There are those who are claiming that, spurred on by the pandemic, livestreaming will finally kill the movie-going experience. People will not go to theaters, they say, when it’s so easy to stay at home and watch movies in your own living rooms. Horse and shit. Don’t believe a word of that.
Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. So goes the old adage. People making such claims have obviously not studied their history.
Back in the 1950s, TV sets were filling homes. People said it was the death of the movie-going experience. No one would pay to go to a theater when they could sit at home and watch free entertainment in the comfort of their own living rooms. But theaters didn’t die. Yes, a lot of small, independently owned theaters did close. Prior to the advent of television, it would have been hard to have found any small town in the country without at least one theater. The tiny little town—a one stoplight town; I’m talking tiny, here—even had a theater, my mother told me, when she was a little girl. Those little mom-and-pop places did close. But theaters as a whole survived. They will again.
Ah, but back then, they weren’t showing the same product, you might say. Now they’re offering, or will be, the same movies to watch at home as in the theaters. That might be true, but those people still don’t realize one thing: the theatrical experience is different. It cannot be reproduced in somebody’s living room. It’s communal. It meets a sociological need that humans have to congregate and share experiences. *That* is why theaters will survive. That is why they will always survive. Suck my big toe, haters!