In tandem with my last post about “Let’s All Go to the Lobby”, I feel there is a significant shift happening currently that mimics some of the same effects of television in the 1950s. What would movie theatres do today if no one graced their lobbies to buy a ticket? While I don’t think the move theatre industry is suffering by any means, I do see potential problems for the future.
Currently, 3D films are in vogue, much like the 1950s. In fact, 3D is so common that I crave for the day when there is no 3D option. The whole platform feels like a gimmick. There is nothing quite like enhancing the theatre experience, but sometimes I just want to watch a film without it reaching out to touch my nose. The platform also bumps up the cost of going to the movies without paying well over $10 for a movie ticket (gotta cover the glasses they urge viewers to recycle — makes sense). If you want popcorn or coke, that’s another $10 per person, if you’re not sharing. Families drop well over $50 to attend a film. In my mind, there has to be a breaking point where people realize it’s much cheaper to rent films as they come out or subscribe to Netflix for $8 a month.
Netflix is a detriment to theatres and movie rental stores. When I worked at an entertainment superstore, I was not allowed to discuss Netflix in a positive light — although, I had Netflix and enjoyed its contents immensely. They have a huge database for instant streaming and an even larger collection of DVDs to be shipped to your doorstep. Again, why leave the house? No sweater required and you don’t have to risk sneaking in your own snacks. Netflix is also creating its own shows and content. While the budget is limited to television shows, I wonder how soon it will be before they create films for those locked into subscriptions to their streaming and mailing service.
I believe the movie theatre industry will never lose the nostalgia and meaningful relationship between the theatre and moviegoers… but I see a future problem with technology becoming more and more available at our fingertips. Will there be another box office slump? What is the next solution?