AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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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.