What’s Next for Movie Theaters?

Written by: Casey Miles

Primary Source: Writing Rhetoric and American Cultures

>movie_audienceIn this article from The Next Web, Paul Sawers takes a look at “The Future of Cinemas” from a global perspective, investigating the question of just how much an impact streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon are having on their brick and mortar counterpart, the movie theater. He compares the introduction of VHS and DVDs to the introduction of streaming services, which have actually served to uphold the theater as a popular and preferred movie-watching method.

I appreciate Sawers global look at movie going, noting that in most countries theater ticket sales are on the rise, including here in the U.S. He writes that perhaps the biggest threat to the silver screen is the advancement of home entertainment technology combined with more affordable price tags. Add this to the fact that most home entertainment companies are finding ways to integrate streaming services into their systems (Boku, Apple TV, etc, “smart TVs”).

Sawer then goes on to ponder the “connected cinema,” which seems to be the final refuge in our networked lives. But for how much longer? On the flipside of this debate consider theater chain Cinemark, which has created an app that rewards customers with concession goodies when they turn their phones to “CineMode” (dims screen, turns on vibrate). It seems inevitable that our mobile, connected lives will enter the theater in more obvious and deliberate ways in the future, but how much will this impact the cinematic experience? The way Hollywood features are made, distributed, and/or marketed?

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Casey Miles
Casey Miles is PhD student in Rhetoric & Writing, with a master’s degree in Digital Rhetoric & Professional Writing. Casey’s research focuses on queer rhetorics, specifically looking at butch ways of knowing, doing, and being in academic spaces, as well as documentary and video composition. Casey continues to work on her documentary series, The Gender Project, which explores gender, gender identity, and sexuality in everyday lives. Follow her on Twitter @soulsmiles