If you enjoy movies at theaters, that’s great. But, I’ll be at home with my $6 rental, $1.50 bag of popcorn and 75-cent soda.