Movie Theaters Are A Thing Of The Past

Annie Cameron, Staff Writer

Back in the 1900s, movies and drive-ins were a leading culture for many as time progressed and movie theaters popped up everywhere. Now, drive-in movies are a thing of the past, and movie theaters are barely holding on to their role in society. People now prefer to watch movies in the comfort of their own homes, and movie theaters are hardly relevant anymore. 

The first reason for this is simply ease. If faced with a choice, people will almost always choose whatever is easiest no matter what the options are. Evidently it is much easier to stay home and watch something else on the TV. Advances in streaming networks make it quick and easy to find something to watch from the safety of your house, with only a small rental fee or monthly subscription typically. Being able to watch movies in your own home, pausing it whenever you like, not having to bear the presence of others around you, can have lots of benefits that are quite appealing. Especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, many have found they prefer to stay home if they have the option. 

In the past, many were deterred from the idea of watching movies at home because missing a movie in theaters meant missing your favorite movie stars’ latest debuts—another major change in the past decades. Movie stars used to be a driving factor of movie theater popularity, people would jump at the opportunity to see their favorite actors and actresses starring in new films. Viewers would not even care what genre the film was, if they recognized the stars then they would be first in line. However, this is no longer applicable as movie stars, along with theaters, have fallen off. As time has gone the title “movie star” has become a much broader category. In the past there were much fewer actors and actresses, so famous actors and actresses held viewers in a chokehold, encouraging them to attend all their premieres. With fewer people in the profession, it made these stars much easier to follow with little to no competition on their behalf. Now, basically anyone can become a “movie star” if they really want to. The current trend is for social media influencers to star in movies. Therefore, there are no real “movie stars” to follow anymore. 

As with anything, money is also an issue regarding movie theaters. People will do anything to save a dollar or two. With streaming platforms and social media, it is easy to find new movies or movie clips for free or little charge. Some platforms charge a rental fee for movies, where others give all their movies for “free” viewers only having to pay a monthly charge. Either way, both options seem cheaper than attending the movie theater for many. The individual charges or monthly rates can add up fast and unexpectedly, totalling to be the same or potentially more than a few monthly movie theater trips. Ironic as it is, many would rather pay less money spread over a long period of time, than more money all at once. 

Overall, movie theaters have fallen off along with movie stars as a result of our progression as a society. People no longer are interested in seeing every movie that their favorite actors and actresses star in, and are looking to save money in any ways they can, even if it means no more trips to the theater. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic shaped our society, and its lingering effects have changed things like movie culture forever.