Going to the movie theater has been a favorite pastime for generations. A weak economy and an expansion of home theater options have caused a dip (for the first time) to box office income. While anti-piracy advocates would love to claim that piracy is the primary cause for losses at the box office, the fact of the matter is that theaters are heading down the same path of television, print media, and radio. We are bombarded with so much content from every angle that the idea of purposely heading out in search of more content can sound rather crazy. We’ve grown into a society that has become involved in a type of content hoarding. We seek out and take in more information than we know what to do with.
That said, there are some very good reasons to consider bringing a trip to the theater back to your monthly (or even weekly) routine. Movie theaters have continued to improve in parallel to technology, offering arguably the best audio/video experience you can find anywhere. Home theater systems have evolved and gone down in price considerably, but our living rooms are filled with distractions and other elements that can take away from the immersive experience of a good film.
Here are five reasons to go to the movies.
Better Video/Audio Quality
Probably the most obvious reason here is the screen size. Most theaters go to great lengths to optimize the visual experience for everyone in the theater. The screen is big enough to fill your field of view and the picture quality in many modern theaters is exquisite. In fact, theaters are just about the only places you’ll find movies presented in full quality. Digital 4K theaters can be found all over the place these days, bringing to life a technology that surpasses any television found in the home.
Audio quality is also a point that most theaters take very seriously. Movie studios have gone so far as to restrict the release of their films only to theaters that have met a given standard. George Lucas especially was extremely specific as to which theaters would be allowed to present the original Star Wars films to audiences. His bet paid off as the public that did experience these epic space adventures on the big screen were sufficiently impressed and the trilogy became arguably the most successful franchises in movie history.
3D is coming to home theaters very quickly, but not everyone has a 3D television at this point. For one, they’re still pretty expensive and the folks that upgraded for the analog to digital conversion will probably not upgrade any time soon. Movie theaters are specially equipped to take advantage of the best 3D technologies, and this means a better overall viewing experience.
Unless you’re willing to invest tens of thousands of dollars on your home theater, it would be difficult to replicate the experience and quality found on the big screen. Home projectors are typically pretty expensive if you’re looking for something HD capable, and an investment of space is typically required, limiting your ability to use a specific room for much else.
Did you know that movie theaters typically rent out rooms for private events? Independent film showings, live broadcasts, and other special events are often facilitated by movie theaters. You can even rent a theater for a wedding if you feel so inclined. Many old, historic theaters are actually popular spots for speeches and conferences due in part to being built with a stage that served to facilitate both live and movie presentations.
Many theaters host events where celebrity cast members and/or the director will introduce the movie and answer questions for members of the audience. This is something you won’t get to experience at home in front of your television.
During the annual SXSW conference in Austin, TX, movie theaters all over town open their doors to one of the largest independent film festivals in the US. This festival not only helps the local economy, but independent film makers as they attempt to bring some press and attention to their projects.
If you haven’t gone to a midnight release at a theater, you’re missing out.
Movies Intended for Theaters
What do Star Wars, Avatar, and virtually any action movie have in common? They’re all made to be experienced in a theater setting. Seeing a movie on a smaller home theater is fine, but some pictures just come to life on the big screen. Surround sound was all the rage in the ’90s, but rarely will a budget home theater solution really compare to the sound quality found in a movie theater.
There is just something about the theater experience that makes a film come alive. Watching these films at home is great, but it isn’t for everyone. Theaters specialize in making the experience as immersive and entertaining as possible.
It’s an Opportunity to Get Out of the House
Home is distracting — just ask anyone who works from home. Your pets, chores, phones, visitors, and the Internet are all distractions that can keep you from enjoying a movie. Being in a theater is a great excuse to break away from it all and relax with a focus on the movie right in front of you.
I work from home, which means I have a lot of time sitting in front of my computers. Every time that familiar incoming email sound clangs through my speakers, my first reaction is to rush over to the computer and see what’s coming in. Having the ability to sit down and enjoy a movie from start to finish without dealing with the various distractions of home is a great thing.
There really isn’t a lot to say about the theater without bringing the romantic side of the experience into the equation. Even after over a century, movie theaters are still an excellent spot for dates. Not only are you in a public setting — which makes a teen’s parents more comfortable — but you can share in an experience that gives you something to talk about later on.
As mentioned before, going to a theater is a great way to escape from all the distractions and nonsense that comes with everyday life. When you and your date head through those doors into the darkened room to see the feature film on the big screen, everything else falls away and you can kick back and enjoy the movie ahead of you. Dates are often ruined by worry about the outside world and day-to-day life. This getaway gives you a chance to bond with your date and enjoy an experience.
No matter your reasons, going to the movies can be a great experience. I’m personally not happy with the size of many theater seats or the high price you have to pay for snacks, but a good theater will usually go out of its way to make sure your experience is as enjoyable as possible.