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.