Friday, September 16, 2011

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is about to open a multi-screen movie theater. The movie business and movies have changed a lot since I was a kid. The days in which the movies were on a big reel and required a projectionist for operation of the machine are gone. Movies now come to the theaters in a metal box that is inserted into the projector and a computer does the rest. No need for projectionist anymore.

It’s amazing that movie theaters have survived with DVD’s, Netflix and other modern technology. Movies may be downloaded onto a computer then projected onto your TV, iPad, phones, etc. Streaming of movies directly onto the TV is the current trend and this will probably replace DVDs and the fancy high definition Blueray.

Movies remain one of our most popular forms of entertainment and movies theaters flourish in spite of the high cost for attending. You can almost buy a Blueray player for the cost of taking a family to the movie and treating them to popcorn and a drink. And to think, I once paid 9 cents to see a movie and a bag of popcorn cost a nickel and a coke was also a nickel. The movies makers and distributors hold the release on DVDs until the theaters have had their run and everyone has had a chance at your pocketbook.

The most amazing thing is that movies remain popular even though they are terrible. There are only a couple of good flicks a year. The rest are a display of special effects with car crashes and explosions. The Westerns, which were my favorite, are now like the dinosaur and have become extinct. Probably the main reason movies remain popular is that TV is so bad. I often think of the good old days when the starting time for a feature was never posted. I just went into the movie at anytime and would frequently spend Saturday afternoon in the theater and see the movie a couple of times while I enjoyed the air-conditioning and good cheap popcorn. The quality of the film was excellent with real Technicolor and high quality lighting. The actors spoke in audible tones and the movies usually had an interesting plot. With all this, I also got to see a great cartoon, the newsreel, a serial and other special features like travel logs.

I guess everything must change to survive. Even our church services have changed and the movies are no exception. I still like the good old days and the Golden Age of movies.


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