Audrey Hepburn once said, “Everything I learned I learned from the movies.” The good news for film lovers is that someone will always be making movies. The question is where we will be watching …
Audrey Hepburn once said, “Everything I learned I learned from the movies.” The good news for film lovers is that someone will always be making movies. The question is where we will be watching them in 10-20 years.
Tuesday's Democrat featured an article on the Callicoon Theater, the only independent movie theater in the county.
The article discussed yet another challenge the local staple faces with the potential termination of the Paramount Consent Decrees, a 1948 Supreme Court decision, by the Justice Department. The Decrees are an agreement that separates film studios from theaters, giving the theaters more control over what they choose to show.
Currently when Callicoon Theater Owner Krissy Smith shows a movie, she has to sign a contract with the film studio that produced it. This contract can include certain clauses, such as how long the movie can be shown, and that other movies cannot be shown at the same time. This is especially challenging when only one movie can be shown at a time, as consumers are interested in different things. Some are drawn in by family films like Frozen 2, superhero movies like the Avengers or smaller independent films.
Theaters also have to give the studios a cut of box office sales. While this is understandable, as studios need to make money too, the percentages can be quite large. Independent films usually take in 35-40 percent of box office sales, while big films can demand 60-70.
This is why theaters make most of their money at the concession stand. And the termination of the Paramount Decrees would serve as another pair of handcuffs put on independent theaters who are trying to keep tickets at reasonable prices.
While content platforms like Netflix and Hulu have been around for a few years, it seems like every time you blink a new one is being created. The latest is Disney+. Not only do they offer an archive of older shows and movies, they also have a number of original content as well.
Following the trend of the digital age, more and more people are spending their time with handheld electronics rather than participating in activities in the real world. These content platforms are great and offer convenience. But there's something special about going to the movies. The smell of popcorn. The lights dimming before the show begins. Not to mention the feeling of community that comes from sharing the moment with others in attendance.
Hopefully the magical appeal of going to the movies doesn't go away. So let's strive to keep it alive and make an effort to continue to support local movie theaters. Decrees or no decrees, they need our help now more than ever.
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