Reasons to go to a movie theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-29-2012, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Some films will never see the light of day in a home theater system because they will never be available - the only exception being if one happens to be fluent in whatever foreign language the film is in, because there are no DVDs or no BRs with English subtitles and one is willing to pay a premium price for that luxury. And it may take many months before it becomes available, if ever. This is one reason to attend film festivals, if one has the interest.

There are some films that are better on a big screen rather than in someone's home theater system with a projection screen. No home theater is comparable to a 40' high IMAX screen. The theater experience can be very different, but that is highly subjective.

I don't mind if I happen to be the only one in the theater while the film is running, but that has never happened, so far. Meaning that I do not need audience reaction and the enjoyment of the film is independent of whoever surrounds me, unless they are obtrusive in some manner.

So the best of both worlds is to pick and choose which movies to see in a theater and also have a decent home theater system.
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post #2 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 12:46 AM
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^Not all of us live in LA or NYC; we don't have access to a bajillion movie theaters.
Home video is the best we can have...

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post #3 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 05:05 AM
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It's a 100 mile round trip to the closest movie theater for me, so a good home theater is a must if I want to watch movies more in a manner in which they were meant to be seen. I've not been to a regular movie theater since around 2003, and won't likely be going to one anytime soon, but I'd very much hate to see them vanish. On the other hand, I would kind of like to see the upcoming Hobbit movies and Prometheus on a big screen.

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post #4 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 05:38 AM
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I live in a medium size market, and we've got a decent number of cineplexes within a half-hour drive, but we've only got one "independent" theater that plays smaller indie and foreign films. I haven't been to that theater in some time, but I know that it doesn't compare to the bigger theaters in terms of screen-size and up-to-date surround sound. We do have the Little Rock Film Festival, which just started yesterday, which is a growing showcase for indie and documentary film, so that's at least one annual chance to get some off-the-beaten-path stuff. I guess my point is, I don't disagree with the OP, but yeah, not all of us have those options. And with technology and prices being what they are these days, it's not that hard to build a home theater that can compete with the theatrical experience, at least in terms of picture and audio quality. The only thing you really can't quite replicate with a home theater is the large audience experience, which, let's face it, has as many or more cons, than it does pros.

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post #5 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 05:52 AM
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I can't really come up with a reason I ever want to go to the theater. I certainly do here and there (but it has more to do with my wife just wanting some peace and quiet so I pack up the kid and go).

Even if the theater happens to be calibrated correctly (which I find is rare in my area anyways), the cons of the audience experience far outweigh any other pros. It doesn't even have to be one or two people being annoying by talking through the movie or using cellphones. It can just be people innocently eating their candy or popcorn and the background noise of the crinkling wrappers and straw slurping is enough to destroy it for me.

The OP makes a good point about movies that might not make it to disc, but given the two independent theaters we have here, they apparently show only the "popular" independent movies that make it to disc.

So I am content to sit at home in my moderate home theater (which many of you would find pathetic I'm sure) and watch a movie in peace and quiet for which I only had to pay 70 cents for (my average Netflix rental price) and which I can pause, rewind, put on subtitles, etc.

I guess I'm just of the opinion that Avengers (for example) at home is better than Avengers on an IMAX screen with the audience annoying me the entire time. Not that the audience is guaranteed to annoy me, and the theater isn't guaranteed to suck at calibration, but every time I go to the theater, it's a $13 gamble that I lose more than win. I'd estimate I'm at an 80% lose rate with that gamble. Vegas has better odds. And that's $13 if I go by myself.
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post #6 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 07:33 AM
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The social aspects aside, I simply enjoy the idea of the theater. A big auditorium, big screen, big sound, plush seats all have a certain appeal to me. Additionally, I enjoy the entertainment and escapism that a theater can provide. When I think "entertainment" and "escapism" I don't think of home (although it can be accomplished there). Those two things conjure up images of a theater, or a ballpark, or a maybe a waterslide among others. Things elsewhere. Getting out of the house from time to time is something I look forward to and I love the solitude of my home. The crowds are something that have little appeal to me but it's really the attitude of the crowd that gets to me. Rude, inconsiderate, unruly, are things that I typically associate with "crowds", and there was a time that it was an accurate description. But now I've found this to be the exception rather than the rule. Perhaps as I've gotten older, I'm choosing more accomodating showtimes or even theaters. But the theater is enjoyable for me again and much of it's mystery and romance, if you will, have been restored.

The quality of movies doesn't hurt either
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 08:28 AM
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I prefer to watch with a (good) audience as I really believe they add something that can't be replicated at home unless you invite every friend you have (even at home, if I can watch with someone else, it's better.) And I'm not just talking about shared laughter (although there is that, too.) It's just an energy that can make movies into a transformative experience when everything clicks.

I'll grant you that out of control audiences are a problem, and I can totally understand why you would not want to encounter them and stay at home. I guess I've been spoiled by live theater with much better behaved crowds. The audience effect is even more pronounced there. (Plus, the actors can yell at disruptive audience members; check out the Youtube video where Hugh Jackman went off on someone in character during a play when a cellphone started ringing.)

I do have a few "good" theaters that tend to not be frequented by the bad crowds. And for a totally mindless film, even an unruly audience can add to it. One of the best movie going experiences was seeing Troy with a bunch of drunk frat boys. That was a movie that needed it.

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post #8 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 09:40 AM
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Some good reasons to go to the theater posted here. And what a refreshing change from the general "movie theaters suck" threads.

My love of movies is entangled in a love of movie-going. Of event. Ever since I stood in the first ever massive event movie line up (for me), Jaws in '75, I've enjoyed the buzz of a movie crowd. I made it a point to try and see almost every eagerly anticipated movie on opening night, part of the big line up crowd. Nothing in home theater, for me, compares to the thrill of seeing a great movie in a great theater with hundreds of people totally into the experience. The anticipation and excited conversations in first night mega line ups for Close Encounters, Alien, Superman, all the Star Wars films, E.T., Raiders, Star Trek, and all the major films are part of my experience of those movies.

Also, as has been mentioned in this thread, there is the "event" and "getting out of the house" aspect. I'm just not a homebody and I'm a "city guy" at heart so I just like getting out of the house. If I've sat home and watched a movie it doesn't really feel like I've "done something" that night. I've just stayed home and watched a movie. Nothing new or interesting or unexpected is going to happen while sitting on the sofa at home. It's a canned experience. Whereas there is always some electricity in going out into public space, people watching, being part of the crowd, etc. Often it's combined with meeting friends somewhere for dinner or a drink.

Further, as much money as I've sunk into my home theater, and as many high-end set ups as I've seen, I've never seen one that competes with the size of the image and sound in a good movie theater. There is still a richness to film-based projection (and to a degree, to the 4K sources for good digital projection) that I don't see in most consumer projection, and the scale of the sound can be something to experience as well.

Then there's the movie food. I'm a total sucker for movie popcorn, snacks and drinks.
Doesn't taste the same at home.

I even prefer bringing my kids to the local Drive In movie theater to see a movie, over watching it at home, when I can. Yes the image isn't nearly as good, but it's a blast - mini golf, concession stand hot dogs and nachos in the car, tons of families, people in lawn chairs, being outside. It's an experience, not just watching a movie.

Pluses for watching at my home are: Usually a terrific image. Very comfortable. I can tailor the sound to my desires (volume-wise and quality-wise). Convenient. Great for being able to watch movies that aren't in a movie theater, on my big screen at home.
Big plus: Can drink beer!

But as much as I LOVE my home theater, I can't help but note that I've yet to experience anything near the thrill watching a movie there, even with friends, as I have countless times at the movie theaters.
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 09:42 AM
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or ..

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1337485

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post #10 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure we all noticed that a couple of threads away from this one, thanks. In fact, I think it's why this thread occurred.
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post #11 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Yeah, I'm pretty sure we all noticed that a couple of threads away from this one, thanks. In fact, I think it's why this thread occurred.

Maybe someone should start a thread titled "Pros and Cons of Attending Your Local Cineplex or Sticking with Your Home Theater .. "

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post #12 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 10:23 AM
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Well, the takeaway comment in the other thread is "It's nice to have a choice." It is pretty good that you can own a home theater and still go out when you want to do so.

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post #13 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Well, the takeaway comment in the other thread is "It's nice to have a choice." It is pretty good that you can own a home theater and still go out when you want to do so.

Well said.

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post #14 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 11:36 AM
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The main reason to go to a movie theater for me: They don't release the movie on Blu Ray for about 4-6 months. If they released it day 1, even with an inflated cost I would probably set foot in a theater very little.

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post #15 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jeahrens View Post

The main reason to go to a movie theater for me: They don't release the movie on Blu Ray for about 4-6 months. If they released it day 1, even with an inflated cost I would probably set foot in a theater very little.

VUDU sometimes has releases while in theaters, and sometimes pretheatrical. Not Blu-ray quality on the sound side (DD+ at best), but an option if you want to watch at home.

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post #16 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

VUDU sometimes has releases while in theaters, and sometimes pretheatrical. Not Blu-ray quality on the sound side (DD+ at best), but an option if you want to watch at home.

Unfortunately, often those movies that available as such are the ones you don't mind to wait for. Same goes for Amazon VOD.

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post #17 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 11:13 PM
 
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Reasons to go to a movie theater:

IMO, it would depend on the quality of your local cinemas. If they are top notch then . . .

1. Seeing a movie on a giant screen. No matter what size image you have in your HT, it pales in comparison to commerical cinema screens which are measured in meters not inches.

2. For Digital Cinema presentations, no matter how good your PJ or TV, again it pales in comparison to the professional equipment from the likes of Barco, Sony or Christie. Then you have the quality of the images themselves; Motion JPEG2000 at 10bit or 12bit color depth. No comparison to the MPEG4/AVC/VC-1 at 8 bit that consumers get from BD.

3. A reason to get out of the house for entertainment purposes. Too many people are "caving" these days. They go out because they have to (work, food shopping, etc) not necessarily because they want to.

4. Discussion on Forums - you can talk about what you saw and not just base it on a trailer you watched on TV or on your PC. Or some review oyu read. Waiting for the BD means waiting 4 months to be in those discussions. . . . LOL - Why wait!
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post #18 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

Unfortunately, often those movies that available as such are the ones you don't mind to wait for. Same goes for Amazon VOD.

Well, it depends on your tastes. Someone is paying the high fees for those releases. You might not, and I don't really, either, but someone is. Otherwise VUDU and Amazon wouldn't waste their time and bandwidth with them.

At any rate, I wasn't commenting on the quality, just that it's another option for those who want it.

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post #19 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 11:44 PM
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Relax and have a beverage and some snaks and I don't have to press play or turn the lights off
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post #20 of 20 Old 05-31-2012, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Pluses for watching at my home are: Usually a terrific image. Very comfortable. I can tailor the sound to my desires (volume-wise and quality-wise). Convenient. Great for being able to watch movies that aren't in a movie theater, on my big screen at home.
Big plus: Can drink beer!

I agree 110%.

FWIW....pour yourself a small glass of Bushmill's Black Bush to sip on while drinking your brew (and, yes, I DO accept American Express)...

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