While movie theaters have struggled during the 2020 pandemic, their futures have been falling slowly into jeopardy for several years now. With the rise of at home entertainment and the gradual decline of those looking for the authentic movie-going experience, theaters simply have found it hard to stay relevant. Are they doomed to fall the way of Blockbuster to the sword that was convenient at home streaming? Here are some reasons that this just might be coming to pass.
1.) The Stocks Aren’t Doing Well.
According to Market Watch, the companies that own the theaters like AMC and Cineworld were already facing competition in the marketplace before the pandemic hit, and when it did they had a hard time taking the blow. Now cinema revenue is expecting a very strong tightening, the largest they have faced in over two decades according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. They have already admitted that they may run out of money by the end of 2020.
2.) They Can’t Get Bailed Out.
Bailout loans such as those under the Paycheck Protection Program are not available to them due to their massive company size, and like many other large companies, their cries for a federal bailout have fallen on deaf ears that are tuned in to the cries of more crucial screams coming from the American economy. “It would be viewed as devastatingly inappropriate to bail out theaters,” said Eric Schiffer, chief executive and chairman of Patriarch Organization and Reputation Management Consultants. “Instead, they will face the death rattle and have to pick up the pieces. It won’t be the last act of cinema, but it will be brutal.” Grave news indeed…
3.) It’s Been a Long Time Coming.
As previously mentioned, theater has had stiff competition that’s grown in recent years with home entertainment becoming cheaper, growing in variety, and becoming more accessible across multiple platforms. While theater experts insist that it’s nothing to worry about, many wonder if cinema will end up going the way of live theater – more expensive and for a smaller niche crowd that adore the old nostalgic culture more than the “modern convenience” of the masses. Either way, the future of cinema is more uncertain now than ever before.
While most argue that cinema has a big kick in the teeth coming its way, they are expected to survive. The big question is, how long do they have after that? Perhaps if they change their ways and start offering a wider variety of services, such as more rental services for private groups, more festivals to garner interest, and more big movie hits that bring in the massive crowds instead of wasting screens on sub par movies that simply don’t draw in as many people as they used to – then it’s possible they could stay afloat. Only time will tell what movie theaters, both big and small, do to survive.
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