Photo of Tift Theater for Performing Arts. Photo courtesy of Tift Theater’s Facebook Page.

As we entered quarantine, we soon realized that entertainment as we knew it would no longer be the same. One of the major forms of entertainment to take a hit would be the film and entertainment industry. No longer could you go to a movie theater and enjoy the surround sound and smell of popcorn. Instead, we had to readjust to watching the new blockbusters funneled to us through various streaming services.

These services started to strategize their future and the releasing of their multi-million-dollar movies. The first movie to be released straight to streaming for additional cost was “Trolls: World Tour,” – released by Universal Studios onto Hulu in the spring of 2020. Many movie experts and fans did not know what to expect from this, but the plan was a hit, grossing around 95 million dollars from rental fees.

After, many other production companies soon followed, releasing new titles to streaming services for an additional cost. This strategy seemed smart, and it was a win for both the consumers and the movie studios.

It goes without saying, but the ones who took the hardest hit from all of this were movie theaters themselves. They had no new releases to show on the big screen, and they were at a disadvantage because many of them had to be closed for safety reasons.

However, things might be changing. Now that the vaccine is currently being produced and distributed, we are starting to see both cinemas and theaters reopen to entertain the public. Will we soon be returning to the entertainment of the past?

When asked if they enjoyed watching new releases at home, or if they would rather see these new movies in theaters, Leila Baxter said, “For me, I prefer to watch home. I like the flexibility of it, and the comfort of being in my own home.” While Sydney Doss said, “I like going to the theater for the experience, and time with my friends.”

Many seem to have differing opinions, and their own reason for preference over one or the other. It seems that only time will tell what is in store for the future of movie theaters.

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