The Movie Theater vs. The Couch: The War for Film
J Thoendell stashed this in Film
It does, however, cast an even longer shadow over the big question nobody really seems to want to answer: How badly do people want, and perhaps more importantly need, to see their movies in a theater? For years, the model has been shifting as streaming services have offered at least the early steps along a new path, one that sends films straight to the consumer and eradicates the middle men, at the cost of sacrificing the communal experience of the theater. Theaters all over the U.S. have been trotting out any number of new devices to attempt to combat this, from the aforementioned “IMAX” theaters to Dolby’s new Atmos sound system to electronic Barcaloungers in screening rooms to bars and restaurants in the theaters themselves. That last bit seems to be the most telling in examining audience preferences and theaters’ attempts to kowtow to them: to rouse themselves from the home, people have to be able to do an entire evening out in one shot. By letting people cut out the trip to the bar or to the restaurant across the parking lot, you cut out the chance that people could call it an early night and head home. Some may call that efficiency and savvy. Others, desperation.