Celebration Cinema Closes In Grand Rapids. Is Kalamazoo Next?
Another sign of the times. Unfortunately, there will be many more as the days, weeks and months roll on. I don't think people have any idea just how much our world is going to change. Don't get me wrong. Change is good but I don't know if we are ready for many of the changes ahead of us.
Change is good can be attributed to movie theaters. Look what they've done in the last decade or so to compete with big screen TVs in every home, on demand services and now the many platforms from which to acquire movies. The theaters became "experiences" with the reclining chairs, full service food sometimes delivered to your seat and a full service bar. No more sneaking in a bottle. 20 years ago you'd have never imagined.
With that you could argue that perhaps the competition was starting to wear on movie theaters even before the Coronavirus Crisis. However, theater chains held out hope. Regal and AMC both took a stand refusing to run any Universal films in the wake of their promise to open titles on VOD and in theaters simultaneously.
Then the true test came when studios, out of necessity, didn't wait for theaters to reopen and released films straight to streaming. Much to the dismay of movie theaters, "Trolls World Tour" came out on demand and grossed nearly $100 million which answered the big question.
Personally, in the past 10-15 years, we haven't gone to the movies that much; maybe 3-5 times a year. As the toll is taken with this and many other traditional businesses, are we going to look back and say things like "remember when we used to go to movie theaters?".