Photo courtesy of Damián Buonamico / Creative Commons

Is Movie Theater Popcorn Worth It or Should We Stick to Streaming?

How do the experiences of streaming and physically going to the movies differ? Because the two are so unique, they each have their benefits and their downfalls.

We live in the day and age of streaming sites; Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Go, and the more novel Apple TV+ and Disney+ are in high demand by our generation. In the past decade, some of the most popular series have originated from these sites, including critically acclaimed Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, Black Mirror, and House of Cards. Because of the rising favor of streaming sites’ original shows, many people have even opted to get rid of their cable altogether. The original movies put out from these streaming sites, such as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Roma, and Someone Great, are also receiving great reviews. Leading to the question, as cable becomes less popular, what is the future of movie theaters and what are the implications of this shift to streaming?

In many ways, going to the movie theater is a bit of a luxury. Experiencing a movie on the big screen is very different from viewing on a laptop or even television at home; the big, bright picture, as well as the encompassing surround sound, makes you feel almost as if you are a part of the film. To make the experience even more enjoyable, while you watch the movie you get to munch on buttery popcorn, as well as other snacks and drinks that, especially for children, are special treats reserved for the movie theater. Additionally, going to the movie theater is nostalgic for many people; it reminds teenagers of their childhoods and parents of their teenage years. How could such a luxury be replaced by simply watching movies in your own home?

While theaters do have their perks, there are many reasons for a preference toward streaming. It is important to take into account that many of the movies on the big screen are later released on streaming sites; if you are already paying for these sites, why not wait for the movie to come out for streaming instead of paying extra to go to the movies? Similarly, in terms of money, for people that frequently watch films, going to the theater can be very expensive.

Nowadays, it seems that going to the movie theater is more of a luxury, for a date night or an outing with friends. Generally, in this day and age, more and more people tend to prefer staying home instead of going out, especially when it comes to enjoying a television series or movie. It is also interesting to take into account the idea that streaming sites are able to invest in riskier movies, allowing them to feature a wider range of films than a theater. For example, streaming sites have a lot of movies based on novels, which would not have been produced by major companies in the case of a flop. The more inclusive range of films offered by streaming sites is another reason that people would choose to pay for a subscription to these sites instead of paying to go to the movie theater.

How many times have you been to the movie theater in the past year, and what was the occasion? The sad reality is that while we all love watching movies in the theater, it seems more convenient and budget-friendly to stay home and take full advantage of the streaming sites that we already pay for monthly.

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