Why I hope cinema-going will never die out
When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to a trip to the movie theater. My mom has always been a movie lover, and a cinema experience was our splurge for the weekend. Back when movie tickets didn’t cost an arm and a leg, and when I was interested in seeing the kids’ double features, there were points where I had seen nearly every movie the theater was showing at a time. There’s just something magical about seeing a movie at the theater.
In the age of streaming services, movie-going seems to be on the decline. Many would prefer to watch a new movie from the comfort of their home, making movie theaters ghost towns of what they once were. Yet while it’s nice to enjoy a movie at home, it’s just not the same as the cinema experience; the film loses its wonder.
Movies are magical, and I believe that magic is amplified when viewing a long-anticipated film at the theater. There’s nothing like a premiere night, where the theater is packed with fellow movie lovers excited to see a film they’ve all been waiting for. When the lights dim, there’s a buzz around the room as anticipation fills the air. The smell of fresh, buttery popcorn lingers as the score plays on the surround-sound speakers. Instead of just watching a movie, you’re immersed in the experience.
Movies move people, and there’s nothing like a cinema setting to provide a community for movie lovers. I recently experienced this magic at my hometown cinema on the opening night of Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse. Each seat was filled, and people cheered, whistled and gave standing ovations during the film. The audience’s enthusiasm made the experience like none other, and I can’t imagine the film would’ve been as memorable had I not seen it in that context.
While today’s streaming services make it incredibly easy to watch new releases at home, it’s important to recognize the experience that’s being traded for this comfort. There’s nothing like a night out at the movies, yet this once-cultural phenomenon seems to be slowly dying out. With many movies going straight to streaming services, the movie theater is slowly becoming obsolete. Movie theater closures would be a tragedy for the arts, and I fear a day is coming when that may be our reality. Watching movies at home is just not comparable to experiencing the film at the cinema.
The next time you see a new movie advertised and you have a little spending money, consider going to see it at the theater. While ticket prices have unfortunately skyrocketed, think of it as paying for the experience of the movie, which you would be missing by watching it at home. Movies are an incredible art form, and their meanings are amplified when viewing them in cinema.