Originally Posted by cumberlandreds
As long as boys and girls and men and women want to date there will be movie theaters. It's kind of hard to sneak in that long kiss sitting in your parents den watching a movie on TV or the computer.
It goes beyond just that, there is an experience you get in a theatre that is very difficult to replicate at home for the average american. From the screen size, to the sound system, the smell of the popcorn to the social setting of watching something in a group of people, all will contribute to the continuation of theaters for a long, long time.
Now, sure, they'll be cut back as more people will take advantage of watching movies at home, in their home theater, perhaps even as early as the original theater release date but its extremely costly to get a similar setup, even if scaled down for most americans. Think of movies like Avatar, a complete visual orgy that is best viewed in the theater. Frankly, the story line was unoriginal, predictable and cliche`, but the visual aspect of being immersed in an imax theater was unbelievable. You may get 3D at home, but you won't be getting it on the scale that you can get in a large theater.
You can buy microwave popcorn which is quite tastey, you can buy an air popper if you're like my wife and that is your preference, but getting popcorn like you get at a theater is unpracticle for most americans, and at least to my taste buds is significantly better than anything I've made at home.
You may be able to squeeze 10 people or so into a family room or viewing room in a house, but you'll never be able to replicate that feeling of having 300+ people all scream or wince or shout out in excitement at the same time. Ever been to a movie so good the whole theater clapped at the end? Good luck getting that experience at home. I specifically remember seeing Titanic in the theater on the day it came out. One of my roommates in college was always fascinated with the story of the titanic, it was the day after exams ended, so we hit the theater. As strange as it sounds, for a movie so big, there really wasn't a ton of buzz leading up to the movie about the movie itself. Most of the buzz centered on the Cameron's huge budget and the length of the movie, few were convinced it was going to be as commercially successful as it was, there were few people saying "this is a must see movie" As such, we went in with little expectation, and were visually blown away. What I remember most of all though, was the look on everyone's face, all 200+ (it wasn't sold out despite being opening night) people as we left the theater; we'd all just been taken on an emotional rollercoaster and were left speechless. You can't get that same feeling at home, that type of social interaction amongst complete strangers just can't happen in your basement.
On top of all of that, movie theaters are places of innovasion for movies. From the sound systems, to screen size, seating setup, so many things work better originally when they can be implemented on a large scale, the figured out how to scale them down and make them work in a home. 3D is all the rage now as they've figured out how to make 3D work better than the 3D stuff you saw in the 70s/80s. How long will it take for movies to implement 4D technology? Put misters into the ceiling to replicate fog in a particular scene? Pump in the smells of a swamp as a killer is lurking the dark waiting for his victim to pass? Put buzzers and pointers in your seats to make you jump just as bugs are crawling across the screen? Things like that, and much more I can't think of currently exist in special settings like Disney, but it can't be long before they're worked into some theaters for movies the way that every new theater has 3D capability today.