Saying Goodbye to Cinemas

Are movie theaters a thing of the past? Netflix, Redox and Hulu make watching movies easy and cheap, and movie theaters have continued to drive up their prices in the last few years.

Movies generally talk at least a month or so to come out on DVD, and most people are willing to wait just to save money. I am certainly one of those people, and I know many others. When a new movie comes out, I watch the Redbox website consistently. I scan Netflix’s new releases section for the movies and shows I want to see, but I refuse to pay the high prices of movie tickets and heavily buttered, albeit delicious, popcorn buckets.

The online presence of movies and television shows, though sometimes illegal, has gained popularity in the past few years as well. Even YouTube channels sometimes post movies in strings of fteen-minute videos in playlists. I’ve noticed movies going up on websites before they have been out in theaters for a week, and the quality of these movie recordings is not unbearable.

So, with all the cheap and free options for those who enjoy watching movies in the privacy of their own homes, why would anyone venture out to a movie theater?

Some argue that the atmosphere and nostalgia of being in a theater with other people who share your interests is worth the money. The national average of movie ticket prices is $8.61, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The average minimum wage worker makes less than that an hour. I’d rather pay the $2 fee for Redox’s renting service than spend $8 on a movie any day.

The novelty of visiting a movie theater will eventually wear off; it will be overcome by people’s desire to stay comfortable in their own homes. Introversion is becoming a bigger side effect of having a large digital world. This introversion has encouraged a rise in internet use for activities that used to take place outside the home. Eventually, seeing a movie that has just premiered will join the list of people’s digital activities.

Someday, I believe movie theaters will be phased out, just like drive-in theaters. I expect there to be a rise in sites where movies are released and sold to customers who can download or stream them. The inevitable switch to digital experiences is already apparent in literature; novelists are turning rst to e-Books when they look for places to publish their work. CDs have mostly been replaced by digital downloads of songs, and DVDs are slowly being replaced by downloads of movies.

In this natural progression, we can expect to see movies that were previously shown rst in theaters to movies that are available online. The movie could be released at midnight for viewers to purchase and stream, and someday they will probably be immediately available to download. Instead of pre-ordering tickets to go to the movie’s premiere, viewers could pre-order tickets to stream the movie.

The switch from physical movie theaters to digital ones would likely not only be more popular, but it would also be cheaper.