Movie Crowds Stay Away. Theaters Hope It’s Not for Good.

Cinemas, already contending with streaming services, are now facing the prospect of no audiences and no new films because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Comments: 20

  1. Although the decline of movie theaters has been the trend and only accelerated with the proliferation of streaming services there is a human cost to society. We are social beings getting when not batteling a virus going to a movie, whether with a friend or family is healthier than staying at home. A nation of couch potato will lead to an even lonelier and more obese nation.

  2. The movies are now reduced to being focused group boring sagas. That and super hero movies Can’t we get some edge back?

  3. In 1958 - when I was seven years old - my mother took me to the movies one day, here in New York City -- The movie was a swashbuckling adventure titled "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" (1958) -- But - the movie theater to where my mother took me was The Roxy -- The Roxy Theatre was a 5,920 seat movie theater located at 153 West 50th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, just off Times Square in New York City. It opened on March 11, 1927 with the silent film The Love of Sunya, produced by and starring Gloria Swanson. The huge movie palace was a leading Broadway film showcase through the 1950s and was also noted for its lavish stage shows. It closed and was demolished in 1960." To this day -- I still hold dim childhood memories of sitting in this unimaginably-massive theater - watching this wonderful movie on a gigantic screen - and somehow being aware of other people in the theater sitting very far away - on the opposite side -- Nineteen years later - in June of 1977 - I went with one of my roommates to Times Square - where we saw "Star Wars" on the day it opened - also on a gigantic screen in a huge theater -- There is nothing which can match the experience of seeing a wonderful movie on the "Big Screen" -- Unfortunately - the experience of movie-going has changed considerably since the days of The Roxy...

  4. @Howard G Maybe if people would stop talking out loud, using their phones and being generally an obnoxious nuisance all during the 'movie', this would not be an issue. If you are dong all that, why are you at the theater? Double, no triple that for 'live music' events. This is why I do not go, impossible to get lost in even a good movie. This has gone on since the advent of the cellphone. Tickets are also pushing $20.00 for this privilege.

  5. @Stephen Csiszar. I totally agree that rude patrons are ruining the movie experience. My other pet peeve is the length of the "coming attractions." I've been in theaters where the coming attractions have run 20-25 minutes. Outrageous. If a movie is advertised to start at 8pm, that's when it should start. Maybe they should put the coming attractions at the end for those who really want to see them.

  6. No movie escapes. Darn! Netflix, etc, at home is ok, but not like a theater, for sure. We cannot get that wonderful soothing theater popcorn scent - no matter how we try,

  7. TV was going to kill the movies, then color TV was going to do it, then the demise of the studio system, then the corporate takeover of the biz, then 9/11, then the cost of digital conversion, then streaming, etc. Yet the industry has survived all these challenges over the past, while many retail electronic outlets and concerns like Blockbuster have faded into obscurity. I guess the movies industry is just "too big to fail"?

  8. I saw "The Hunt" yesterday. The (only) other person in the theater and I sat far apart. A small Coke was still $6.25. How about cutting prices to lure folks in?

  9. For me, going to the movies now is a much less enjoyable experience than it was many years ago. Good manners are in shorter supply, and the other theatergoers seem oblivious to the way they are negatively affecting the experiences of those around them.

  10. Kudos to Universal Studios who just announced early release to streaming of top movies in theaters so we can enjoy these movies safely at home. This is a good deed and hope other studios will be of like mind.

  11. Nothing like seeing a movie on a huge screen, what’s not so great is the average Americans occupying the other seats. I remember seeing “A Hard Days Night” and could not hear anything for all the little girls screaming. Seeing “A Space Odyssey” on the other hand was amazing in a theatre during it’s first run.

  12. In Cinerama!

  13. I love watching movies on a big screen....but most of the movie theaters in NYC are filthy, despite forcing multitasking minimum wage staff to clean, take tickets, etc. Filthy. That's why I watch movies from home. And it's too bad.....they did this to themselves. My behavior won't change, nor will my opinion. I'll never be coming back.

  14. In the absence of big-screen movie releases this spring, keep your mind alive by imagining that all the postponements are because the decks are being cleared for the arrival of space aliens.

  15. I suspect that when this is all over people will be eager to get out of their homes to see a movie again. Never underestimate the power of Cabin Fever.

  16. @Maria A. I see what you did there.

  17. As soon as they reopen, I will resume going to Film Forum, with its superb programming and the best popcorn in New York, and to the bizarre Anthology Film Archives, and to IFC, the places that don't show boring cookie-cutter Hollywood stuff. As it is with concerts, going to a good movie, sitting in the dark with a bunch of strangers and a screen up in front is a magical experience that you can't replicate at home.

  18. @Sidewalk Sam Don't forget Lincoln Center, Museum of the Moving Image, or Metrograph!

  19. @Jonathan That's a good point, I shouldn't have limited myself to some of the ones I can walk to.

  20. As a millennial, I try to stay out of theatres as much as possible because streaming services. This article is correct about that. For special showings though, movies and performances that are released internationally, I do go and see those only these days. The Marvel movies, bad Disney remakes, the Star Wars, and the occassional horror film, I don't even go and see these movies. In this case, I am not your stereotypical millennial that likes seeing this same stuff that Hollywood keeps churning out over and over again. I will however go see Pixer films though because each movies' story is different and unique unlike the other Hollywood stuff that gets green-lighted every year now. Hollywood needs to start "taking risks" again because if they don't, they will see none of this millennial's money to see their future films in the near and far future.