How long will movie theatres still survive?

After a long hiatus (covid pandemic mostly to blame), my wife and I decided to go and watch the newly released “Death on the Nile” at the movie theatres in our local Mall. Unfortunately, it was not the great experience we hoped for.

I must make it clear that our bad experience was due to some personal reasons. First of all, the sound levels are way way too loud. So loud, it was actually difficult to follow most of the dialogue. Secondly, it looks like movies rely more and more on shock tactics and effects like sudden ear deafening bangs and slams. Totally over the top scenes and accompanied effects. Just watching the trailers of a few upcoming feature movies was overwhelming and exhausting. Thirdly, the only other person in the whole theater sat in the row behind us and seemed to have more pleasure in indulging in heaps of popcorn, chocolates and cooldrinks, rather than enjoying the movie. I’m not a popcorn fan, and why is everybody so obsessed with popcorn at the movies anyway? Fourthly, for the price of the two tickets I could have rather bought some Aleph J boards at the diyAudio store or snake-oil speaker cables. Yes, I am getting old, and I don’t do animation movies or 3D movies.

We did enjoy the actual movie though. Not the best murder mystery we have seen, but it was good enough. However, the whole experience would have been much more pleasant in my own home where I can play the sound over my own hifi. My setup at home is not even a HT setup, but I can now understand why people invest in HT. The movie theater sound was rather horrible compared to my speakers at home. I enjoy movie music much better at home. I can actually hear the dialogue much better at home. I can control the volume at home. I have access to great refreshments at home. I don’t have to put up with other people and their quirks at home.

So, my question is really – how do movie houses (as a business) still survive? Or, for how long will they still survive if you can have a much better experience at home?
 
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Well, Senator. My readers at the Shinbone Star have a right to know. "Who was Tom Donophan?"

Link Appleyard can tell it. Pompey took part.

A Friend. And the man who shot Liberty Valance.
 

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So, my question is really – how do movie houses (as a business) still survive? Or, for how long will they still survive if you can have a much better experience at home?
Pity because they "should" be able to offer some experience level NOT available at home.

Clearly that one was mismanaged and they couldn´t care less.
 
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Lojzek

Member
2012-02-10 12:12 pm
Croatia
It seems there is something inherently wrong with tone volume settings in movie theaters. Not just in my country, that much is obvious. Movies are supposed to be fun, yet especially modern ones, promote agendas aimed against mankind and their well being, that it's disgusting.
 
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With the advent of big screen TV's and good sound systems, watching a movie at home is becoming increasingly more attractive.
The price of a DVD can be less than the price of two tickets to the cinema.
Give any film a year and it's likely to become available on DVD.
For decades I've never thought a new film was likely to be so good, I couldn't wait for it to be released on DVD.
 

Pano

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-10-07 6:05 am
Panama
As JM says, the cinema should be able to deliver a superior experience. But many do not. Having spent some time as a cinema manager and projectionist in major markets - I can tell you what I have told many film makers. "If something can be done wrong, it will be." I'm from the old film days, digital has made for a more consistent experience.

Not only should the cinema be able to provide you with a big, bright screen and excellent sound, it should provide you with the hard to imitate experience of reacting to a film in a room full of people. Experiencing it. Comedies should be funnier with an audience, adventures more thrilling. It should be an event. As good as home cinema is, it's never the event that a big screen, big sound and big audience give you.
 
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billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
Best cinema experience ever was watching 'Hugo'in 2011 with my girlfriend (now wife). It was towards the end of the run and we were the only 2 in the room. we watched 'some' of the film...

I still think the simpsons summed up the ****** THX advert when they did 'the audience is now deaf'. I really don't need LF stomach cramps before the film starts. But maybe my ears have got more sensitive as I have aged.

offspring 5&6 have forgotten what the cinema is like so looking forwards to taking them again this year.
 

billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
we were on our own. Pretty sure in the multiplex with all digital projection there isn't someone in the booth longer than needed to press the go button. actually do they do that centrally now?

I kinda miss watching for the reel change and looking up to see the light coming out a different window up above. Every year I say I will visit BFI in London as they have the only projection bunker in uk licensed to show celluloid. I keep reading on how magnificent the old B&W films were in original explosive format and really should appreciate them for myself one day.
 
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Pano

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-10-07 6:05 am
Panama
actually do they do that centrally now?
All computer controlled. Usually just on a timer.

Seeing something like Casablanca in a good 35mm print on a big academy ratio screen in a movie palace that was built for that format will make you understand why people flocked to the movies. Why the stars were idolized. A two-shot of Boogie and Bergman filling up that giant space, in luminous black and white. Wow! That is true power. That is bigger than life in all the best ways.
 
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billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
One day I will...

(aside for those who don't know. At least in UK to project on celluloid you literally need a bomb proof projection room. I guess the projectionist is expected to be either expendable or quick enough to run out and close the door if things get non-linear. I don't know if UK is being a bit too cautious or not).
 

martyh

Member
Paid Member
2004-02-01 2:58 am
Wisconsin
OT now... some theatres sound great. Go on senior day if it is too loud during a normal show. 2/3 of the way from the screen to the projection wall and dead center is where I sit, that is where the mic is set when they EQ and set delays. THX was always a scam, pay royalties on a crappy eq and get worse sound than you could with an experienced hand setting things up.