Over the past seven months, a global pandemic has swept the world, leaving millions sick and a little over a million people have died. The world has taken a large economic hit, but no place has had it as bad as the United States. Due to a combination of incompetent leadership and careless civilians, the pandemic has swept through the country killing over 200,000 people and decimated our economy. As a result many businesses have gone under and millions have been left unemployed. Movie theaters are also hanging on for dear life as the pandemic continues to ravage the United States.
As someone who works at a theater, I have seen, firsthand, how the pandemic has effected things like attendance and movie variety. As expected during a pandemic, overall attendance has dropped significantly and there really aren't any new films being released to draw people in. The low attendance has scared away the larger Hollywood films that need a large box office draw to make them profitable. With both a virus and lack of new movies keeping people away, theaters are struggling just to keep their doors open.
It also doesn't help that many of the films that would have been released in theaters have also been released on various streaming sites. This was done so Hollywood could still release many of their finished films and make up some of the lost profit through streaming. While this was a safe way to release films during a pandemic, it left theaters with almost nothing to release when they reopened. Theaters are now struggling to make ends meet by releasing older films at half the price of newer releases.
Since overall attendance for theaters has taken a massive nosedive, concession profits have nosedived as well. Some people also don't want to risk catching coronavirus by having to remove their masks in the theater, so they just avoid the concession stand entirely. This is really bad news for theaters since a majority of the theaters revenue comes from concession sales rather than ticket sales. While all of these concerns are perfectly understandable and reasonable (especially during a deadly pandemic) it has left almost all theaters in a hard spot.
Many theater chains are re-closing due to the lack of customers. Theater chains like AMC just announced that they might run out of money by the end of 2020 or early 2021. Movie theaters, as a whole, could begin disappearing from our cities, towns, and communities if they don't get any aid from the government and considering who's in charge of the government right now I wouldn't hold my breath. I wrote this to express how dire the situation is for the entire movie theater industry. If something isn't done the entire theatrical system could collapse and millions of people will be left unemployed. This article is a warning that something must be done and it must be done quickly if we want to save the theatrical experience. If we don't do something, the pandemic will claim an entire industry.