Movie Reviews

Movie Theaters or New Streaming Services: Which is Superior?

Movie Theaters vs Streaming

In the past few years, the internet has been bombarded with new streaming services. Netflix was only the beginning— now there is Hulu, HBOMax, Tubi, Peacock, Paramount+ and many others. While paying for a streaming service is the cheapest way to watch movies, is it the best way? Is the movie theater experience still superior? 

From the anticipation of the trailers to the bubbling excitement as the lights dim, watching a movie at a theater is truly an experience. Getting there early means extra time to play in the arcade, buy some food, and ensure you get a good seat. For a few hours, all worries cease to exist. Being forced to mute all cellphones ensures a fully immersive experience for everybody in the theater. Customers are placed into an environment where everybody has at least one thing in common: a desire to watch an anticipated film. This opens up the possibility for starting conversations with someone new and branching out. The dimming of the lights provides a visual cue that it is time to transition from chatty anticipation to silent satisfaction. Any movie can benefit from being shown on the big screen. The visuals in movies like Dunkirk or Top Gun: Maverick are truly breathtaking in theaters. 

In contrast, streaming services have taken a hold of movie consumers. Companies bring customers in with cheap monthly subscriptions, a large variety of options, portability, and the ability to pause. While these features make watching films more convenient, they are not without faults. Due to the numerous options a single click away, streaming can be highly addictive. A movie can be watched over and over again at no extra cost. The true cost of convenience is the experience viewers are forfeiting. Solitarily watching a movie like The Batman on an iPhone does not evoke the same emotions as seeing it at a movie theater with friends and family. Many audio and visual effects are also lost in the process, dulling the movie.

The greatest factors that this all boils down to are cost and convenience. For some families, movie theaters are far too overpriced. For others, streaming does not do their favorite films justice. Both have pros and cons that depend on the personal preference of the customer. 

Where do you stand? Do you prefer going out to a movie theater or watching a movie from Netflix at home? Let me know in the comments! 

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