Saturday’s Six: Good Things About Movie Theaters

With the continuing rise of home movie theaters, where you can watch your favorite films in privacy and with ease without bothersome neighbors, texting teenagers and wailing babies, it seems as though going to movie theaters is a pastime that’s about to become extinct in our lifetime.  Here are six reasons why movie theaters are still worth the journey:

1. The Atmosphere

Cinemas are buildings designed to throw you one consistent message from the second you step into them: you’re in for a great, great experience.  It’s like you’ve landed on a miniature version of Times Square, with neon lights, colorful posters, people milling here and there, hawkers selling there wares, and you clutching the magic ticket to a show.  I’ve always been in love with theaters that take pains to present a great “preshow” journey as you walk through their building, even up to the movie rooms themselves with soft lights and curtains framing the big screen.

2. Trailers

Sure, you can easily view movie trailers at home, but their inclusion before features always makes me feel as though I’m getting more bang for my buck.  More often than not, they’ll showcase a flick that I’ve never heard of and make their case for trying to get me to see it.  Many trailers break the emotional ice of the audience by injecting fear, laughter or adrenaline with their marketing, which hopefully lines up with the tone of the movie you’re about to see.

3. Tempting Snack Foods

Okay, you’re not going to get any argument from me that theater concessions are obscenely overpriced and generally not very good for you.  But the reason they sell so well is that when people go to a movie theater, they’re giving themselves permission to have a wonderful time and to do something a little out of the bounds of what they’d consider normal at home.  Popcorn and candy and coke are inseparably tied in with the movie-watching experience that it just seems wrong to go in empty-handed.

4. Freebies

If you go to see a movie on its release weekend, chances are good (if it’s one of the “bigger” films) that the theater might be handing out free promotional items — usually mini-posters, buttons, cups or 3D glasses.  Everyone loves swag, and even if I don’t care for the item in question, I’m usually tickled that I got it to begin with.

5. Audience Participation

Audiences are a two-edged sword, more often than not.  Many people attend movies these days trying their best to pretend that no one else is in the theater with them, and are easily irked by the slightest noise or revelation that someone else is watching the film.  Yet there’s a sense of community and joy that can come with watching a great movie with lots of other people who are feeling the vibe — the jolt of fear, the hilarious jokes, even the cheers as the hero pulls off the great reveal.  Many might not admit it, but the audience around them is responsible for influencing how they ultimately feel about a movie, more often than not.

6. The Screen Is Still Bigger Than My TV

Unless you’re richer than the sultan himself, movie theaters still have a better screen and sound system than you could ever cram into your home.  And big is cool, my fine furry friend.


  1. As a movie theatre lover and former employee, I’m glad to see some people still love the full cinema experience! And overpriced as it may be, popcorn just tastes better straight from a real popper than a microwave!

  2. If you guys want the best theater-going experience… See a movie in a theater full of drunken Marines. Nothing more entertaining I tells ya.

  3. Hello my loved one! I want to say that this article is
    awesome, nice written and include almost all significant infos.
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