Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Will Movie Theaters Close? Thoughts...

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As much as I am a fan of great home theater, I would fiercely argue about movie theaters and their existence. I have just read the post by B.Greenway of HomeTheaterBlog.com in which he basically states that movie theater is for teenagers and immature adults. Mr, Greenway also brings up some points as to why movie theater will close theirs doors and one of them is the quality of home theater at present can be comparable to what movie theaters offers. First and foremost, people do not go to a movie theater for quality. They go there for a movie and do not care for quality as much as it is. In fact, most people do not care about high-end, as long as the film does not melt in the middle of the movie and there is sound.

Teenagers go to a movie for other reasons which does not even remotely relate to a movie or its quality. Well, I would say, the type of movie is related; i.e horror movie makes them sit “closer”.

Now, let’s talk about quality you get at home, or better talk about a price: If one really wants to compare in-house movie watching experience that person should dedicate a room with a movie projector and spend about $6000 in average for a video that will be equal in performance and about as much for sound. This is the bottom line. If one goes down in price – there is no comparison. And 95% of people have the HTiB quality audio/video equipment in their homes which proves that people do not go to the theater for quality.

Let’s talk about convenience: sure thing home is sweet in all aspects including your favorite couch and the pause button. My argument is that movie going is a part of our social life. Even if it is a solo visit to the theater it still is a collective experience. I have not done solo but seen a lot of people who do. Remember the last time you got out of the worst movie you have recently seen? So you remember the criticism, the argument brought up by you or your friend? And of course you have been yapping while standing in line for a cup of latte, right? Maybe in the restaurant, while waiting for the food. What I am trying to say is you ARE having a good time regardless of the movie and its quality. Even if sound was cut off for about 5 minutes in the middle of the movie it will still make a conversation and a good time. Rest of movie theater inconveniences, such as phone ringing and dude answering it, or baby crying. Come on people, I have not been bothered by phone rings: there were some but not to make me freak out. Babies crying: where did this happen? I would probably complain about this for restaurants but no for movie theaters. I think the public perception about phones and babies is because of the intro every theater is showing just before the movie as a reminder. I honestly think that is the reason people even talk about babies and cell phones. Remove that piece and no one will talk. It is sort of a bad advertisement for movie theaters. And why no one talks about the person chopping pop corn, slurping soda or cracking on nachos with sound effects? It is not in the reminder, see. That is very inconvenient but not even remotely close to make me give up movie going.

Have you ever looked at the faces of people coming out of the theater? Have you noticed that no one is depressed? Have you ever seen people showing a finger because they bumped into each other in the hallway? No, no and no. People enjoy going to movies. It is a good experience. It is a culture and no price hike will break that culture. It will slow down and that’s what movie theater companies are complaining about. And as Alexander Grudner of eHomeUpgrade points out, movie theaters should offer more than what it is now, such as 3D movies and motion chairs. I totally agree and hope that movie theaters realize that.

Finally, if movie theaters close, that will be an indication that United States is suffering a lack of collective soul. It will prove that people in this country do not like social life, friendliness. We already have the problem of one car per person and the loneliness that comes with it. And why bars do not close? One could as well have a drink at home for much cheaper. And not be bothered by a drunken next stool. Just think about it.

Posted by Mike at 12:43 PM
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