Films are one of the first things that come to mind when one wants to go out with friends, go on a date, chill out on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn or on a lazy weekend. They might transport you to a different time, a different place and show you a different way of life; alternatively, they may give you better insight into current events. In either case, they help provide respite from the stresses and strains of daily life; after all, everyone is entitled to a strategic withdrawal to regroup and what better way to do so than by watching a film? In the modern world, thanks to developments in technology, there is no longer any need to traipse all the way to the cinema to do so; there are other alternatives yet each is a different experience and has its place in our lives.
The actual movie theater is still vastly superior to its rivals in terms of the quality of the experience offered. Nothing can rival the visual experience of a 3D movie at the cinema; if you feel your laptop will provide a comparable experience you are much mistaken; no one can claim that “The force awakens” can be better enjoyed at home on a laptop. Couple this with the sound quality and you have a brilliant sensory experience. It is true that one has to actually get off one’s hands and leave the house to see the film but considering how sedentary people’s lives are in the modern world, is that such a bad thing? Then there is the issue of physical comfort but modern movie theaters address that problem as well. The seats in older cinemas used to be the kind you might see in the hall of a Victorian home: absolutely straight and narrow; now they could theoretically sit two of you and are so comfortable that you could sleep in them. Movie theaters cater to every need and try and provide every possible creature comfort; the holder for you drink for example. The only thing missing is your slippers. Lastly, going to a movie theater to see a film is a more social experience you can share with friends or a date and where is the harm in that in a world where virtual friendships trump real ones? In short, the modern cinema experience can be better fun, more social and more comfortable than its alternatives.
With the very best of intentions and no matter how hard one yearns to be able to do it, it is sometimes just not possible to leave the house to go to a cinema. Returning home from a 12 hour stint at the office for example leaves you with just about enough energy to crawl to the sofa. There are also the elderly, some of whom may be housebound, the parents with young families or the insomniac who is twiddling his thumbs at 2 in the morning; these people also have a right to see films but it goes without saying that for them, the experience is a lesser one compared to that of the cinema goers. Although home cinema systems and giant plasma screens are available to those with the means to purchase them, most will just plonk down in front of their computers and make the best of it. The visual and sound quality of films watched in this way is no match for the cinema; the latter is undoubtedly superior. Then there is the social aspect or rather the lack of it; watching a film on the computer is definitely a solitary experience whichever way you look at it. As for snacks, if you could actually be bothered to get up and make popcorn for yourself, you would probably be at the cinema in the first place. The television in the living room is marginally better as the experience could involve friends or a partner, a cuddle on the sofa and much needed relaxation. At the end of a busy day, when one doesn’t have the energy for an outing, this second best, the home cinema experience, comes into play but everyone would quickly agree that the cinema has various advantages that are superior to anything you can do at home.
To sum up, films have been and will continue to be one of most people’s top choices of entertainment wherever they choose to watch them. While the home experience is definitely more practical and comfortable, the experience at the movie theater is technically better and often more social. They both have their places in people’s lives. The key point here is that the cinema industry is going strong despite everything.