Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Death of Movie Theaters?

Contrary to popular belief, it won't be the Blockbusters, Netflix & movies-on-demand that kill the American movie theater.  It will be the ever increasing prices.  It was 11:30 am on Veteran's Day.  In an unusual confluence of events, we were all three home and wanting to go see a movie.  Disney's Christmas Carol @ 12:30?  Well, I thought it was still a bit early in the season, but there wasn't exactly a glut of family-friendly films out at the moment, so I was in.  Taking my customary trip through the MovieWatcher's site, I dialed us in for three tickets - two adults and one child.  $45?  Really?  $45 just to get in the door, to watch a 90 minute film?  And that's not even with snacks!

I love movies.  LOVE them, just like my Dad does.  I love the insane, all-consuming volume.  I love the comfy seats, and the fact that I can put the chair arms up and sit cross-legged or with my knees pulled up.  I love the popcorn - even the faux butter that tops it.  I love everything about the experience.  When I was a kid, my parents used to take us to movies with great frequency.  In fact, there was a period when we would see how many nights in a row we could manage.  It does seem like there must have been a lot of great films back then, given that we managed an 8-night streak at one point in the early 70's.  Then again, I was a kid.  What the hell did I know?  I grew up watching movies like Kelly's Heroes, Tora Tora Tora, Gone With the Wind, The Magnificent Seven, Sometimes a Great Notion, every Disney live action film made, and all the Clint Eastwood westerns.

So when I decide NOT to take my family to a film on a lazy Monday afternoon, it's significant. Because I also love sitting at home with my family, with a lovely dinner or bowl of homemade popcorn slathered in butter, and watching movies-on-demand on the 61 inch TV.  And if I have to choose between the two, which I would dearly prefer not to, I will choose home, where a movie costs $1 to $6 for as many folks as I can cram into the living room and the food costs me nothing, where I can pause the movie to run to the restroom after my third glass of water, beer, or whatever else the film calls for, and where I can sit comfortably on my couch with the dog nearby.

Just sayin...

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