Movie review: The new reality of movie theatres

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The experience of attending movie theaters has drastically changed over the course of the last year. We cannot simply walk through the door of a theater or take in the smell of buttery popcorn anymore, let alone sit down and enjoy a movie with friends. 

Due to the pandemic, movie theaters nationwide had to shut down, causing the box office to drop by millions of dollars. The pandemic forced directors to cancel movies or push back release dates, leading many in the movie industry to lose their jobs. In fact, Hollywood alone lost 110,000 jobs. On top of that, the global film industry has lost seven billion dollars in revenue since March 2020. 

Slowly, movie theaters nationwide have started to reopen. However, they are not the same as they were before the pandemic. Following the CDC guidelines, attendees are required to social distance in theaters while wearing masks throughout the movie showing. Even with theaters reopening, many people are hesitant to go see a movie in person. Junior Raquel Mulakandov said, “Right now, I would not be comfortable going to theaters. I feel like it would not be safe. Also, it would not be the same experience as before the pandemic.” On the other hand, some students think with proper social distancing they would be comfortable going in person. Freshman Wiktoria Sadowska said, I think if they minimized the number of people allowed in each room and socially distanced it I would be comfortable going to see a movie.”

Since the start of the pandemic, other movie-viewing experiences such as drive-in theaters have begun to grow in popularity. Drive-in theaters allow for people to follow safety guidelines from the comfort of their own cars. Sophomore Amanda Nakhul said, “Drive-in theaters give you an experience in a way regular sit-in theaters could never. I really enjoyed going, and recommend it to anyone who misses watching movies outside of their homes.”

Not to mention, there has been a large growth in the popularity of streaming services since the start of the pandemic. For prices as low as ten dollars a month, families can watch all the movies they want from the comfort of their own homes. Many Harrisites rely on streaming services for their movie fix. Sophomore Angelina Mccabe said, “I learned to take advantage of online streaming services. [With] Netflix and HBO Max, it’s really convenient to watch stuff at home. Also, I can use services like Teleparty which allows me to watch stuff with my friends.”

However, the students of Townsend Harris feel that online streaming services can not replace the typical movie theater experience. Freshman Abbiegale Daljeet said, “I use streaming services to watch movies at home. However, I don’t necessarily think that an at-home watch can replace a typical theater experience. You can come close to it, but it’ll never be the real thing. There won’t be that distant smell of popcorn or movie theater carpet. No journey up to your seat, no intermission ads. No anticipation and no audience reactions. You can get friends and recreate the experience but never replace it. It’ll never be the exact same.”

Image from Pixabay