Are Movie Theaters Going Extinct?


Lilly Ryken

With streaming services rising, and movie cinema tickets declining, people have begun to wonder, are movie theaters dying? The pandemic effected each and every one of us in a different way, including movie theaters. It also affected our occupations, as well as several companies, movie theaters of the being a victim.

“I don’t think movie theaters are dying,” Darrin Paul, Manager of the Norfolk 7 Theater said.   “Throughout the many years of the movie industry era, people were questioning the same question when Betamax and VHS came out. With movies being released on online streaming services, people still want to have the movie going experience.”

The lockdown of the pandemic resulted in people having nothing to do but stay at home and watch movies. The Box Office market revenues in the U.S. and Canada dropped 80 percent last year, according to the Motion Picture Association, due to the impact of the pandemic.

“With COVID-19 kind of putting a damper on things, people are starting to come out and enjoy the experience of watching a feature film on the big screen,” Paul said.

So, this leaves us with the question, what is the future of movie theaters? After two years of chaos brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, people working in the theater industry are hoping that there is a promising future.

“Technology is evolving all the time, I’ve been working in the movie theater industry since 2000, and I’ve seen film go to digital just in my time in the industry. Think of in the 20’s when silent films started getting sound,” Paul said. “I’m glad to have gotten the experience seeing changes within technology. It’s a similar feeling to when silent films started producing sound.”