Will movies at home kill movie theaters?

posted by HowardBHaas on November 20, 2009 at 10:58 am

Here’s a discussion from NPR about new tactics Hollywood is using to bypass theaters and its effects.

As DVD sales decline, Hollywood studios are looking for ways to get movies straight to consumers' living rooms. This has some industry insiders worried that Hollywood is jeopardizing its most valuable asset: the theatrical release date. The movie industry is looking to change the way it distributes content.

Comments (58)

quasimodo on November 20, 2009 at 12:04 pm

The latest in a spate of articles that predict an impending shift in the industry of seismic proportion. Perhaps most disturbing is Kim Master’s comment that the only theatres likely to survive are those that have been “upgraded” to digital and “give you that better experience”. Oh really, better than what?

KenLayton on November 20, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Yes this will absolutely kill the theaters. Since they are already converting theaters from film to digital “video” projection this is turning the theaters into replicas of your living room. No need to even go to a theater anymore.

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on November 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I have, for quite some time, predicting the end of the movie theater in general within the next fifty years, if not sooner. Frankly, this would be fine with me because the overall movie theater experience has sank just over the past decade with the advent of cell phones and the unreasonably high ticket and concession prices.

I would hope that maybe we would still keep revival theaters around to continue to get a flavor for what it was like to see classic films on the screen.

biograph68 on November 20, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I disagree that the movie theater will go away. But their survival depends on offering an experience that people cannot get at home. Digital Projection is here to stay. But I think the public needs to be educated that projection from a 4K cinema projector is not the same quality as a home or commercial unit found in a living room or lecture hall. DVD video does not look very good when the screen is 40 feet wide. People need to be encouraged to get out of the house for their entertainment. I don’t know all the answers. Do theater operators resort to contests and giveaways? Can we mix music or live entertainment with a night at the movies? Has the distribution system from Hollywood gotten out of control? I’m most concerned abut the independent theater operators. Every effort must be made to make the consumer regularly choose the theater.

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on November 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Jay, one of the first steps to saving the movie theater experience is for all theaters to enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to the use of cell phone, blackberrys, or any other kind of distractive or disruptive device, as well as the traditional talking and other forms of noise-making. If you want to talk on the phone or jerk off with your electronic playmate, then stay home where you belong!!!

One cannot enjoy the movie theater experience when so many people around you are persistently inconsiderate. I end up staying home just to avoid the irritation. Going to the movies ends up becoming a chore rather than a pleasure.

RobertR on November 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm

I think we need to do what they did in the 1950’s. Give them a screen so large that when they walk in the theatre they go WOW. With home TV sets getting bigger and bigger its time for huge curved screens again and big auditoriums even with a plex.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on November 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm

I agree with most of the above, but what ever happened to showmanship? I grew up in a small town and both of our local movie houses had interesting looking auditoriums and beautifully lit curtains that covered the screen. At showtime the pre-show music faded, the lights slowly dimmed, and the curtains parted as the MGM lion growled or the Columbia lady held high her torch. These were such magical places to visit that the movie was just the icing on cake. Why they even had ushers patrolling the auditoriums to keep order and to help patrons get to and from their seats in the dark.

When I enter a megaplex now, I look around me and wonder how theatres have degenerated into what they’ve become: lots of big boring rooms (albeit with stadium seating) facing a big screen displaying big boring ads. There’s no longer any magic and there’s certainly no sense of anticipation wondering what those non-existing curtains will reveal when the lights finally dim.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 20, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Although I was in the theatre business for a long time, few movies grab my interest anymore, and I seldom go. The last time I went was the summer of 2008 when I took my grandson to see “Indiana Jones. I get passes to theatres from work occasionally, and I use them even less occasionally.

Yesterday I took my six year old grandson to the movies. Thankfully, I used my passes, because the adult price was $9.50! The kid price was $6.00. I went to the snack bar, and no prices were shown on the very nice digital menu board that showed what products were offered in living color and animation. I saw one large popcorn, and two medium drinks offered, and ordered it. It came to $17.50!!!!!!

It has been fifteen years since I last ran a theatre, but this is ABSOLUTELY ridiculous! I certainly can understand high concession prices because the film companies get the lion’s share of the ticket sales, but $17.50 for one large popcorn and two medium drinks is a bit over the line!

We got into the auditorium with our concession about 20 minutes early, and were inundated with commercials we see on TV every day being run on the screen with a cheap digital projector. At showtime, the digital diatribe stopped, and a bunch of previews hit the screen. The xenon bulb in the projector was bad and flickered incessantly throughout the show.

My grandson needed to go to the restroom, so I escorted him there, and there was a bunch of gumball machines with candy in them in the lobby near the restroom door. When he came out, I put in FIFTY CENTS, and got FOUR Cherry Sours. I used to sell Cherry Sours for 50 cents a bag in my theatre’s concession stand, and THAT was twice as much as the stores sold them for!

My grandson did like the movie, but I was too shocked and broke to think about much else!

The business I loved for nearly 30 years has gotten out of hand. I for one do not like stadium seating, digital sound, digital projection, or shoebox sized auditoriums, and I certainly don’t want to pay for that crap with the best part of a $20 dollar bill at the concession stand for a popcorn and a couple of Cokes!

I, and my grandson would have enjoyed that movie just as much in a nice large auditorium with mono sound on a big screen that is CURTAINED before the show, instead of commercials run before showtime. Maybe if all the unneeded extras were eliminated, a new xenon bulb would have been in order, and we could have seen a flicker free show

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 20, 2009 at 11:37 pm


Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 20, 2009 at 11:40 pm

People have no clue what it cost to run a movie theater…..My single screen (yes 1 screen) needs to take in $63,000 per month to break even..I am not in a top 10 city.

movieguy on November 21, 2009 at 12:06 am

Longislandmovies where is your theatre I would love to come and see a film there!

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 21, 2009 at 12:09 am


markp on November 21, 2009 at 1:20 am

I certainly must say, outafocus has hit the nail right on the head. As a projectionist for the past 34 years, I have worked for both independants and major chains alike. I hate what the business is today, even compared to just 25 years ago. The indy owner I work for now, a very decent gentlemen, still is like everyone else. He says he has to do it to stay afloat. If the theatre 3 towns over raises prices, he has too, if they run a movie on 2 or 3 screens, we run it on 2 or 3 screens. And if I ever do mention how I would love to be involved with an old theatre showing movies reel to reel with maybe even carbon arcs, I get a look like what planet are you on. Its just the sad truth , but society doesnt know the difference, and doesnt even care.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Today’s high definition large screen TVs at more affordable prices, more and more movies being released on DVD earlier all the time, and the film company’s plan on offering films at home day and date with theatres will definitely do the independents in.

Between the rudeness and lack of class of the modern moviegoer, the exorbitant prices of tickets and concessions, the fact that today’s movies cannot stand alone on good writing and acting, but need special effects and gimmicks built in, and theatres have to invest heavily to effectively show the special effects, I see few theatres surviving.

raysson on November 21, 2009 at 7:33 pm

The trend of going to the movies is about to become reality……

REASON: The way prices these days for going to a show is RIDICIOUS!!!!

$10.00 for admission and an additional $6.00 for popcorn and drinks??????

I remember back in the day when a bargain matinee was around $3.00 and the evening admission was no more than $6.00….and a thing of popcorn was less than $2.00!!!

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 21, 2009 at 10:42 pm

MOVIES ARE CHEAP —NAME 2 THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR 2 HOURS THAT COST $10.00—-NOTHING! A few cheap people want to bitch those will be the ones hone alone!

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm


Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 21, 2009 at 11:48 pm

When I started in the theatre business in 1968, bargain matinee tickets were 60 cents, subsequent shows before 6 PM were $1, and after 6:00 were $1.75, and we had the highest ticket prices in town!

Concession items were: Popcorn 25 cents for a plain box, 30 cents buttered, 50 cent buttered medium, and $1 for a buttered tub. Sodas were 25 cents, 35 cents, and 50 cents. Candy ranged from 5 cents to 40 cents, with the vast majority at 15 cents.

Major oil gasoline was 31.9 regular, and 35.9 premium. Gas wars would see regular gas as low as 18.9

KenLayton on November 22, 2009 at 1:17 am

If you had a family and you all went to an evening show, add up the total cost: admission for each family member, food for each person and the gas to get there and back. I bet you’ve thrown $100 down the drain to go out to a show.

It just plain costs TOO much to go out to a movie today.

Stay home and watch it on tv. You can mute/edit out the commercials too!

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 22, 2009 at 2:00 am

These are the people on Cinema Treasures——

IanJudge on November 22, 2009 at 4:01 am

I agree that the movie going experience is not what it once was. The lack of showmanship is tough, the chains have dumbed down the experience, and the magic is gone in many ways. But audiences don’t know how to handle even a good experience! When we double-curtain a show, or the operator closes the curtains between previews and the feature, people are confused and shout and think we are screwing up. I’ve even had customers think that the orchestral intermission music played before the show to a closed curtain is the movie playing without picture! When, as required, the ushers at my theaters patrol and are aggressive on talking and cellphone use, we get more complaints from these patrons than we do from the non-offenders. People, by and large, suck.

However, folks have been predicting the end of theatrical exhibition since the 50’s, and it hasn’t died, despite lousy operators, lousy movies, lousy technology like digital intermediates and presentations, and lousy audience behavior. People still like to sit in that darkened room and be immersed in a movie. And brother, when they actually fire on all cylinders and make a good movie, that experience, even in the crappiest theaters, is still something magical.

markp on November 22, 2009 at 8:15 am

You have echoed my exact thoughts Ian M. Judge.

snorwood on November 22, 2009 at 11:00 am

What Ian said (hi, Ian!).

People like to get out of the house (which explains why restaurants are still in business). Even in this age of the $10 movie ticket, the cinema still provides the least-expensive form of out-of-home entertainment. Compared with the price of attending, say, professional sporting events, movies are still a bargain.

Honestly, I think that some competition (from television or somewhere else) would be good for this industry. It might encourage theatres to provide their customers with something more than seats and a screen, and actually try to make the moviegoing experience special again.

It is sad that so many people here seem to go to crappy theatres. There are (still!) some very good theatres and theatre owners, and we should all seek out and patronize those venues.

snorwood on November 22, 2009 at 11:13 am

Oh, and for peole who complain about the technology changes, I’ll offer this: lenses and screens have never been better than they are today. The quality of the average theatre sound system in 1960 does not even compare to the quality of the average theatre sound system today. Modern theatre seats (even the high-back variety, of which I am not a fan) are significantly more comfortable than anything that has been commonly available in the past. The very best theatres of the past were probably better than the very best today, but I have no doubt that the “average” experience has improved significantly.

It is sad that the major chains are ruining things with on-screen advertising and poor management, but that is not an issue with the technology.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 22, 2009 at 11:25 am

No one hates the state of the theatre business more than I do. It is a fact, however that the big chains treat the patrons with a “get ‘em in, get 'em out, and soak them for every penny they have with them” attitude. Former good movie patrons have responded in kind by purchasing home entertainment systems, and now enjoy their favorite movies at home.

Many of today’s moviegoers are unkempt slobs with no manners. Few theatres have ushers to keep these unruly patrons from ruining the show for others. I would LOVE to have a single screen theatre in my city that still relied on showmanship, and good screen presentation to patronize. The smallest theatre San Antonio has is a nineplex downtown, owned by one of the Big 3 theatre chains.

I wish I was wrong, but an old showman like me that is totally turned off by, and finds NO magic or enchantment in any theatre now in operation in my city is a downright shame. We have the big chains that have pushed out independents, and small circuits to blame for it.

CinemarkFan on November 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Digital projection or not, movie theaters need to take a page from the 50s and give audiences what on-demand or DVD can’t give you at home, a giant movie on a giant screen, complete with ushers, curtain tabs and the like. Movie theaters will never go away, as there are still to many people in this world who are social. And even with the flaws of theaters today, I am a movie/theater buff, and I won’t give up on them.

With this talk from the studios, filmmakers need to pull out those 65mm cameras and shoot important tentpole releases with them. 65mm can only make digital look better than what it really is.

Movie theaters aren’t going nowhere folks. But expect anarchy from filmmakers, because I doubt Chris Nolan wants people to see “Inception”, or the next Batman first run in a damn living room.

LawMann on November 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Now that I have a DVD/VHS player and new 63 inch TV I can enjoy movies in the comfort of my home without paying those high prices for a movie theatre ticket, drinks and popcorn, then putting up with rude patrons who misbehave during a movie.

LawMann on November 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm

PS. I forgot to mention that I was a projectionist for 23 years (1973-1996) when I left the business in 1996 after seeing the direction the movie business was heading. Computerized automation made the theatre projectionist obsolete. They had become maintenance people who drove between multiplexes just to keep things in order, too busy doing that to be in the booth for a complete showing. The exhibitors just don’t give a damn about anything anymore except for the almighty dollar.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 23, 2009 at 1:05 am

Theater projection is far superior to 25 years ago and sound is amazing…Maybe no curtains but the far better seats than the 70s —80 s more than make up for it. Been in the biz since 1981.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 23, 2009 at 1:06 am

Chains sucked than and most suck now—– very little change in 30 years.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 23, 2009 at 1:29 am

I do not think prjection is better now. “The Sound Of Music” played at North Star Cinema first run for 88 weeks! There was not one film break, or any snafus during the nearly two year run. The film was scratch-free when returned to Fox. Ashcraft carbon arc lamps put a beautiful light through the 70mm film ruunning through Century JJ projectors. Altec amplifiers powering Voice Of The Theatre speakers added to the enjoyment.

Today’s modern seats ARE better than the Griggs Pushbacks that were in that theatre, though!

The professionalism, and showmanship exhibited in the good old days made for a better presentation. Movies that were well written and acted did not need enhancements like special effects or noise to make people enjoy them.

movieguy on November 23, 2009 at 8:53 am

If one looks around there are many ways to get discount tickets to movies. The Entertainment book offers AMC discount tickets for $6.50 (Silver you have to wait 10 days to use) or Gold @ 8.50. Clearview has discount tickets for $7.00 and $8.00. In fact if your are a Cablevision subscriber to the tipple play in the NY metro area you can go to the movies for FREE on TUESDAY! This INCLUDES the Ziegfeild in NYC. Other times it is $7.00 VS $12.50 at the Ziegfeild and the other NYC Clearview locations.

Regal,City Cinema’s and UA also offer discount tickets. I am sure I am leaving out some chains.

HowardBHaas on November 23, 2009 at 9:40 am

Nonprofit arthouses often offer way less expensive refreshments than the chains.

I do wish those who keep blogging on this website about the pleasures of watching all their movies at home would concentrate instead on providing their recollections of when they did attend movie theaters in the past. There’s plenty of magic moviegoing at the remaining historic cinemas throughout this nation. Well run stadium seated megaplexes aren’t so bad either, if they show a decent print, though I would like them to expel cell phone users/texters (white light rays) and lower concession prices.

danpetitpas on November 23, 2009 at 11:12 am

Well, I would say that if all the movies being released were good, I don’t think people would be complaining about ticket prices. (Concession prices is another issue, and I don’t like the trend of turning movie theaters into cafeterias – people have pointed out that drinks weren’t even allowed in some theaters until the 1970s.)

My wife and I enjoyed going to the movies every weekend, sometimes seeing two pictures on a visit, and in our top year we saw about 65 films, although we averaged about 40-50 a year. Total cost with $5 and $6 matinees: about $600 a year. We thought it was a bargain.

But about five years ago, we found we were enjoying the movies less and less, and were coming out of the theater sometimes bored and usually unimpressed. We realized we were only going because it was a habit, and cut back to movies that have gotten stellar reviews. We’ve seen 3 films this year, and other than Avatar, there’s nothing we’re looking forward to this holiday season.

It’s also helped that we bought a 46" LCD flatscreen last year. Much better than trying to watch movies on a 20" TV, and this has helped us get through movie theater withdrawal.

Movie theaters won’t go away, and teenagers will always want some place to go on dates. But movies have gotten more and more mediocre,
and the studios are making pictures mostly for kids, teens, and young adults. At the same time, the indie market has dried up, so there’s fewer adultish films to see.

As these trends continue, you can expect to see the theater business continue to evolve as it will have to compete with DVDs and On Demand movies perhaps being released simultaneously with theater release dates. The theaters will have to provide a different experience, which is why they’re pushing 3D, at-seat dining, upgraded sound, and so forth.

I think this will make things tougher for your typical “boring” old-style theater.

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am

What is really on the screen anymore that is worth dragging your ass out of the house, into the multiplex, and dropping too much of your hard-earned money??? Sequels, threequels, remakes and computer-digital destruction of our planet???

I’d rather stay home and watch a Bogart or Cagney classic on DVD, and if it means the demise of the movie theater, then so be it!

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 23, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I loved the old “suburban” theatres built in the 40s and 50s the best. You would purchase a ticket from a pleasant looking cashier, walk in the door, and have your tickets torn by a clean cut uniformed doorman. If you wanted a snack, there was a well stocked, clean refreshment stand, with smiling attendants, and affordable prices. When you walked into the auditorium, there was usually an usher with a flashlight that would offer to find you a seat. If the lights were up, you saw an ornate auditorium, and a curtained screen. There would usually be soft music from behind the curtain. so you could converse easily before the show. At showtime the lights would dim down, the film company logo would hit the curtain, and it would open. The show would run, and it was usually an enjoyable experience. If it wasn’t that great a show, one didn’t feel cheated, because a big outlay of money wasn’t forked over for mediocrity.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Today you pay a lot to get in to a person whose tattoos are bigger works of art than the theatre’s decor. You pay an arm and a leg from concessions from someone that looks like they could NEVER get a food handler’s certification, walk into a shoebox sized auditorium, and there are commercials for anything and everything blaring out at you. When the show hits the screen, it may or may not be in focus or frame, because the projectors start themselves. If it is out of focus or frame, trying to find someone to tell in a 16 or 24 plex is time consuming, and usually futile. The people in the auditorium are often obnoxious, talk and text on the cell phone, and because the modern auditoriums are so small, they ALWAYS seem to be too near. Today’s movies are ALWAYS too loud, and special effects have supplanted good writing and acting to make a movie stand out. If the movie is a stinker, you leave feeling cheated. Teenagers like this scenario. Adults do not.

I miss the theatre business as it was VERY much, but the way it is now, I wouldn’t go back for any reason

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on November 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm

No disrespect, longislandmovies, but you seem to stand virtually alone in your satisfaction with the movies and movie theaters are today. So many, many, many pissed off and disatisfied moviegoers can’t be wrong!

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 23, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Then why is attendance continually going up.. not cash…….Even with all the computers ,giant tv screens and todays tech no decrease in attendance.. Most people love going to the movies on this site as i read them all the time. Those who live in the past well live in the past!

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on November 23, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I miss the days before I got married when I used to cheat the movie multiplex business by devoting an entire Saturday or Sunday and seeing three or four movies for the price of one at any given multiplex establishment. Security of any kind was such a joke!

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on November 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm

LIM, I suppose moviegoing today is a lot like WHITE CASTLE hamburgers – most people complain that it’s a horrible experience, and yet the establishment manages to stay in business.

Go figure.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 23, 2009 at 7:32 pm

People like to go out, and there will be a few centrally located big city theatres to accomodate them, but with today’s home entertainment systems surpassing picture and sound qulaity of the theatre, the exorbitant cost of tickets and concessions, and the low quality clientele that are not policed enough making the movie going experience less than pleasant, and the film companies considering day and date runs with home video, the neighborhood cinema will become as extict as the drive ins that once thrived in small towns and big cities.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 23, 2009 at 11:55 pm

I have heard this argument for 50 years, Tv will kill the movies, beta ,Vhs , laser disc will kill the movies,dvd will kill the movies , giant tv screens will kill the movies ,home video, home audio ,direct tv, dvr ….blah blah blah… Nothing will kill the movie biz……. Sorry 50 years of the same bs and it never changes!

JSA on November 24, 2009 at 1:16 am

The answer is NO. 50 years from now, people will still go to the show.

The situation is dire in many multiplexes. The presentation, the ads, the patrons, and on and on. Yes, it’s ugly. I know the trouble spots, and avoid them accordingly. When it comes to movies, there’s nothing like going out on the town with friends and family, and experience the big screen. Watching “Up” in the Ziegfeld or “Dark Knight” at the Cinerama Dome is a whole lot more fun than sitting in front of the HD tube.


CinemarkFan on November 24, 2009 at 1:31 am

Right on JSA. And when I finally get to travel to Los Angeles, I look forward to visiting the Cinerama Dome. I’ve heard nothing but great things.

As a theater chain owner-to be, I will be fully committed to bringing showmanship back to the movies. I understand that ads bring income to the theaters, but I think the most important auditoriums should be true showplaces, and that’s what I aim to do. Of course, limit ads along the way.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 24, 2009 at 9:40 am

We do not run ads in our theaters.

vic1964 on November 24, 2009 at 11:44 am

I hope for less screens but better quality screens in the future.
In other words give me a time machine! lol.
Lenses are far better today but much of this is offset by short steep downward angle throws. We may have better film stocks but they high speed print them to death! Long throws with carbon arc worked wonders with those old lenses plus prints were made with more care as we had less of them.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on November 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm

It is my wish to see movie theaters thrive and go on forever, however they are up against HUGE competition from the home entertainment industry, and the film industry itself is in the process of making things even harder for them. The theater industry is not taking steps to make their theaters friendly to the average consumer. Gouging prices, badly staffed and operated megaplexes, not policing them for an enjoyable experience by all, and running advertisements ad nauseum on the screen, something that really made them above the television industry, makes for a place that the average citizen is beginning to loathe. I put 100% of the blame on the big chains. They are the ruination of the industry.

alps on November 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm

All of you are right. Also, young people don’t care, they will watch movies on there i phones. I have had a 45 year love afair with the motion picture. A few years ago I visited Paris, a city that also loves the cinema. The audience is far more respectful, as was england than the states. Ticket prices and other complaints of finance doesn’t bother me. I live in the Philadelphia area, there are a few cinemas that are a pleasure to visit called the Ritz. Since 1976, and two other complexes later, the best in product reasonable consession prices, snacks offered are imported chocolate and italian sodas. They were better when the late Ramon Possel ran them. But still the bench mark for me, feel free to visit when in Philly, stop by Sonny’s Steaks on Market St. after. Even the Ritz are not imune to creatins that sometime wander in there. Since I rarely see Hollywood product, when I do I can’t enjoy it. Last week I went to see 2012. Cell phones, lights from cell phones, people sneaking in from after seeing Twilight, talking, and the worst annoyance to me, people that drape their filthy feet on the chair in front of them. In New York in the Village, I like to go to the Film Forum, I can’t go Saturday afternoon or evening, because of the young hipster doofuses that show up and laugh at the classic films thinking they are camp. Weekdays are best times to go to a movie you really want to see. Try to support independant theaters as one would record and book stores.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 25, 2009 at 10:02 am

I recently saw “THIS IS IT” and “PRECIOUS” with disrespectful boisterous audiences in Times Square. Both were weekday matinee performances and both were sold out.

This is the same old argument of “no one goes anymore because it is too crowded”.

Distributors have been stupidly undermining the theatre business for years without success. Nothing says “this movie sucks” as efficiently as the term “also available on VIDEO ON DEMAND”.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on November 26, 2009 at 12:49 pm

We have played some art titles day and date with on demand that have very well. This July we played SUMMER HOURS and did very well with it. I use to be afraid to play with on demand but it does not hurt us.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Well, good films open and close immediately in NYC once that is in the ad. Avoid Magnolia Six Shooter Films like the plague. They kill them before they open.

MPol on December 14, 2009 at 8:37 am

I second the opinions of the posters that believe that;

A) No matter what happens, there’ll always be people (myself included) who much prefer going to see movies in a real movie theatre, on the great big, wide screen, with the lights down low.

B) Much, if not most of what’s coming out nowadays in the way of movies totally stinks,

C) Many of the older classics ( up through the 1960’s and early to mid 1970’s) were better, although there were afew good ones in the 1980’s and beyond.

D) Admission prices to these multiplexes for the movie, as well as the concession prices are outrageous.

E) The behaviour of much of the audience (especially of many of today’s younger audiences) is rude, boorish, and in need of some discipline, such as threats of booting from the theatre, or actual booting from the theatre if they persist in their lousy behaviour (i. e. cellphone use and texting, talking during film, etc.)

F) There are ways to beat this situation. One doesn’t necessarily have to resign him/herself to watching movies at home on a DVD player on TV. Since there are still some great, independent theatres here in the United States that play a combo of classics, independent films, and other art
films, the best way to do it is to have a yearly membership to one or more of these theatres if a theatre in one’s area has such a program. Having an annual membership, even if it’s a very basic one, enables people to get into movies on a discount, which is often substantial, and, in theatres like that which show better quality movies, there’s often far less of a problem with audiences who use their cellphones, text, or talk, etc., during the movie.

G) I also second the opinion that movie theatre staff should crack down on such behaviour and warn and/or expel audience members who disturb others in the theatre with the above-mentioned behaviour. If audience members are going to act like children, they should be treated like children!!

MPol on December 14, 2009 at 8:39 am

I also might add, however, that I admittedly like the fact that movie theatres now have much more comfortable chairs, which comply with the contours of the back, and make for a more comfortable experience. The Coolidge and the Brattle, both of which underwent renovations fairly recently, now have such chairs in their theatres.

jimpiscitelli on December 28, 2009 at 12:23 am

Movies are better enjoyed in a theatre. I see a movie in a theatre to determine if I would buy that title on DVD and Blu-ray. It doesn’t matter how big your home theatre system is, it doesn’t beat seeing a movie in a theatre.

ceasar on January 5, 2010 at 10:27 am

One thing one pattern that I have uncovered with the local cinema opertator is that they hold movies as long as two months. Now Wilcox is following after Village Entertainment and Regal with this business practice. Question is this unsavory? Well if u hold over over a movie longer than two months it blocks other films from coming here at all. Example Paranormal Activity didn’t open at the local cinema and on the Demand It site a lot of locals close to a hundred demanded that this movie open here. But it didn’t. Yet to hold over films longer than month is going to push the audience into other markets.

TLSLOEWS on February 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I think there will always be a need for theatres,of course you can stay home and watch a movie or just T.V.,but that is why its called going out.The prices may seem high and they are but that has always been said.When I worked for LOEWS in the seventies and tickets when fron $2.50 to $3.00 at night people bitched but they still came.They is still nothing like watching a movie in a theatre,people you say different must not ever go to the theatres,or do not know the difference.Just my thoughts.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 31, 2010 at 7:48 am

Right Again,but i rarely go.After 7 years in the business I find myself watching the theatre operation and not the movie.I have to go when hardly anyone is in the theatre.

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