Thoughts on Movie Going in the Age of Covid-19

Will movie going ever be the same? It’s not like I want to add more doom and gloom to what we have been experiencing, however after reading a few articles recently, I have wondered about its future. Theaters are in crisis. Regal theatres have kept its doors closed up to now. AMC is open with limited capacity and struggling.  Like many, I have not been inside a movie theater since the pandemic hit us early this year, turning our lives inside out. True, I have been watching plenty of movies, thanks to DVD’s, Netflix, Amazon, and other outlets that we fortunately have today, but theater going is still a unique experience. I mean, I don’t care how big your TV screen is, it’s not as big as a theater’s. And though I no longer indulge, I love the smell of movie theatre popcorn, and just having other people around to share the experience. All of which is all gone… at least for now. 

One article I read mentioned how many of the studios have been postponing the release of their major films until next year. Steven Spielberg’s new version of “West Side Story,” scheduled for release this Christmas season now pushed back to a December 2021 debut. Also, there is “Respect,” the bio about Aretha Franklin, starring Jennifer Hudson, that should have been out by now. Instead, it now has a new release date of August 2021. This is all in hopes a vaccine would be out and the pandemic gone, or at least under control by then, and audiences will feel safe enough to come back and sit next to hundreds of other people in an enclosed space. What are the odds?

Despite people, including myself, and businesses wanting to get back to normal, what we are facing is a new normal where life has changed. It won’t be forever, but until COVID-19’s eradicated like Polio, you have to ask yourself how safe is it to go back to the old normal, and what is your tolerance for risk? For me, my risk tolerance of going to a movie theater filled with people who don’t want to wear a simple thing like a mask or don’t believe the science or just don’t care is more than I can deal with in my life.

Be open and willing to adjust to changes in life.  

I hate not going to a movie theater or seeing a live concert or theater performance. I also hate the idea of getting sick from a disease that we still know little about and seems in many people to have long-lasting effects.

But I also think how much worse this all could be if it was 1970 and there were no PC’s or I-Pads, I-Phones, cable TV and streaming services to connect us with the outside world like we have today. Think about it, how fortunate we are in that respect.  

No, I won’t be going back to a movie theater for a while, a long while. I miss it, but I’d also miss too many other things in life if I get sick or die. I’m not living in fear as some may say or think I am. I’m adjusting to a new normal that may be around for a while and making the best of it. I just need to decide what movie I want to watch tomorrow.

11 thoughts on “Thoughts on Movie Going in the Age of Covid-19

  1. There is one option for some. Drive-in theaters, which I’ve read about recently, have been looked at seriously since this started. We have a Drive-In around 50 miles away from where I live that I’ve thought about going to again. It’s not the same but I’ve always liked going to drive-ins. This time my big sister would not hide me in the trunk to get in!

    At least you would be in the closed environment of your car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Drive-in theaters have been a good option and have been on the rise. Though, here by me there are none. Wow! Mentioning Drive-in’s brings back old memories.

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  2. I’d be willing to go to a theater now–if there was just something to watch. I think theaters could enforce that patrons wear masks, so I’m not worried about that. The cleaning of surfaces would probably be more effective than what grocery stores are doing. I’ve been going to restaurants since last July. I see people in masks and six feet apart.

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  3. Rick, I’d be skeptical about the theaters enforcing mask wearing. Once the lights go down, the masks will come off for a segment of the audience, and who is going to monitor this? Restaurants are out for us, at least for now, especially as the virus numbers continue to go up.

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  4. I just left a comment on this post on your Twenty Four Frames site 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    P.S. Speaking of Trump cause Pam talked about the election the other day, are you familiar with the work of the late great investigative journalist Wayne Barrett? I ask because he exposed Trump decades ago and continued to investigate him till the day he died, which was coincidentally the day before Trump was inaugurated. Here are two links below 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Barrett

    https://www.vox.com/2016/6/1/11690238/wayne-barrett-donald-trump

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with you 100%, John. Where I live there are no drive-ins anymore but occasionally there are now what you might call “pop-up” drive-in events that are set up in public parking lots adjacent to civic auditoriums, etc. However, I would rather watch from home. I have great memories of old, “real” drive-ins that were built for the purpose they served: sloped parking spaces, a clunky metal speaker at each space to be hung in the car window , snack bars, friends piled in the trunk of the car…and all the rest. I look forward to a time when group events are safe again and to be able to go to the movies, concerts, dinners, etc., without thinking about masks and distance and the potential danger that may be lurking in any enclosed space full of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patty, I don’t know what the future will bring but I hope you’re right about eventually being able to go out without masks, social distancing. The way the numbers have been going up, I fear it won’t be any time soon.

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