Death of the Movie Theater

The post-Covid world has had a serious long-tail impact on the movie industry. All production companies, from Netflix to Hulu, have gone through a shakeup. They don’t look any different than ABC or NBC, except you can watch their content anytime vs. a particular hour. Each channel’s search is not that good. So much will have to change, and it will be painful for consumers to watch.

The writers are pissed; their films are being streamed and not in theaters, so they are making less money. A strike is imminent. It appears that streaming is where it is at.

I would love to see various movies, but you can’t stream them, and they are not in theaters either. But the thing is, theaters are closing. This past week it was announced that 14th Street Union Square Regal is closing, bankrupt. The theater on the 23rd and 8th is closing too. Both theaters are large, with 8-10 screens, and played a massive part in our kids’ lives. We would go once, if not twice, a weekend when they were growing up.

I love going to the theater. There are a few great indie theater houses downtown, but one has closed, and I fear more will. These are huge pieces of real estate. It makes me sad.

What is the future of film watching? We would spend more money on the monthly nut for the studios if we had access to every film that came out the day they came out. Perhaps those who don’t want that can pay up for a movie if they want to see it that day or otherwise wait on when it is dropped for everyone.

I do not know what the best decisions are, especially regarding how all the creatives benefit financially. Still, the film industry is entering a very rocky ride.