Did the pandemic kill the theater business or the smartphone?

Movie theaters are dying a slow painful death. I'm a filmmaker and passionate cinephile, but facts are facts. Unlike, all the previous challengers, movie theaters will not be able to overcome the enormous culture shift caused by the smartphone. Kids today, will never know the magic of the true communal experience that movie-going used to be. They will never hold their breath in anticipation of the next big release. And unlike live shows on Broadway, seeing a film is not a unique experience that can't be virtually replicated at home, or on your smartphone for that matter. Especially if didn't grow up during the era when the new movies releases for the weekend were a really big deal. And oh my God, the summer releases were a whole other level of excitement. Long lines around the block with anxious fans. Making sure you found a theater that had THX sound. Even television shows were designed around the announcement of the summer slate. Everyone's life revolved around what new movie was coming out the next week. People would schedule their calendars around these release dates. But alas, you can't miss what you've never had. In 20 to 30 years theaters will go the way of the victrola, the vinyl record, the eight-track track, beta/VHS, and blockbuster video. We never thought shopping malls would go out of vogue. Malls have been declining for years and will soon be extinct too. It's no longer a matter of if, but when. I recently asked a teen have they had ever seen a Thomas Guide, and they replied "Who is that?".

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