The second biggest movie theater business, Regal Cinemas, is shutting down. Owning 127 theaters in the United Kingdom and 536 theaters in the United States, Regal will affect over 45,000 employees.
According to a CNN business article, “the company said it could not provide customers ‘with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theaters against the backdrop of Covid-19.’”
With other popular businesses closing down because of Covid-19, what will be instore for the next generation of movie-goers?
Emma Sweeney ’22 states, “My fondest memories are going to the movies with my family and friends- we bonded through our love of film. Every time I go to the movies, my favorite thing to do is to get popcorn and candy. Watching a film in a movie theater is an entertaining and memorable experience that you can’t find anywhere else.”
There are many other people who have shared similar memories of going to the movies, but it seems like the possibility of establishing that tradition is diminishing.
According to NPR “the prolonged closures have had a detrimental impact on the release slate for the rest of the year, and, in turn, our ability to supply our customers with the lineup of blockbusters they’ve come to expect from us as such, it is simply impossible to continue operations in our primary markets.”
Covid-19 has had a major impact on business but has especially hurt to the entertainment industry.
According to a CNN feature, “in the same way that social media approximates the experience of being in a community, I think the way we now watch these things — whether on our flat screens or laptops or phones — is also an approximation of what the original foundations of this medium always were. It’s bittersweet. Five years ago, you couldn’t just get on your laptop and find Claire Denis films. Now you can, which is an awesome thing and better for the world, for sure. But there’s a trade-off.”
Since most of the movie theaters are shut down, people rely on streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney plus, Hulu, etc. It will soon be the new norm to stream new movies through those services. Disney, for example, released the new Mulan movie on their platform instead of the movies.
While people are in the house, they’re watching movies on TV, but streaming services are not able to offer what movie theatres can: an experience.
Although, most people have those streaming services, movie executives argue that the comfort of your home does not replace the theatre. However, COVID-19 has forced it to.
“Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, Swinton said: “I hope that Netflix are going to build some nice big cinemas in every single city around the world. That’s what I want them to do… and then they’ll prove that they’re really dedicated to big screen entertainment.”
Unlike the movie industries, Streaming services have been making bank because of the abundance of users COVID has brought. In the next ten years, movie theaters may cease to exist and Netflix will rise to take over the entertainment industry.