The Magic of Movie Theaters

Recognizing the blush red leather chairs, salty popcorn, slightly overpriced treats, and films on the big screen we have taken for granted.


(Orlin Wagner/AP/Shutterstock)

Chloe Mutter, Staff Writer

The smell of buttery popcorn, the sweet refreshing taste of soda and the comfort of surrounding silence, all drawing you away from reality and capturing you into the magical world of motion pictures. A place of wonder, inspiration and life changing knowledge. 

Personally, movie theaters are one of my favorite places to go because of how much I seem to connect with the movie. They fill me with new ideas and inspire me to be something better or do something great every time. They have transformed the way I look at things and have affected generations by presenting certain beliefs that are hard to connect with in the real world. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 theaters such as AMC, Cineplex and Regal have been closed across the globe. Theaters, a staple in American society since 1905, face a unique set of problems including the uncertainty of when returning customers will be comfortable sitting in enclosed spaces; the growing competition between on-demand and streaming new releases; along with changes throughout the movie industry as the pandemic gets worse or better.

The movie industry has lost billions of dollars on rent fees and maintenance as well as losing tons of money from studios like Universal and Paramount who haven’t been able to produce or release any new movies. According to Vulture Magazine movies such as Wonder Woman 1984, Without Remorse, Unhinged and Soul release dates were pushed back a couple months. But other movies like Avatar 2, The Batman, A Quiet Place Part 2, The Flash, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Mission Impossible 7 and 8, Top Gun: Maverik, Indian Jones and Star Wars release dates and production dates were pushed back up to two or three years. 

Just as everybody else, the movie industry has been trying to figure out what the next best step is and the things they need to adapt to in order to have a future. This means changing their whole dynamic and developing a new way of watching movies. Since quarantine broke out not only did the rise in attending outdoor movie theaters skyrocket, but newly made movies such as Scooby, Mulan, Artemis Fowl, Blue Story, Greyhounds, The Love Birds and My Spy all switched from theatrical release to digital, using apps like Disney Plus, Amazon, Netflix and On-Demand to release movies. These small changes are just the beginning of what the movie industry is going to have to do inorder to carry on making movies. 

As of August AMC has reopened 100 theaters across America depending on the state and local guidelines. AMC theaters have created social distancing standards, required masks for all, have reduced auditorium capacity, simplified menus, added cashless transactions and sanitized stations throughout the facility. They have also incorporated an enhanced cleaning process with air filters, routine cleaning and disinfecting sprays. Excitingly this dose included our local Northbrook and Hawthorn theaters, but outside of our area, not all theaters have reopened yet. The reopening of movie theaters is bringing us one step closer towards the life we once had before the pandemic.

Despite the new regulations and precautions with COVID-19, I would still go to the movie theaters as long as there were guidelines towards health and safety put in place. Movies inspired us on a daily basis to try new things, be new people and push the limits of what mankind can accomplish. We need some of that inspiration movies provide us right about now as progress seems to be moving so slowly. 

All of these changes in the movie industry pose a potential threat to the cinematic culture, leaving the old ways behind. Clarissa Wild, a famous author once said, “People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Truth is, you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it.” 

Before movie theaters shut down we took them for granted and expected them to always be open. Going shopping, eating out and even going to school were things we all expected to be there but since April they haven’t. As movie theaters slowly start to open back up again it changes our views on taking less things for granted and seeing everything as a luxury which is something we forgot.