For so many movie lovers, the last 12 months has been tough. Whilst we may have a never-ending flow of cinematic masterpieces at home through streaming services, nothing quite compares to heading out to watch new releases. Randy Wooten has been covering this on his Twitter feed for the last year, and as things began to reopen last year there was some hope for this industry. Sadly however, following a second lockdown, we find ourselves with less options on the high street, as so many independent theaters have faced tough times.
There are some more positive pieces of news coming out recently, but what exactly can we expect the movie theater to look like once all of this is over?
The majority of the big cinema franchises have been able to absorb the financial problems which the last 12 months has thrown at them, many of the independents have not. What this does mean, sadly, is that there are going to be significantly less options in terms of where to go to watch movies. What is ever more sad about this situation, is that many of the independent theaters used to show movies which the big companies did not, cult movies, independent movies and even some classics which are no longer shown elsewhere. The hope is that eventually these smaller movie theaters are able to find more funding to keep going, or to relaunch.
Even once the world is vaccinated it seems to become clearer everyday that things will not just naturally switch back to normal. What we expect to see instead are tight measures, albeit not quite as strict as they are now. This could involve seats being more spaced out, managing queues and entering the theater by seat number. In terms of food and drink this could also see a big change, and hygiene is going to be of paramount importance. The traditional view of a packed movie theater showing an exciting new movie could very well become a thing of the past.
Given the amount of money which movie theaters have lost over the last twelve months, coupled with the fact that they cannot pack the theater out as they once could, there is certainly a chance that prices could rise. If this happens then it is going to cause a headache for movie goers who will be divided between spending the money to see a movie, or staying at home and watching one on their streaming service, which of course they are already paying for. Prices won’t rise sharply, but the chances of those tickets staying the same price as they were pre-pandemic are increasingly less likely.
And so, even though we are receiving plenty of good news around movie theaters returning to action, it is important that we are all prepared for a different experience than that which we have become accustomed to. We will get back, but things will look strange.