Will Movie Theaters Recover?

Masks and social distancing are required when going to the movies



Photo Courtesy: IndieWire

Masks and social distancing are required when going to the movies Photo Courtesy: IndieWire

Sahil Koul, Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the lives of every individual on this planet, shifting the nature of everything we do and think on a daily basis. Mindsets have changed and people have changed- and there’s no guarantee that once a vaccine becomes widely available people will feel safe to venture out again. Yet one thing seems to still keep on rolling: entertainment. There’s TikTok, Snapchat, Netflix, Instagram. AmazonPrime, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Hulu.  We’re encapsulated by media as a place of shared experience and common conversation.  Yet, the growth of media platforms that allow us to watch movies and TV on any device anywhere in the world in the comfort of our homes might have a downside- have people forgotten about big screen movies in the theater?

It would seem as if the tradition of going to the movies has become somewhat of a fantastical prospect these days. Yet it would seem that meeting up with friends, absorbing the enchanting aroma of a cinema hall, and waiting in line for that buttery, movie popcorn are enjoyments that would never go away. Unfortunately, the economics of movie theaters threaten that experience.  Since the pandemic shut down theaters last year, movie and entertainment releases have gone increasingly toward streaming services.  According to the manager of Showcase Cinemas at Patriot Place in Foxborough, that has “hurt,” adding that “there are restrictions on how many people are allowed in and a lot are still afraid, leaving theaters less than half full.

In spite of this, Matt remains optimistic about the future, saying, in the end, “people need to get out of the house. We should recover soon. But we probably won’t be at the level we used to be.”

While right now the majority of people do not feel safe going to the movies as the vaccine begins to save lives around the world, there are signs of normalcy coming our way. Matt emphasized that even though the future seems bright, the grandeur and economic output of movie theaters might never reach the heights they used to.