OK I am not at all a movie person. I will wait for it to come on video and usually till it shows up on DVD at my local library and watch it on my TV or computer.
I just never got anything out of going to a theatre. Even in the 70s and 80s I was like “Oh I’ll wait till it comes on TV.”
Yeah I know they cut things out, but I didn’t care.
I imagine this is do to I’ve never been a big fan of the theatres themselves. I used to go to the type of theatre that was one big building with one screen and a balconey and cry room. Then in the 70s they moved to the multi theatres and those cramped me. I like to lie and stetch out when I watch TV or movies.
So please explain to me as a “non-movie” person what you get out of watching a movie in a theatre.
One, the “big screen, big sound” experience. I realize the difference is going away as home theater technology increases. On the other hand, the film industry has historically been pretty good about staying ahead of the curve (Vistavision, 3D, etc.).
Two: no distractions! I have trouble really getting into a movie at home. Phone, house-mates, email, etc., conspire to divert my attention. At the theater, there is nothing to distract you except *other *peoples’ screaming babies, which I find easier to ignore than my own stuff.
In some cases, like with horror movies–things leaping out or loud noises, the effect doesn’t really work on a little screen.
Or if it’s something I really want to see, I’ll see it in theatres. Though for the most part, these are getting fewer and fewer, and I’m with you. I usually wait because there’s so little worth seeing for me, and I’m not the kind of person to see movies with big effects that are worth watching on the big screen.
Also in the theatre, there are the other very accommodating theatre-goers who so helpfully and loudly explain the plot points to each other in case there is something you need clearing up, too. At home I have to actually ask for help.
I happen to enjoy movies in theaters, but I can understand why someone wouldn’t (especially today). I have the same feelings toward concerts. I don’t “get” the whole “let’s stand in line in get tickets for the front row and then go see Band____ live it’ll be GREAT! Wow–we saw Band_____ and it WAS great!!” thing at all.
For me, it’s mostly about the psychological effects - I find it much easier to get involved in a movie when I see it in a theater. I don’t know how much of that is not having distractions around, and how much is simply conditioning, but it does make a difference. It’s also usually part of an outing with friends for me, and it’s easier to coordinate than going to someone’s home, picking a movie, etc. The limited options and venues really simplify things.
We have most of that (no BluRay yet but we do have HD movies on the hard drive and D-VHS) and we still go out to see movies in the theater all the time.
The main reasons are, as other have mentioned the far better image quality (my favorite theater has a 4K projector and a vastly bigger screen) and better sound (I have a very good system, but not 11.2 with bass shakers under each chair good).
But the main reason is that comedy is funnier with an audience.
As is usual in such threads, amateur movie goers will post about how they had a bad experience at a suburban theater on a Friday night watching a film with a load of texting teens. Your skilled moviegoer knows that you see those films on a Tuesday afternoon, and Friday and Saturday are for arthouse movies. It’s been a while since we’ve been annoyed by anyone in a theater.
If I see a movie on Friday or Saturday it’s almost always going to be a 10PM showing or thereabouts. The kids usually have a curfew coming up so it’s much quieter. Similar to gaffa.
I’ll catch a midnight showing. People who made an effort to be there, what few teens are there are there because they want to be, so behavior’s usually good. And you get that nice theater community feeling.
One of my favorite movie theater memories (yeah, those are possible…) is the midnight showing of The Simpsons Movie. I had grown up on that show, and so had everyone else in there, but TV is such a solitary activity. It was a rare experience, a couple hundred people watching their favorite TV show together. That made the movie much more enjoyable.
I don’t go that often, for lack of time, but over break I saw Up in the Air in a theater with almost no one there, and Avatar in a jammed theater. No distractions in either place. At home we got the dogs wanting to go out, the phone ringing, my wife wanting to make coffee. And I agree that the theater is more immersive, even though I have a fairly big TV screen. The big benefit of home is flexibility and cost.
And sometimes even mediocre movies can be made awesome. I hold a special place in my heart for the 2005 HHGTTG movie because of this. I watched it in the theater, and while most of the movie was more or less enjoyable, the scene where Arthur and Slartibartfast enter Magrathea was hands-down the most overwhelming, awe-inspiring thing I’ve ever experienced in a movie. Even the IMAX shows I’ve seen couldn’t come close to it (and I wonder just what it would have been like to see that on an IMAX screen). My TV simply isn’t capable of reproducing that experience.
Eh, I’ve had bad movie experiences at all times. Sometimes it’s the other viewers, but also sometimes it’s problems with the theater itself. The sound effects and background music are too loud, yet the speaking bits are not loud enough, or not clearly spoken enough. I don’t WANT to be blasted out of my seat by the sound, and I especially don’t want my ears ringing afterwards. I already have some hearing damage, and I don’t want any more, thankyouverymuch. Those are the major reasons why I don’t go to theaters any more.
Minor reasons include the high prices at the concession stands, and the fact that theaters don’t use coconut or palm oil to pop the popcorn in any more, they use heart-healthy oil. Which is all fine and dandy for those who go to the movies every day and get the Bucket of Popcorn for 12, but I want the oil that tastes the best, not the oil that’s the healthiest. I don’t go to the movies often, but theater popcorn is supposed to taste a certain way, and it just doesn’t taste right any more. I’d also appreciate the option of buying a smaller container of popcorn, because I WILL eat all of a container without noticing.
If I had a more pleasant experience at the theater, I’d probably go at least two or three times a week, assuming that there was something actually worth watching. And that’s another subject…