Fill in the blank: Movie theaters are…

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Columnist Abhishek Poddar writes about his love of movie theaters.

By Abhishek Poddar, Opinion Columnist

… nostalgic.

Sitting in a theater, popping popcorn, sipping up sodas, waiting for the lights to dim, being presented with trailers of future releases, getting past previews, and finally, the 35 mm art — are those memories of the past? 

Well, theaters have been a way to escape reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has drifted us far away from the experience of watching movies in theaters. Online streaming giants have taken over and performed much better than theaters. The comfort of enjoying “talkies” has wholly shifted to watching content on demand.

Movies remain the best source of entertainment. The movie industry has suffered staggering releases since the world opened up after the pandemic. The pandemic has shaped the world, and audiences have made choices centering on the comfort of their homes and living rooms. 

One of the most significant trade-offs is online streaming services’ budget-centric solutions — the plethora of content from a single click or swipe, all available in a single subscription. Going to movies specifically served a lot of purposes. First, getting ready and suited up, chalking out plans and discussing the available choices a day before, setting up a schedule around the movie screening. Just writing all these hit me with nostalgia!

Are movie theaters only serving the purpose of being nostalgic? Well, they do contribute to the nostalgia factor. But theaters are also the way to enjoy stories the way they are meant. Streaming content takes away the excitement. 

The immersive audio and the dark ambience is best experienced in theaters. The movie experience at home will have to remain close enough, but does not match the escape that theaters provide.