Accelerating Culture

Are Movie Theatres Dying Out?


If you look closely at the majority of progression in technology today, you will see a common theme: stay at home.

On a Monday morning, you sluggishly walk into your kitchen, only to remember that you had made the last of your coffee over the weekend. Instead of putting on your coat and changing out of your bunny slippers, you open up your FoodOra app. With the click of a few buttons, a 15-minute wait, and a small transaction later, you have a steaming take away cup-o’-joe delivered directly to your door. Not in the mood to make dinner? SkipTheDishes will take care of that for you. Finally, it’s Friday and there’s nothing more that you would rather do, than sit back and watch a movie. So you settle down on the couch and scan through the New Releases section on Netflix.


But does this translate to the cinema’s dying out? An article written by World Finance in 2015 analyzed the financial success of the box office, and reported that, “this year the industry is on track to earn $40 billion, a new worldwide box office record, which indicates that the public is still very much in love with the cinema.”

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People talk about how Video on Demand is able to bring movies to your television instantly. Will this make people less likely to continue going to the movies? According to National CineMedia, “members of this generation are 50% more likely to claim movies as a passion. They are also most likely to buy tickets ahead of time, and nearly 90% aim to arrive at the theater early”.

The option to enjoy new releases from the comforts of your home is no doubt more convenient. However, there are things that the theatres offer you, that your own private screening can’t.

A group of people laughing together simultaneously triggers a feeling that you should laugh too; during a suspenseful moment, you can feel dozens of strangers suck in their breath together. Instead of talking out loud about Matthew McConaughey’s abs, you and your friends are forced to speak in wordless visuals: an eyebrow raise, a side smile, an arm grab.Lizzie Plaugic, The Verge

Going to a movie theatre is a physical event. One that tells your mind and body that you are there to watch a movie and to do nothing other than be present and enjoy a night out. When you choose to stay home and watch Netflix instead, not only are you missing out on the chance to sit in an engineered, inclined seat and watch on a big screen, you are saying no to an escape, an event, a full on outing.

“It’s tempting to think that sitting in a dark theater staring at a massive white sheet won’t matter when everyone has 40-plus-inch 4K TVs, but scale has a unique ability to sweep you away. You get pulled into the sound and color in a way that you don’t feel when you’re sitting on your couch at home.” Kwame Opam, The Verge

The Creation of Cineplex

It has only been 11 years since the opening of the first Cineplex movie theatre. At the time, all of Ellis Jacob’s colleagues told him that people wouldn’t abandon the comfort of their homes, and VHS movies to bring themselves to one of his theatres. 134 theatres, and 1,449 screens later, he convinced them otherwise.

“Cineplex’s business momentum seems impervious to an economy that remains stubbornly stuck in neutral.”The Globe and Mail

Not only are movie theatres expanding, but the whole concept is evolving. Going to the theatres includes a whole variety of entertainment options, from accumulating Scene Points, to the food court styled concession stands, with popcorn to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Even the advertisements are now interactive and invite you to play games and win prizes. And all of this, before the movie you came to see has even begun.

It’s a Wrap

No matter how attractive convenience may seem, the temptation to laze around and watch a movie at home is not strong enough to replace the tradition of going to the movies. Andrew Arnold, a writer for Forbes magazine commented, “It’s clear that streaming services have found a major audience in Millennials. However, that doesn’t mean that cinema is down for the count. In its own way, each provides something that Millennials crave”. Companies like Cineplex are always evolving the way that we experience the movies. Thus giving us more reason to get off of the couch and head to the theatres.

As long as Hollywood can continue to produce compelling and entertaining content the audience will be there,” Jeffries said. “Everyone needs a little time in their life to escape for just a little while and movies are still the best way to accomplish that.” –Desert Sun


Jakob Owens



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