Death of the movie theater?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by todd stone, May 10, 2002.

  1. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    I want to bring up a few things:

    1: We all know movies get pirated and are now in full force on the internet, example star wars a WEEK before it's theatrical release. Spiderman is another example. Sure they are crappy CAM movies but still....

    It is no wonder no one can justify upgrading to digital projectors like lucas and sodenberg (sp) etc want to. The future of the movie theater is going to be a thing of the past, just like the drive in theater. Why? Here's why:

    a: People will be downloading movies off the internet *which i do not condone* and sit comfortably in their house without having to spend $90 on food and drinks

    b: People will not have to put up with annoying patrons in a theater when they can sit at home with a movie and disregard all of this

    c: Movie theaters will have to start frisking people for cameras etc, which MANY people will not tolerate.

    I fear the movie theater as we know it will soon change or be gone altogether. Sad, but very true.
     
  2. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I disagree. Most people consider going to the movies a social event. Heck, since I moved to CT, it is the only place (beside the mall) where I see decent looking women! [​IMG]
    Watching movies at home just doesn't feel the same.
    Remember: People don't see movies the same way we do. They will not be turned off by annoying patrons enough to swear off movies. The annoying patrons are them. [​IMG]
    --
    Holadem
     
  3. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    I will disagree on the fact that I myself, 26 yrs old cannot stand going to the theater anymore and much prefer being at home where I have a great sound and video system
     
  4. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    They said the same things when radio and, later, television came on the scene.

     
  5. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I disagree also. I don't foresee the movie theater going away anytime soon. The drive-in theater is virtually dead, yes, but that's because its been replaced with walk-in and sitdown theaters we know today. The design of the theater has changed but the concept itself has remained. In the future a similar thing may happen, like their may be small screening rooms, or dinner served during the movie, or whatever. In fact I think I've heard reports of some theaters that are experimenting with such services. All in all, though, the theater is here to stay.

    I don't have anything (yet) that would be considered a home theater so I still rely on the theater to see something on a large screen with decent sound. I'm wagering that the average person does not have a HT either or else the Pan n scan/widescreen debate would be non-existent.

    The vast majority of people on the internet are still using dialup. Most people still struggle with getting their email and going to cnn.com they don't have the knowledge nor inclination to seek something out like a 200MB pirated copy of some movie. These people will still see it in the theater or wait until its available for rent.

    I also agree with Holadem. These people *are* the annoying people. I highly doubt they get annoyed at the person sitting next to them rattling candy around because they're too busy chatting on their cell phone or whispering to their friend to notice.

    As for the camera thing, this isn't related to movie theaters at all. There are many places and things you cannot film or even take still photographs such as various concerts, museums, etc. Theaters will deal with these people the same way they have been dealing with them for years.

    The theater is here to stay.
     
  6. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I don't see the theater dying, at least not now. If this were so, Harry Potter and Spider-Man wouldn't have have broken the first weekend gross set by earlier movies like the Phantom Menace. It will thrive for a while to come. I'm sure people thought the theater was gonna die out when TV became mainstream, VHS and other video formats became popular, and all the other competiters came about. Theaters lived through all that and is still thriving. So no I don't think it'll die out just yet.
     
  7. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I look forward to the day when we can download new releases directly from the movie studios for a moderate fee (like pay per view). I prefer my HT to 99% of the commercial theaters out there. The theaters in my area aren't that bad... I just hate paying to watch advertisements before a film (not talking about trailers).
     
  8. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    The theater has been declared dead so many times it's becoming hard to take the declarations seriously. As for piracy being a concern, it's a threat against every delivery method, not just theaters - heck, not even primarily theaters.

    People go to the theater for more than that which can be pirated. Much of the audience can't replicate the technical specs at home or have other aesthetic reasons for preferring film; I've got a decent HT, but still hit the theater four or five times a week as opposed to renting movies - I don't have a two-story screen at home and like the enveloping feeling, for instance, and pristine film looks better than pristine video (but let's not get into that again).

    Also, going to a movie is a cheap evening out - not many other activities that give you that "alone together in a crowd" feeling so economically, whether you're with a date or friends.
     
  9. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  11. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    If the top of the line HT equipment we have access to has not killed commercial theaters, I don't think crummy bootlegs watched on a computer monitor will do it [​IMG]
    I, and people like me, who think the rude audiences and high prices outweight the "big screen experience" will continue to do as we always have: Rare visits to the theater, usually to see the big "event" films. The rest, we'll watch at home when it comes out on DVD.
    Those who love the moviegoing experience, will continue to go as frequently as ever, and would laugh at the notion of watching a crappy bootleg when a 50' screen with stadium seating becons [​IMG]
    Lastly, the leeches who think that "if it's on the net, it is free," will continue to pirate movies. Luckily the two categories above still outnumber them [​IMG]
    Don't worry about commercial theaters, they're here for the long haul. Piracy will become a bigger issue as connection speed increases and digital projection grows, but the war will be won.
     
  12. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    IMO, seeing a movie in a theater instead of on TV is like attending a concert instead of hearing the CD.

    It's a great experience!

    Now...the big problem is that the setting is great, but the product is very hit and miss now. I only attended 4 films in 2001 whereas I attended 9 in 2000, and even more prior to that.

    I think the studios should make 2003 (100th anniv of The Great Train Robbery) a re-release year by only re-releasing classic films.

    Hey, I'll gladly take American Graffiti over American Pie 3!
     
  13. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    It DOES depend which theater you go to though- I went to a UA theater to see the last "Snow White" reissue since Disney had still said it would NEVER be on video, and I was treated to a scratched and misframed print with the sound turned down too low, along with some kids making noise. I bought the laserdisc when it came out and enjoyed it infinitely more than at this so-called theatrical experience.

    My biggest complaint right now is many new theaters have screens that are simply too small to justify going out and paying $8.75 to watch.
     
  14. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    ~Edwin
     
  15. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    I have a great HT setup at home but there is nothing like that huge screen at the theater. I enjoy seeing movies at the theater and that won't end.

    I will admit that I don't go at night anymore but it wasn't because of a bad experience. My lifestyle changed when my son was born and now weekend shows during the day are when my wife and I go. I suspect that this might have to do with the lack of annoying people I've come across. It's a very different crowd during the day.
     
  16. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, I don't think the movie theater will be going anywhere. The main reason being is that it is the only thing to do in most small towns throughout the country. My town is a prime example, if it weren't for the theater, which is very vintage I might add, there wouldn't be jack squat to do on a Friday night, accept maybe hang out at a bar. I do wish that the Drive-In theater's numbers hadn't declined though, we used to have one about 15 years ago and it was a blast, a real wild time. However, there still is one about 30 miles away.

    I think a lot of the people who download and watch bootlegged movies are just broke geeks who don't have the money to spring $50 on a movie. The Internet is here and there are always going to be advancements on ways to use it. So, as long as there is media that you can watch or listen to, then there is going to be bootleging, simple as that. It's a harsh lesson that the entertainment industry is going to have to swallow and the only way for them to stop it is to stop making media.
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  18. Tim Kilbride

    Tim Kilbride Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm pretty mixed on this one...when the wife and I were dating (15 years ago), we had a multitude of smaller theaters throughout the city to pick from...you kinda found the ones you liked (ie good sound, etc) and we frequented those often. You had a choice of where and when to see a movie. But here lately (New Orleans), they put up 5 large megaplexes in the past 3-4 years and literally ran all of the smaller operations out of business. Not one independent theater is open. Now it's EXTREMELY long lines @ 10-12 bucks a pop for tickets...basically a teen hangout, and you know what that leads to in the movie itself (chatterchatter). The parking lots are so large and full, they actually have trams running throughout...just like Disney!!! They do show the newer movies on multiple screens, but they don't stagger the times. It has basically turned me off going out for the movies, which we did on a regular basis. Not to mention the cost of the basics...popcorn, coke, cookie, or maybe a cup of coffee can well exceed $25 for a couple (not including the original price of the tickets).
    Over the years, I too have built a 'higher-end' dedicated theater here in the house, and would much prefer to stay home and do the movie thing here...for what it would cost me to take the wife to the show, I just buy the DVD (10-19 bucks per). Over a three year period, you would be surprised how many DVD's you can accumulate, just buying one a week. You can also get some great deals @ Blockbuster on previewed DVD's. We invite friends over often, watch some of the larger sporting events with my dad (I'm 34 but still like the quality time with my dad) or just curl up on the couch with one of the cats and enjoy Das Boot or Thirteen Days...
    Life is good...especially when it's simple!!!
    But I don't see the megaplexes going away anytime soon...the kids need someplaces to go at night...just not my house.
    My perception,
    Thanks [step off of soapbox now]
    Tim K.
    [​IMG]
    God, I sound like a grumpy old fart!!!! Help me!?!?!?!
     
  19. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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    I got one for you:
    Movie Theaters are Killing the Movie!
    Video killed the Radio Star, and Napster destroyed the recorded music industry (GASP!)
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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