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Tim O Neill
Byrne Robotics Security

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 10441
Posted: 03 May 2020 at 11:21am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The death of theaters started with the advent of radio, and they are still

We are now in a period in which we can't go to theaters, and I am feeling the
pang of a night out, And that is why they survive - there is something about
leaving home for the shared theatrical experience that will not go away. How
that looks in the future I don't know, but I feel it will survive in various formats.

I like seeing new movies with solid projection - the quality theaters in the city
won't go away. I also love seeing old movies in revival houses. I'v been going
to a theater called The New Beverly since I moved to Los Angeles years ago - it
used to be a rundown venue with horrible seats, but it had cheap double
features. It survives, but only because Quentin Tarantino bought it. Now its
even better, but that's not a model since he is floating it, bit with money and

My favorite current model is Alamo Draft House, which is part restaurant/bar
within the theater, with service to your seat. One finally came to town, but
they foolishly buried it in a mall downtown. If there was any city where a
theater needed to have a physical look to its destination, it's Los Angeles. But
its still a great venue and hope it survives all this.

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Matt Reed
Byrne Robotics Security


Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 33713
Posted: 03 May 2020 at 10:37pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I feel you, Tim, but...c'mon.  They're lining up people like they're on the way to the slaughterhouse in Texas complete with temperature checks and plexiglass separating patrons.  Is that really the theatrical experience you crave?  And can it survive that?  

The comparison to radio and TV killing theatrical is way off.  Those were format issues and ease of accessibility.  Covid is something else entirely.  It's not a fad.  It's not something that's short term.  It's here and we're dealing with it until we have a viable vaccine, which could be longer than we're able to accept.  So how long can theaters seat half of capacity (at best!) for an audience that is skeptical to resume normal activities with a crowd of people?  

Personally?  I feel that no matter when orders are lifted, now or later, it's going to take a long time for people to feel comfortable coming back.  So how long can these establishments weather the storm?  And should they, with their overpriced concessions and ticket prices in some areas of the country topping $50 for a couple?  

I dunno.  In some ways I'm ready for a shift in dynamic.  Maybe this is the time.
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Bill Collins
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Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10973
Posted: 04 May 2020 at 6:29am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The shared theatrical experience and "Hell is other
people" especially modern people put me off visiting the
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Steve De Young
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 01 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3472
Posted: 04 May 2020 at 8:24am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

There will always be boutique theaters providing a boutique experience, but I think the regular run of mass market theaters is coming to an end.  Especially with the suicide being committed with Universal.  Do these theater chains, already in a precarious position, not realize that they need Universal movies for revenue a whole heck of a lot more than Universal needs them for distribution at this point?  Depending on the film, Universal can probably make as much or more on digital distribution than they do on ticket sales because not using theaters cuts a lot of overhead.
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Brian Floyd
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 07 July 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 7145
Posted: 04 May 2020 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

What I will not miss about theaters is the inevitable inconsiderate jerks.

You know what I mean: The people who have their cellphone turned on so it rings at some point. The family who brings along kids who either won't sit down or won't shut up. And especially the jackasses who constantly get up from their seat to go down to the concessions or bathroom and just have to exit out where you're sitting so you either have to scrunch your legs up or stand up so they can get by, or are in the row in front of you blocking your view when they do it. 

I went to a movie a few years back where this couple in the same row got up and exited the row at least five times during the movie, and just had to go right by me every. single. time. 
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