Nothing else has come close to the array of emotions I felt while watching the movie "La La Land" by Damien Chazelle at the multiplex. I was a 17-year-old working at Starbucks who wore overall dresses and heavy liquid lipsticks any chance I got. I attended community college classes and was saving up money for a university.
As a teenager, every day I was looking for inspiration that would help me get closer to what I was meant to do in this world.
For the entire 128 minute run time, I was in complete awe of the beauty I was witnessing on the big screen. "La La Land" encouraged me to do what I love and never stop, even when it becomes difficult. Ever since then, I've dedicated myself to help recreate that magic I felt, in any work I do. Going to the cinema is escapism for me, whether it's with my sister, with a few of my friends or just by myself.
You can't break the excitement you get when the lights go down and the film rolls.
With this ongoing pandemic, theaters all around the world have been forced to shut down temporarily, and independent multiplexes are especially at risk of closing down permanently. I fear that the magic of cinema will never fully recover after the coronavirus pandemic.
I, myself, love to watch movies on my couch or bed, but I still believe that actually getting up and going to the cinema is a truly special event. In recent years, movie theaters have fought to keep up with the fast growing at home streaming phenomenon. With all the access to entertainment we have from our TVs, the average movie watcher would rather find something to view in the comfort of their own home than pay the expensive price of $8-$20 per ticket.
Some film companies have even decided to completely cancel theater releases and send their newest movies straight to streaming. Even before the pandemic, a movie that was released in theaters would hit streaming only two to four months after its film release. Compared to the average five months to a year audiences had to wait in the early 2000s.
Society is becoming more and more accustomed to skipping that trip to the movie theater.
Some of my fondest memories were at the cinema. From clapping and cheering with a theatre full of fans watching "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" opening night, or my dad taking me to the theaters for the first time ever at age two to see "Monsters Inc." The fight may be harder than ever for cinemas to continue to provide life changing moments and memories.
However, I still have hope that film theaters around the world will be able to bounce back after this pandemic. Not just for the nostalgia of things past, but also for the future movie lovers who will take their seats in the crowd, look up at that big screen and live in a different world.
For now, we need to stay safe and stay home, but once we are able to, I'm excited to return back to my local theater with a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels, ready to experience the movie magic of the cinema once again.