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DVD killing Theaters? (Drive-In and Seated)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    This may be the wrong area to post such a survey question and if so, please move it to the right area...

    I loved going to the Drive-In theater as a kid and during their heyday of the 1950s, more than 5,000 existed across the United States. Now, fewer than 500 remain with many more closing each year. The death of those was attributed to both Television expanding hours and channels and Video Tape. Originally we had 3 channels - ABC, NBC, and CBS with one or two often ending broadcast at sunset! Then came UHF and expanded hours. Later came Beta and VHS video tapes that helped drive the last nails in the coffin.

    Now with DVD on the scene, people have stopped going to the Cinema Theater and rather spending less money buying DVDs while watching them in the comfort of their own home.

    Personally I still long to see a movie on the BIG screen and miss the drive-ins with their unique atmosphere. But figures don't lie and neither will ever be the same but still... how many people still support either drive-ins or cinemas today even though they are DVD aficionados?

    Eric
     
  2. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I most certainly believe there is NO substitute for seeing a movie on the big screen, in a theatre with an audience, as originally intended. Despite the convenience of Home Theater Viewing, it's simply not the same.

    I also feel badly about the demise of Drive-In Theatres, but to me that experience itself is from another time and era, and so are the films that used to play on Drive-In screens.
     
  3. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    I still frequent the theater for big event movies I want to see--this year alone will be Batman Begins, Fantastic Four and Episode III. There was a time last year I was going to the movies at least twice a month. As it is now, the last thing I saw at the cineplex was Polar Express and that's because it was at IMAX.

    There are things I intended on seeing in the theater--Finding Neverland, Robots--that I simply haven't gotten to yet. It's not a matter of not wanting to go; it's a matter of finding the time and another person/people to go with. Why trek out to the theater on a cold Michigan winter night when you can watch a movie with close friends in your living room where the popcorn costs $1.25 and no one is going to talk on their cell phone through the movie or laugh at a serious scene?
     
  4. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    The funny thing is, recently I had some friends at the house to watch films. The talking during the movie and their cell phones ringing during this one show were more constant and unrelenting than any theatre showing I'd ever seen in 40 years!
     
  5. Dick

    Dick Producer

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    Well, they're still erecting new multiplexes everywhere, and I have heard there is a small resurgence of drive-in theaters, so I don't think DVD is killing the market per se. I think, more than simply that DVD is out there, what is discouraging s lot of theater-goers and sending them running for home theaters are the piss-poor quality of the projected image in many venues (bad focus, lamps set at low settings) way-y-y above-reference DTS and Dolby sound, cell phones in theaters, obnoxious patrons, high ticket costs, etc. But there will always be an audience for terrible moron comedies and vacuous slasher films at cinemas.
     
  6. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    Now days, I see 99% of the movies I watch at home in my HT. I still go to the theater to see certain movies. For example, I will go to the theater to see Star Wars, War of the Worlds, Batman Begins, and Serenity. Pretty much everything else, I will wait for DVD.

    As far as Drive-in's are concerned, I feel no remorse for their demise. The picture quality was always sub-par, and the sound coming out of those tinny little "window boxes" was horrid.
     
  7. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Screenwriter

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    One of the reasons DVDs may be killing theatres is the price. You can buy a new DVD for $15. Meanwhile, for two people to see it in theatres, it is $9 or $10 each, so together, more than it would be to buy it. No wonder a lot of people wait. Not to mention Netflix, where for the price of that one movie you can get 15 rentals a month or so.

    Drive Ins were fun, but in my area, they have been pretty much dead since the mid 80's.

    I still try to see every movie I want to see in the theatres. But, especially with independent or foreign films where the theatres are absolutely awful (one speaker, torn up screen and seats, poorly projected), I can see why waiting for DVD may be the way to go.
     
  8. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Screenwriter

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    I'm 18, but I remember my parents packing up the car to go to the drive-in. It is one of the few happy memories of my child-hood, and it's depressing to know they're all disappearing.

    More money is being made in theaters than ever before. There's nothing that beats the theater experience. Example, I'm watching Welcome to the Dollhouse tonight with a bunch of friends. However, in less than a month it's playing in a theater in downtown NY... I'm going to that showing.
     
  9. clayton b

    clayton b Stunt Coordinator

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    Theaters are killing themselves, if you even believe that they are dying.

    I'll go to the good cineplex in town here. But I won't go to the other theater, no matter how good the film playing there is. They don't know how to focus their projectors, and the sound is crap. I'm not paying to see a mis-framed, poorly focused image and crappy sound. There's just too many crappy theaters like this. Even the good cineplex in my town has a couple of theaters with damaged sound systems, and probable lense problems (one quarter of the image is perpetually out of focus).

    If the quality was more consistent I think they'd have more business.
     
  10. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Rutgar...

    Ahhh, that was part of the atmosphere with Drive-Ins. The window speaker, 'B' movies, crushed gravel noise, greasy food, etc...

    You also have to remember that if you didn't live during those times, you just wouldn't understand the mystique and fun of going to one.

    Keep in mind that during the golden era of drive-ins you were watching Ozzie and Harriet on the old Philco black and white round tube television via rabbit ears [​IMG] You weren't spoiled by CD quality sound, digital prints, high def cable, and so on. Going to see a movie at the drive-in was usually a step UP in viewing pleasure and you could take the whole family on a budget. Today it is nostalgic.

    Eric
     
  11. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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    Sharing the theater experience with a group is something I don't really care to do any longer in my life. I've done it more than a few times over the last 5 years but it did nothing for me and most who attended seemed to be too loud and not to fun to be around. No thanks.

    Now a Drive-In....I'd go every weekend. IF they were showing older and cheesy horror films. And only becuse I can still close myself into my own little world and watch people from the inside. A Drive-In was both a show on screen and a show below it....but you could escape it a little. In a theater....you are either right behind, right in front of...or right next to....an idiot.

    I live right next to an old drive-in....it's now a soccer field and putt-putt golf.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Yeah, guess I'll stay home where everything is perfect.[​IMG]
     
  12. Pat Frank

    Pat Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope DVD/HT kills the movie theater industry because the movie theater industry (like the music industry) badly needs to die.

    Not the movie-going experience mind you, I'm all for that -- it's the ticket-selling industry I'm sick and tired of. Between ignoring rowdy patrons and dimming their bulbs and forgetting to turn on the digital sound system and everything else, at these ticket prices it simply has no place in today's world.
     
  13. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    clayton b

    Remember that not all Cineplex's are owned by national chains. I am sure there are quality issues there too but you have to have lots of money for the expensive equipment and upkeep on them as well as "trained" professional projectionists. Not just some Joe Blow off the street to make a quick buck. Also building upkeep, insurance, etc...

    Without patrons there aren't funds to do these things. They make do with what they got. I believe that theaters today are more of an escape than family fun so the quality doesn't really matter to the average patron as long as you have a couple of hours of serenity away from the daily grind and people you live and work with. How sad [​IMG]

    Eric
     
  14. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Except, of course, without it, there would be no home video industry. If it didn't play in theatres, it's a made-for-video movie or a lousy TV show and there's very little interest in it.
     
  15. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Todd

    What a wonderful observation!

    Fortunately you can get a lot of these 'B' horror and sci-fi flicks on DVD. Many are now in public domain and never had "official" releases yet can be found in sets like the 50-movie Megapacks from Treeline Video. The quality various tremendously but if this is the only way to get them, just simply enjoy! There has been a small surge of interest in drive-ins again and movies shown are now surfacing on DVD. The Midnite Movies series from MGM are some examples.

    Eric
     
  16. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    If DVDs are killing theaters then $9 tickets are its accomplices.[​IMG]
     
  17. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    I've found it odd that, here in Southern Maine, where the Drive-In season is so short, there are three drive-in theaters within a 45 minute drive from my home.

    When I was a kid in the 70's, there were four drive-ins, one was a twin, so there were five screens. We lost the twin. Then another closed for a couple of years, then reopened under different management. So, we've only lost the twin over all these years.


    I certainly do feel saddened. You go to a drive-in for the experience, not for the film. As for the sound, modern drive-ins broadcast over FM radio, so the window box is no longer an issue.

    -Scott
     
  18. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Must be that summer tourist thing. The Drive-In in Wellfleet Cape Cod is still open too. We used to have a Twin Drive-In near me. I barely remember being in pajamas in the back of the Country Squire wagon to see "Yellow Submarine" around 1969 or 70. I distinctly remember being there every Friday night the summer of my senior year in HS. It was the ultimate cheap date - $5 a carload, $5 for a pint of Barcardi and $1.50 for a 6-pack of coke. Just don't ask me what movies we saw.[​IMG]
     
  19. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Here in Virginia I think there may be 5 drive-ins within the whole state still operating, none in major cities.
     
  20. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Trying to keep this thread on track relating to DVDs... what are some of your favorite Drive-In movies which have made it or coming to DVD (not laser discs)?
     

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