Point of View
UNITED STATES—I’ll be the first to admit I’m an avid moviegoer, but lately I’ve seen myself going to the movies less and less. Could it be perhaps that there is a lack of quality movies out? Not really. It’s more of an issue with the movie-going experience. The price to go to the movies is costly. The movie ticket alone for one person can range anywhere from $10-$15 depending on where you live. Now imagine it’s a date or a family of four; you’re talking about $75-$100 if you factor in making a stop at the concession stand.
Some may not be aware, but most theaters earn nearly all of their revenue from the concession stand; that’s why the prices are so high. For me, whenever I go to the theater, it’s always been a staple of mine to have a soda; no matter what, I always have to have a soda. I'm not that big on the popcorn, as most of the time it’s a bit stale in my opinion, but even now I’ve seen myself scale back on that. The best time to catch a flick is during a matinee, and who truly has the time for that if you’re always working (which is the majority of us during the daytime).
My biggest gripe is that the appeal of going to the movies has vastly changed over the past decade. The movie experience used to be exciting, fun, and something families enjoyed doing on a Friday night. With the cell phone that experience has turned into a nightmare. Patrons just can’t seem to turn their phones off and it’s so disruptive to a picture. Some people will actually engage in a full blown conversation without even taking into consideration everyone else in the theater.
Not only do we have to deal with ringing phones, but now we have texting. People just do not realize how annoying it is to see a bright light when you’re trying to watch a movie in a dark theater. Is the text really that important? My biggest issue is parents dragging children under the age of 12 to see R-rated flicks, especially films not suitable for them. If you don’t have a babysitter, unfortunately, you should stay at home. It’s not fair to ruin the picture for everyone else.
With all due respect, I do not see the movie theater experience as completely dying, but with the ever-growing trend in technology in which more and more people are equipping their homes with home theater systems; that technology brings the movie experience to you. So unless it’s some epic picture like “The Dark Knight” or “The Avengers,” people are willing to wait for the movie to arrive on Blu-Ray or Netflix. My hope is that in the next year or so, audiences will see a vast change in the movie experience. I still can’t believe to this day Alfred Hitchcock prevented patrons from entering the theater after his thriller “Psycho” started. The crazy thing is I now understand why; he didn’t want to disrupt the experience for the rest of the audience because of one bad apple.
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