April 23 - Movie Theatre Day

Posted on April 23, 2020

There's theatre and theater.

The -er spelling is preferred in the U.S. to mean both:
  • the place where people see plays and movies, and 
  • the art of acting and staging dramas and comedies.
The -re spelling is preferred in Britain and former British Empire nations to mean both of these things. Also, theatre people apparently prefer this spelling, too.

Then there's theater theaters (as in live productions) and movie theaters / cinema theaters (as in films).

Probably there was once a time when live-action plays AND movies were shown in the same place, but generally the needs of live theater are very different than the needs of a movie theaters, so these entertainments have different spaces now. 

And the multiplex - a place with two or more screens, with regular or stadium seating for each screen - started in the 1960s. Now we have the megaplex - a complex with a LOT of screens. Like there's a megaplex near me that has 30 screens - it can show 30 different movies at one time!! Wow!


All of these theatres and theaters, live-action theaters and movie theaters are closed down, right now, because of COVID-19.

Movies that would ordinarily be seen in theaters can be seen on specially-priced streaming services, which is good, because otherwise a lot of wonderful movies that cost a lot of money to make and that a lot of people worked really hard on wouldn't be seen at all!
Now, here's the question:

Given the fact that large-size, very clear TVs are much more affordable and therefore much more common in homes...
...and the fact that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are pretty ubiquitous (which means seen EVERYWHERE)...

...will movie theaters survive the global pandemic?

I don't know the answer to that question, but here's my best guess: some of the current movie theaters will go under, never to recover, but others will come back into use after scientists "beat" COVID-19 and lockdowns are lifted, and at least a few of the theaters will continue to be movie theaters, but they will be converted to homes for viewing indie films or art flicks or other specialties.

Some people just love to watch movies when they're the newest. When they've heard zero spoilers and precious few reviews, when they can eat giant containers full of buttery popcorn and hear other audience members reacting while they're reacting.

Other people have never been all that much into watching movies in theaters. One friend finds it hard to stay awake in a darkened theater, so she calls movies "very expensive naps." Some people just prefer to stay home, warm and cozy, with inexpensive, more delicious or at least more nutritious food and as many bathroom breaks as they want. I think it takes all kinds, and both kinds of people will continue to exist, and both kinds of movie-watching (in theaters and streaming) will continue to exist.


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