Why are more people choosing to skip the movie theater experience? Here are ten honest reasons that might shed some light on the issue according to home-bodies responding to the question on a popular online forum.
1. High Ticket Prices
Let’s face it, movie tickets can be expensive, especially if you’re paying for someone else’s ticket. Unfortunately, ticket prices aren’t what they used to be. Movie lovers don’t think the value is proportionate to the cost anymore.
One filmgoer says by the time they get a babysitter, tickets, and snacks, the whole ordeal costs about $100 just to endure an uncomfortable and annoying experience that’s inferior to the comfort of their home. Since AMC Theaters offer $5 movies on Tuesdays for AMC Stub members, that’s the only time I ever see movies in the theater back in the states.
2. Poor Locations & Showtimes
For some, movie locations are sparse. This can vary depending on where you live. It doesn’t help if the only movie theater in town is low-quality. Then, there’s the issue of catching convenient showtimes. One nocturnal movie watcher says the early closing times of their local movie theaters pose problems for them.
The latest showings are at 7:30 pm, which doesn’t work with their schedule or when they prefer to watch a movie. They hope to see 10 pm showings brought back. Another moviegoer complains that you have to go to a showing in the middle of the day to get better deals.
3. Poor Theater Experience
Common complaints about the theater experience for many film buffs in the thread included poor customer service, dirty theaters, and uncomfortable seats. Some even said that the frigid temperatures of the air-conditioned theaters taint the movie-watching experience. As a result, many movie watchers prefer staying home to avoid these unpleasant factors from spoiling the movie.
4. Availability of Movies Online or on Streaming Services
When cinephiles say they prefer to watch movies at home, they don’t mean they’ll wait six months to a year for the film to be distributed on DVD or streaming services. Most films can be watched pretty soon after they’re released in cinemas through pirating sites, if not when the movie is available in the theater.
Since COVID, more films are now getting immediate streaming releases. In the past, if you wanted to see a new film, the only way to do that would be to go to the movie theater. It’s not necessary anymore.
5. Annoying Audience Behavior
If the theater’s natural discomforts aren’t enough to bother you, an overly chatty and inconsiderate group of theatergoers probably will. Bonus points if they’re sat right beside you. Countless movieholics complain that teenagers sitting near them are too immature and lack manners nowadays.
They end up talking loudly or texting during the movie and ruining important scenes for everyone else. This happened to me recently. A group of kids were being so obnoxious I had to leave the theater to alert the staff.
6. Lack of Variety in Movie Options
Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t let go of the theater experience yet. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. However, this top-upvoted comment is right when they say, “most movies don’t benefit from seeing them in a theater outside of visual spectacles like Avatar.
Unless a filmmaker is particular about their films and has a vision for the film to be experienced by audiences on the big screen, a la Christopher Nolan, you’re likely not getting much out of a theater viewing.
A common complaint among film connoisseurs in this thread was that movies have become overly generic and uninspiring. It doesn’t motivate people to buy an overpriced ticket when there’s nothing worth seeing.
7. Too Many Advertisements and Previews Before the Movie
One jaded former theatergoer isn’t pleased with sitting through 20 minutes of commercials. Even worse are the previews for movies that spoil the entire plotline, thus ruining a potential future movie-watching experience. If this weren’t bad enough, you must exercise tremendous bladder control once the movie starts since it can’t be paused.
8. Parking & Transportation
A few film fans complain about the lack of parking or the painful task of spending 15 minutes circling the parking lot, looking for a space. This is all the more inconvenient when you live in the city, and the closest movie theater is in a mall that is far away. It requires driving a long distance, wasting time looking for parking, and then walking through a jumbled shopping center to get to the theater.
9. Less Convenient
The overwhelming sentiment of most movie patrons is that the theater experience pales in comparison to at-home movie viewing. You have instant access to snacks that don’t cost a million dollars; you can pause the film when you want, don’t have to deal with annoying people, and have control over your environment.
Want to snuggle up with your significant other under a blanket in your PJs? You can do that. No one can stop you, and that’s the sort of convenience that money can’t buy.
10. Fear of Encountering a Disruptive or Dangerous Person at the Theater
If you go to the movies and only encounter a group of young children howling like a pack of hyenas, you’re one of the lucky ones. Others are more aggressive, and several concerning incidents occurring in movie theaters over the years have contributed to paranoia.
For one, some people don’t want to risk getting COVID if they’re high risk. However, another palpable concern is over violence. More specifically, being encountered by a gunman. This may be unlikely to happen, but the possibility is enough to scare some viewers away.
This thread inspired this post.