Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In The News

My friend Nav and I had a good long debate about this very topic back in college. I claimed that there was a very good chance that one day people would stop going to the movies as much because new movies would be simultaneously released in theaters and other outlets such as DVD or pay-per-view. He swore that it would never happen because the theater experience was so vital to the magic of movies.

I agreed then, and still do agree that watching a movie in the theater can be a very satisfying experience, but with admission prices on the rise, annoying fellow movie patrons, ringing cell phones, screaming babies, an increase in concession prices, a decrease in the overall quality of most new movies, the theater experience is becoming less enjoyable every year. Add to that the fact that home theater systems are not only becoming much bigger and much better, but are also getting MUCH cheaper, and I think you've got a recipe for a threat to the film exhibitor industry.

I would like to add that I am very excited about this article for a number of reasons. First, it proves that I was right, which I love. Second, it could mean so much for the entire act of enjoying movies. It indicates that Hollywood may be willing to make bold, innovative leaps into technology to give it's paying audience what it wants: the satisfaction of getting lost in the world of cinema without bringing all of the distractions you're trying to escape into that fantasy world with you.

"Mr. Freeman said in a phone interview Wednesday from Dubai that the industry practice of showing feature films in theaters first, then selling them later on DVD, was outdated. With new advances in digital filmmaking, he predicted, consumers will demand better access to movies."

As if to further back up my theory of so long ago, this article was published around the same time as the one above.

"The National Association of Theater Owners, the primary trade group for exhibitors, is pushing to improve the theatrical experience by addressing complaints about on-screen advertisements, cellphones in theaters and other disruptions, while planning a public relations campaign to promote going out to the movies."