Author Topic: Are Movie Theaters Dying?  (Read 7466 times)

Wolf Man

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Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« on: May 22, 2012, 11:12:59 PM »
I just read an article about a guy slapping a ten year old knocking out a tooth for misbehaving in Titanic 3D.  Apparently the guy asked him and his buddies to quiet down and they mocked him so he slapped the kid.  Of course he is in all kinds of trouble although if you ask me the kid probably deserved it. 

It made me think though, are movie theaters dying? 

I used to be an avid movie goer like most on here but not long ago I was charged ten bucks for a small drink and small popcorn.  I was in shock and not the good kind.  I could eat at a buffet for that price!  Popcorn became a favorite movie snack because it was cheap and could be sold cheap and I mean soda, well that is a very cheap drink when it comes from a fountain.  That experience truly demoralized me.  We all know that movie theaters gouge people through the eyeballs for drinks and snacks so that incident made me stop completely buying anything when I go to a movie.  But that is one of those things I enjoyed about going to the movies, having a favorite snack and drink while enjoying the film.  I also used to go see movies many times each.  I am ashamed to say that I saw Forest Gump over twenty five times in the theater during its first run.  I also saw Toy Story that many times perhaps even more.

Now, I carefully consider each movie I might want to attend to determine if I can wait to rent it from Red Box.  I used to live in movie theaters and now I am lucky to attend five in a year.  I used to see that many in a week.  Wife and I do rent a lot of movies from Red Box and every now and then I purchase one but theaters are getting my dollars only in extremely rare cases anymore.  I also don't enjoy the movies as much because of no snacks or drinks.  I refuse to be gouged anymore.

Another problem with theaters is that they will not expell someone for bad behavior. 

When I take the time to leave my seat, find and wait for a manager to meet me, take the time to explain what someone is doing like talking on the phone, texting, or letting their kid run amok in some cases in movies and at show times that kids should not be in,  Queen of the Damned comes to mind at the 8pm showing, then I expect those patrons to be asked to leave for my trouble.  Managers are cowards, and will usually only send a teenage usher in to "watch" them to make sure they don't do it again.  What good does that do?  I want vindication that the patron in question "knew" what they were doing, knew what the rules are and chose to break them anyway and then gets expelled for it.  Managers are not "cops" they don't have to "witness" the infraction.  Lord knows that once and usher is standing there the patron then won't do anything wrong because they are being watched.  Often times you see them with a smirk on their face because they know they got away with their bad behavior.  Isn't my word that "I" witnessed the behavior good enough, what am I a liar just trying to get someone thrown out because I am a sadist.  I mean, really? Really? 

If Managers would find the gumption to just ask them to leave and get a security guard to escort them out then we would all feel a sense of vindication knowing that people are going to have to behave or pay the price.   Managers are just too stupid to comprehend that the patrons they are loosing are us, those who attend movies constantly and have supported movies all our lives.  Kick out the riff raff and let those of us who know how to behave and have discipline sit back and enjoy the show. 

What happens far too often is they "offer" to refund us "our" money as if we are the problems.  What good does that do?  I am not refunded for my gas, my time and effort to leave the house, wait in lines and patronize their theater.  Those who misbehave should be expelled pure and simple and taught a lesson.  I would expell them without refund too for that added lesson. 

Also, here is another part of the equation.  Actors who demand 10 to 20 million dollars per picture.  Let me ask you, could an actor who gets paid only 1 million do just as good a job, maybe even better and still make a quality picture while saving the other 19 million or putting it to better use? 

I believe actors are pushing themselves out of jobs and destroying the movie industry.  Give me back the old days when studios had contract players.  They gave great performances, studios could make great films on a budget and entertain us. 

I am no film historian but weren't movie theaters a source of entertainment for the common man?  The rich folks went to shows on Broadway and other higher class theaters while the "common, working people" went to movies?  Wasn't that how it all got started? 

Now it seems that live performers are considered second tier or second rate while movie stars are the golden child's.  There are so many actors, yet undiscovered that are just as or more talented than so many in Hollywood, I mean Angelina Jolie, why is she so high paid?  They are all struggling to get there and would take so much less money to make movies, do just as good and deliver just as good or better performances.  I know, sure, they don't have the "name" for the box office draw but really, does that make "that" much difference.  If a movie saves literally millions on a cheaper actor then spends more of that money on "better" marketing (Dark Shadows) and better special effects or even a better script (Dark Shadows) then won't the industry fair better? 

Is it just me or do you all see the winds of change coming? 

Are theaters and perhaps even movies destined to end or at the very least have a revolution? 

In our lifetimes, do we see the end of this form of entertainment coming? 

I can only speak for myself and wife, that we now own one of the largest screen TVs, about to buy an even bigger one, have our own much more confortable seats, can view films in our own house, eat popcorn that costs less than a dollar or nachos, pizza or whatever other kind of food strikes our fancy, rent movies for a dollar, buy or own them from the five dollar bin, or enjoy our beloved classics, pause them when nature calls, or someone tries to sell us something we don't want, enjoy the movie with one of our sweet pets sitting on our lap with our most comfortable clothes and slippers on and get so much more out of the experience and entertainment than the theater can "ever" offer. 

Are theaters now obsolete because of that? 

I know I am not the only one who is opting for the best in home theater entertainment.  Plus, at home, I can play around with a lightsaber, phaser, Wolf Man or Frankenstein action figure or any other silly thing I want while watching my movie without being laughed at or ridiculed.  I can be a kid again for a few moments and regress to happier times when I did not have bills to pay or adult worries.  Isn't that what movie entertainment is supposed to be about? 

I believe, that even if Hollywood had a revolution and changed right now, over night, it may be too late.  We already own the big TVs, home theater dolby digital sound systems, have loads of DVD's in our collections and have tasted how sweet watching movies at home is over dealing with the riff raff who still go to movies just to cause trouble or can't afford the babysitters to leave the kids at home for grown up movies.  Maybe it is just too late. 

One last question, for those who like to speculate, what does our "future" hold for film entertainment?  Are we all going to be watching 3D, 4D or 6D holograms some day?  Or are we all going to be watching movies on our Ipods, or pads, whatever those are called?  Are we all going to have 100 inch TV's, real home theaters, are houses going to have theater rooms build right in like a living room or kitchen?  What does our "future" hold for us?
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Sly Wolf

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 11:51:13 PM »
Very true, I only go there few times each year and would rather watch old movies instead. petty much people going there are interested in seeing known actors and ignoring whole point of the movie or something. Worse of all, remakes, ugh.

Sad thing I do find old movies to be much more interesting to watch now instead of newer today movies, I'll rather spend my five bucks on DVDs or VHS tapes those days now.

However I still do enjoy some newer ones such as Kung Fu Panda 2, District 9, Rango, Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Hugo, and RED. I always stay away from remakes unless it's good for some reasons.
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Count_Zirock

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 04:27:20 AM »
In the past 5 years, I've seen exactly that many movies in theaters. It would've been as high as 8, but my mother has had health issues. I've seen "Star Trek," "The Dark Knight Rises," "Dark Shadows," "The Wolfman," and "Iron Man 2." I had wanted to see "Sweeney Todd" and a couple of others, but that was during a period when Mom needed almost round-the-clock care.
 
In the '70s & '80s, I probably went to the movies every other weekend-- around 26 movies a year. I started cutting back in the '90s. Saw maybe a movie a month. Had a job, my dad had had a stroke, etc, etc. When we first moved to NC from NJ in '99, I was down to maybe three movies a year. By 2005, it was probably just twice a year. Once my mom couldn't drive anymore, it became harder for me to find the time to "get away," even for a couple of hours.
Another problem is the medication I take for my blood pressure contains a diuretic. So, I can't sit through these 3+ hour epics without having to get up at least once to take a whiz. There aren't any intermissions anymore (last film I remember having an intermission was Roman Polanski's "Tess"), so I just wait for stuff like LOTR or PJ's "King Kong" to hit homevid. Also, that means no snacking or drinking during films anymore.
If the movies are depending on me to survive, well, THEY WON'T! But, they aren't making movies for me, anyway. They're making them for teens and twentysomething knuckleheads who text and Twitter and have to make sure they make a big scene about the simple act of plunking their a**es in some seats. That's why I either go to weekday matinees or the 10:30pm show on a school night.
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Howler

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 06:41:49 AM »
    I completely agree. i don't go nearly as much as I use to and I never buy anything from there no matter how hungry or thirsty I may be. Theaters were once very cheap and for the "common" person. That's how they survived during the great depression, they were air conditioned and were cheap enough that almost every one could still afford them. I also hate the fact about people that pay that much to get into the theater and then talk through the whole movie. Hey buddy i didn't pay money to listen to your dumb ass talk through the movie. Stay at home and talk. When I was in college i worked at a second run theater and we kicked people out that caused trouble. Too many people lost their back bones these days. Oh you don't want to lose them as customers? Well what about the twenty other people that were annoyed by them and had their movie outing ruined by them. Not to mention that most of the movies we are paying these high prices for are just average and mostly unoriginal.

 it's still early and I'm babbling now.
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Monster Bob

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 06:52:01 AM »


My main bitch is the new "digital film" format. Hell, my plasma big screen looks more film-like than what is being shown at the multiplexes anymore. Plus I can pause, go to the bathroom, and drink adult beverages freely and at will. Win win win!

MDG

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 07:44:39 AM »
I'm long-past the period when I have to see something as soon as it opens, but movie theaters will probably be around to fill the role they have since the 50s, which is basically a place kids can go to get out of the house on Friday night (before the TV age, it was more likely to be a mixed-age group and not just weekends).

Other than that, the fact that new movies are pretty much in constant release (theatrical, second run, DVD, cable, streaming) there's not much of an incentive to go out to the movies beyond the social event. The exception is when i go to Eastman House to see something rare or even an older movies I've seen before, but with an appreciative audience.
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Sean

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 08:48:20 AM »
All social outlets in public places are dying.  People are digging deeper into their cocoons.  I wonder what we'll be like in another 20 years.

Haunted hearse

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 08:57:18 AM »
I guess I'm in the minority here, as I take my Wife and Daughter once a week to the Carmike Cinemas in Wilson.  Last film I saw yesterday was the Avengers.  Wouldn't have been nearly as good seeing it at home on television.
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Moonshadow

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 09:45:14 AM »
I don't think there's any chance of theaters dying out, although I could see the number of theaters diminishing. We have a ton of theaters here in Phoenix and I've rarely seen a sold out show, regardless of the film. There's just too many to choose from. But then the whole city was over-built before the economic boom dropped.

I still enjoy seeing a film like Avengers on a big screen, with the Dolby sound and all. That being said, the general lack of courtesy evident in all aspects of life has certainly infiltrated the theaters too, and now we have to contend not only with people talking during a film, but with people texting during movies. If I see one more bright little phone screen during a film I may lose my mind.

That being said, we have a big screen TV, blu ray player, and our own popcorn machine, so watching DVDs at home is a major source of fun for us. As others have said, you can eat and drink whatever you want, dress how you want, and you don't have to put up with any fools. Almost as bad as the talking and texting in movie theaters are the people who douse themselves with perfume or cologne. WTH?

ParasiteHilton

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 10:21:18 AM »

My main bitch is the new "digital film" format. Hell, my plasma big screen looks more film-like than what is being shown at the multiplexes anymore. Plus I can pause, go to the bathroom, and drink adult beverages freely and at will. Win win win!

Not only that but I love sitting in the back row and hearing the "flicker" of the film projector. I am thankful there are some theaters around here that still show classics projected with film.
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Dr. Jitters

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 10:44:59 AM »

My main bitch is the new "digital film" format. Hell, my plasma big screen looks more film-like than what is being shown at the multiplexes anymore. Plus I can pause, go to the bathroom, and drink adult beverages freely and at will. Win win win!

Yes, that "win win win" for you is "lose lose lose" for theaters.  Not that I blame you, it's just the way it is with this technology/digital age.  It's just a fact of our times.

One of the message boards I read is for independent theater owners and they're going through tough times.  A bunch of theaters will close in the near future because they can't afford to convert to digital.  Already theater owners are having a tough time getting 35mm and it will quickly get worse.

For a long time the main profit for owners comes from the concession stand.  I don't knock them for charging higher prices.  It's how they pay their bills.  I don't go to the theater very often, so when I do I just enjoy the event with popcorn, soda and candy.

I figure that mom & pop theaters will have to adapt somehow, and they'll have to continue to focus on the younger demographic and young families.  There may be many great old theaters for sale very soon! 


Monster Bob

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 11:24:32 AM »
It's all good, because most of what I watch is the old stuff, which is very seldom shown in theaters (and  never in multiplexes) anyway.

We have a 60 year old theater near me, which is where I go to see the few new movies I want to see (they are still film, not digital, though they have the capability if needed). They charge $6/adult regularly, $5 on Sunday. Why on Earth would I go anywhere else?! They do from time to time show "classic oldies" for little (like $1) or nothing. That's when I go nuts at the snack bar, figuring they have bills to pay. Last summer at a fest they showed Elvis Presley's GIRL HAPPY free as a Sunday matinee. There were maybe 20 people in the theater. It was AWESOME, to say the least.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 11:28:38 AM by Monster Bob »

Flower

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012, 11:28:21 AM »
I love movie theaters ..

LONG MAY THEY REIGN!

But I would love lower popcorn prices ... ;D
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Hepcat

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 11:49:40 AM »
I agree with Flower. I still love going to the movies. I've cut way back on the popcorn and other treats though because of the egregious prices theatres charge these days.

What I really miss are the old neighbourhood theatres. The massive cineplexes these days just aren't my style. I also miss the weekly newsreels on the big screen. And drive-ins too which I take it are a dying breed.

 :(
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 06:06:19 PM by Hepcat »
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Wolf Man

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2012, 02:07:39 PM »
Dr. Jitters - "For a long time the main profit for owners comes from the concession stand.  I don't knock them for charging higher prices.  It's how they pay their bills.  I don't go to the theater very often, so when I do I just enjoy the event with popcorn, soda and candy."

I understand where you are coming from on this, however, let me add that since there are other problems that have diminished audiences, movie theaters have decided to gouge those remaining patrons enormously.  Profits they used to make in volume they are now trying to make on those few devoted souls left who still patronize their theaters.  You can't do that.  You are making those loyal to theaters pay for their dreadful mismanagement to stay open. 

What they need to do is lower their prices, take care of those who misbehave, offer special showings of older movies, have Saturday festivals with not only older films but also add cartoons and other special programs like newreals to spruce things up and then weather the storm.  In time, "maybe" the audiences will come back and they can then make their money on volume again instead of gouging. 

If they don't do that then with more expensive digital projectors, less people attending, less people seeing films multiple times, less people buying concessions, less people coming due to misbehaving others it is only a matter of time they will have to face the music and close down.

In my humble opinion they need to change quickly and drastically to save their industry now or it may already be too late.
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