Plus: what are YOU looking for from theaters as we return to them?
How does it compare to The Gentleman? That's the only one of his movies I've seen, and I mostly loved it (the Hugh Grant swashbuckling rogue stuff more than the ultra serious MM stuff in the end.) However good it is I'm going to have a great time seeing it tonight. My favorite NYC theater is back open, and I've gone to the movies every weekend for the last like month. No showing has more than 10 people in, but I would almost pay 15 just to sit in a theater for 2 hours.
I’m ready to watch movies and plays in theaters! So are most of my friends. We are tired of sitting on the couch and watching movies. We want the real deal!
What I mostly miss is the communal experience, and the immersion. I certainly understand the 'I like watching movies in my house and eating my food and using my bathroom when I want' perspective, but i will go back to the theaters to again have the chance to cheer with my fellow fans at moments like when Yoda drew his lightsaber against Count Dooku, or Cap caught Mjolnir or said Avengers Assemble. Hell, I'll also go back to enjoy a much less bomabstic movie like Yesterday without dealing with the distractions that come with home viewing. I fully intend to be there opening night for Black Widow.
I think I am in the camp of other than special effects blockbusters I would rather stream and watch a movie on my big screen at home. But I think what the pandemic has taught me is if I want more from the experience I should make sure the dogs are in another room and all my devices are off.
I'm in NYC and I love Alamo, but I don't think I would buy craft cocktails or food from somewhere like AMC. I would like to see more one-offs on older movies from bigger chains like AMC though. I don't know how the economics works on this though. Will AMC pop in an older movie for a weekend? Alamo does a real good job bringing these in, and the ones I've attended have always been packed houses.
Given the choice I much rather watch a film in a theater. This includes something Netflix produces. I saw both The Irishman and Marriage Story in a theater, with the later being on 35mm. In fact, the chance to see Marriage Story on 35mm is precisely why I chose it that afternoon over Parasite.
Which is all set up to say that when I go to the theater I want to watch something on film, 70mm, IMAX, or Dolby. I can do 4K at home now. I have two HomePods set up so I my sound is solid.
Rather than fight the tides of streaming, I want theaters to ride them and make the theater experience an event. I want sound that shakes my seat. I want a bucket of popcorn. I to look at something better than my TV.
Here is what theaters can do: Change the projection bulbs on schedule so the picture is as bright as it's supposed to be. And MASK THE SCREENS CORRECTLY.
I would pay a premium not to be in a full crowd. Not so much COVID, but it’s nice to be seats away from others. Maybe not booking more than 50% or some % but also like a two seat minimum distance. Nothing worse than being squeezed.
"Or go the other way: offer screenings to people who want to use their cell phones while watching?"
They should definitely do this, but only so that we have at least a few soft targets that we don't need to defend and openly hope are hit.
I would like a fatwa against cell phones. There was a guy in my row at MORTAL KOMBAT who was on his phone the whole time. He didn’t even lower the brightness of his screen. I wanted to say something; not even rudely, just please turn down your brightness. But I chickened out.