Movies belong in the theater

With smaller screens, and more distractions, Netflix doesn't meet up to the big screen.

You can't beat a movie theater.

Em Paquette

You can't beat a movie theater.

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Movie theater attendance has been slowly declining since it reached its all time high in 2002. With the increasing popularity of streaming services and premium video on demand, along with escalating ticket prices, more people have been persuaded to watch movies at home instead of heading down to see it at the cinema. This is slowly forcing movie theaters to close and we risk losing one of America’s most treasured pleasures. While I agree that it’s nice to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and your Netflix subscription, let’s be real: there are some experiences that you can only get within the walls of your local theater.

Your home theater might be good, but it’s not that good. Maybe you’ve spent a fortune to buy a 90 inch 4k TV with surround sound and a Blu-ray Player, but some movie experiences cannot be replicated in a home theater. In your home, there are too many distractions that disengage you from the movie—whether it be a pet, family member interruptions, or the temptation to check your phone every twenty seconds. A great film will always be amazing and breathtaking no matter where and how you see it, but most filmmakers intend for their movies to be seen on a large screen in a darkened theater where you can’t pause in the middle of a climactic scene to put your laundry in the dryer. James Cameron didn’t intend for “Avatar” to be watched on your phone while you were waiting to get picked up from school. Movies are made to be watched in the theater.

In my opinion, one of the worst things that somebody could do, is to spoil a great movie or TV show. Imagine watching “The Empire Strikes Back” knowing that Darth Vader was Luke’s dad. Spoilers give away key plot details and lessen the suspense of the movie which decreases the overall enjoyment. If there is an especially intriguing movie, go to the theater and see it on opening night so you can brag to your friends the next day, and avoid evil people who want to ruin the movie.

Movie theaters are more than just a place to go check out the latest blockbuster. Theaters can be places to go on a date or to meet up with friends”

— Brooks Carver

Movie theaters are more than just a place to go check out the latest blockbuster. Theaters can be places to go on a date or to meet up with friends. They are also great sources of pride for small cities. Most small towns don’t have the luxury of a fancy shopping mall to hang out in, so the local movie theater takes the role of community center where people go to meet up and have a good time. It’s a place you can go to take your mind off things and engulf yourself in a movie to get transported into another world for two hours.

With technology allowing us to retreat into our basements, it’s important to be physically present among others every now and then. Also, whenever I see a horror movie, there is nothing that adds more to the intensity of it than the panting and seat grabbing of those around me. This collected energy makes the movie more likely to leave a lasting impression.

If we allow theaters to die, you won’t be able to call up your friends and go enjoy a movie while stuffing your face with popcorn and a large cherry vanilla coke in between your legs. We need to embrace movie theaters and the tradition of making the trip down to the cinema to support our favorite franchises and directors.

All I ask is for film lovers, is to be open-minded to seeing movies in a theater and be mindful of what is lost from watching films at home, or on a tablet.

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