Wednesday, June 30, 2010

“Time To Retire It: Going to the Movies!”

At a certain point, you find yourself “retiring” certain things. I’ve become convinced that, with only rare and very special exceptions, “Going to the Movies” has become one of those things.

Going to the Movies”, for me, has never been all that great a priority. It’s a good thing to do when you’re dating. Particularly, when you are going through a string of frequent first dates, it offers a perfect opportunity to be “with them”, but without having to engage in small conversation all evening long. But, thankfully, dating and all of the contrived niceties associated with it (on BOTH sides, I might add) hasn’t been a factor for many years.

I’ve since grown to dislike the movie-going experience. The crowds, difficulty parking, and especially the ticket prices! The theatre Esther and I frequent most often (…that is, if you can use the word “frequent” to describe our very occasional and irregular visits to the whatever-plex) now costs twenty-two dollars for two persons to attend an evening show.Add gas, any food or drink, and the annoyance of sometimes having to buy a ticket in advance (...or risk a sold-out show), actual commercials playing on the big screen (…not movie trailers, mind you, but product commercials!) and the usual late-comers, noise-makers, and view-blockers among the audience, and it is simply not enjoyable for me anymore.

Still, there was the allure of the BIG SCREEN to compensate for all this.

Then, in January, we got an HD TV and Blu-ray DVD Player!

While only 37 Inches (as opposed to the unimaginable 52’’ Sigh!), this TV is magnificent, when compared to the old Standard Def, Non-Wide Screen TV we’d been accustomed to for years. And the Blu-ray player makes even my old “sixties shows” look better than they ever have – much less today’s Blu-ray discs.

The clincher was this spring when Esther and I went to see “Sex and The City 2” in the theatre. I left saying “This isn’t much better than we have at home!”. And it wasn’t!

Add to this – and the list of negatives above – that actually BUYING the DVD of the movie will COST FAR LESS than two theatre admissions! And, you get all the convenience of Start/ Pause/ Step Frame/ Reverse/ Fast Forward/ Stop when you want, as well as having the thing to view to your heart’s content. With “extras” to boot.

Home technology has caught up with the average movie-going experience and, for me, has made the experience bothersome, expensive, and needless. So, it’s “Time To Retire It”! (…Unless, someday, they make that LOBO movie!)


Kneon Transitt said...

We seldom go to the movies anymore. With two kids, it just doesn't make a lot of sense for us. Most new releases can be had for under $15 on Amazon just four or five months after their theatrical release.

"Avatar" was such a huge hit due in part to it offering something that home theater didn't -- impressive 3D. But with 3D HDTV here, how much longer will 3D be a big draw to the theater?

What's been awesome for us is Netflix. We use the streaming service on the Wii, and the video quality is gorgeous. Definitely not Blu-Ray, but way above what you see on say, Youtube, and probably a notch above DVD. In addition to movies, they have several complete TV series we can watch whenever we like, such as Lost, Heroes, 24 and Doctor Who. New releases are often disc only, but you get as much media as you want for $8.99 a month! If I could scrap the dish and just do this, I would -- but there are some shows they just don't carry.

And that's TV of the future. Goodbye discs. Goodbye programming schedule. You watch whatever you want, when you want, how you want. New shows will be posted at a certain time... no need to tune in. Even the DVR is made archaic by video on demand.

Joe Torcivia said...


Awesome is right!

No wonder no one reads comic books anymore! :-)

Great stuff! Will movie theatres ever get wise and lower prices? Probably not. So, let them go extinct!


Kneon Transitt said...

I think will what ultimately happen is movie studios simultaneously releasing a flick on (whatever iteration of home video we have in the future) at the same time you get to go see it in the theater. The smart thing to do would be to set a "flat" admission fee, so, say it costs $8 to view it in a theater or $8 to stream it at home.

Still, though, who is going to choose to drive to a theater if they can watch the same thing at home on their 50+ inch plasma?

The same thing happened to video arcades. Eventually, the home experience eclipsed the gaming experience at the local arcade, and they rapidly died off. Most of the games in the handful of arcades that are left are more interactive, ticket type machines. Ride-ons and such. In other words, they offer experiences you can't really get at home.

Unless movie theaters offer something truly astounding, they'll be left in the dust. I'm sure a few will stay open for the curiosity of such a thing, but I'm wagering they'll be obsolete within the next 20 years.

Since they're offering 3D at home now... maybe Smell-O-Vision will be the next big draw? ;)

Mark Arnold said...

I agree. I only go to the movies if it is with someone else who wants to go...or the Stanford Theatre which shows old movies from the 30s to the 60s.

I used to go by myself and while I rarely buy snacks and tickets are slightly less here, I'd rather buy a DVD with my $10.