Going to the movies used to be the go-to outing for most people. It was a great family day, date night, or social occasion. Now, going to a movie theater it becoming a thing of the past. Many blame the increase in streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu for the decline in the cinema industry. But who can blame consumers, considering the way theaters are run nowadays?
First thing, going to the movies has become expensive. The average ticket price is $15 each, and even more if a film is 3-D or IMAX. Not to mention, concessions can be horrendously expensive. While teens and adults may have mastered the art of sneaking snacks into movie theaters, trying to say no to children can be difficult. To take a family of four to see a movie can cost nearly $200! In contrast, a Netflix subscription for $14 a month can provide access to thousands of films and television shows whenever you want, making seeing a movie in-theaters seem frivolous at best.
Another issue theaters are facing is a lack of variety. Most only play big blockbusters and shun art-house films. It seems that theaters are playing a new Marvel movie or Star Wars in every theater in the house. It can be difficult to find kids movies, indie films, or even the latest drama at a given time. The sequel to the infamous horror film Unfriended was released two weeks ago, yet it can only be found in approximately one theater every 50 miles or so. What theaters choose to play doesn't necessarily appeal to everyone, and denies smaller films their chance to shine.
Movie theaters also take a time commitment. In general, a film is preceded by a half-hour of previews, which are preceded by another half hour of ads. This lengthens the runtime of a movie and often causes people to arrive late. In addition, attention spans have become shorter, so many people simply don't enjoy sitting for 2-plus hours for a movie. This shift in entertainment culture has contributed to movie houses becoming a thing of the past.
Essentially, if movie theaters want to draw more of an audience, reforms need to be made. It is sad but true. Times have changed, as have the way people are able to be entertained. If we don't want to see the cinema become an antique, it has to become more accessible.