Save the laptop watching for YouTube
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
The movie theatre experience is far better than a solo experience on a phone, laptop, or television screen. Yes, the theatre floors can be sticky, and the seats damaged from thousands of asses plopping down onto them, but there are far more advantages to seeing a movie in theatres.
For one, it gives us an excuse to turn off our devices for two hours and let the world and its issues melt away. It’s escapism at its best. Along with that, it gives us a communal experience. Yes, streaming movies at home can have that too, but there is just something special about being in the same place as other people when they are experiencing the same thing for the first time too. For instance, in the movie Joker there is a scene where (spoiler alert upcoming) Arthur Fleck smothers his mother to death with a pillow. I work at a movie theatre, and when this scene comes on I love looking at the audience. Their mouths wide open, gobsmacked at what they are seeing. That is a moment you cannot get watching that scene on a phone.
Another reason movie theatres are better to watch a movie in is the quality of the movies themselves. The surround sound speakers and the big screen dimensions are not just because they make the movie better. They are like that because movies build themselves to be screened on those dimensions. They are designed for audiences to watch at the movies. Sure that could change with streaming, but why do we want that? Why would we ever want a toned-down quality to our movies just to fulfill the goal of watching John Wick while sitting on our couch?
Many people may look at the demise of the movie theatre the same as the demise of the video store, but this is not a 1v1 comparison. Think about the video store; it was just the place you went to pick up the movie. It wasn’t a place for hanging out—the movie theatre is though. It’s an excuse for a night out; it’s a reason to get out of the house for a while. Without it, many communities would lose a reason to go out, especially at night. Sure, in Vancouver there are many entertainment options, but sometimes getting out to Vancouver is too far so you have to find entertainment options in your own area. Take Coquitlam for example. If the Cineplex SilverCity Coquitlam were to close down, what else can you do in Coquitlam on a typical Friday night? Outside of going to the bowling alley across the street and the Hard Rock Casino which definitely can’t be an every week thing, there is not much else. The movie theatre gives us an excuse to leave our ever shrinking hovels for a night of fun that doesn’t break the bank.
Is the movie theatre perfect? The answer is no. The food is far too expensive, and there will always be that one monster that has to scroll through their social media to see how many likes their cat tongue bathing themselves has gotten, shining that bright phone screen in your face, but when it comes to watching a movie, and I mean really watching a movie, nothing can beat the immersive, escapist glory that is the modern day multiplex.
Think home movie-viewing is superior? Check out War of the Words: At home is the best way to watch movies.