There you sit, happily at home. Your favorite flick is on your 4K screen and cinematic sound from your home theater setup is filling every corner of the room. A decade ago, this might not have been possible. For others, it might be the next possibility.
Since the dawn of time (or early 1900s, take your pick), moving pictures and the cinema were the perfect duo. Like Bonnie and Clyde, Batman and Robin, Garth and Wayne. They were synonymous with dinner and a show. The perfect date night: easy to plan, predict and budget for. But a lot has changed since a Charlie Chaplin premiere. Especially technology.
Not only have digital streaming services, movies on demand and popular cable shows come to rival Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, the ability to enjoy your favorite movies at home has also become increasingly affordable and gratifying. In fact, the experience at home might be even better than a night out at the movies.
Here are five reasons why:
1. Cost. This one’s a no-brainer. According to the National Association of Theater Owners, the average cost of a ticket at movie theaters in the U.S. rose to $9.38 in the second quarter of 2018. Then there’s the popcorn conundrum to consider. A large bucket (even without butter) and two drinks can easily run $20 or more, making that night out at the movies lighten your wallet by nearly fifty bucks! Compare that to staying at home, preparing special snacks, enjoying your favorite drinks and using zero gas to drive to the theater — and you’ve saved yourself a bundle of cash to use on other things. Perhaps an enhancement to your sound system, or purchasing the movie itself?
2. More Choice. Sure, binge-watching more than one movie at a theater is possible (though costly), but you’re limited to only those films being shown at the venue and the need to coordinate show times carefully. But if you stay at home, you have nearly endless content at your disposal — content that you can watch at your convenience, with the pause button assuring plenty of time for restroom breaks and the like. There’s Blu-ray, DVDs and purchased streaming content, as well as cable packages that offer a wide array of television shows you can’t find in any theater. When it comes to the sheer amount of choice available to every home, there’s really no comparison.
3. Cleanliness. Hands up: Who likes sticky floors and dirty seats? Sure, many establishments have upgraded to recliners, but that’s just another way to sweep things into the cracks. Far better to stay at home where you have total control over hygiene.
4. Convenience/Comfort/Control. Ah yes, the three Cs. Let’s weigh the facts. At home, you can get out of bed, walk into the living room and you’re ready to watch a movie. Or you could shower, dress and drive to the theater. I don’t know about you, but lounging in PJs or a robe strikes me as a much more appealing option. You can also control the movies and TV shows you watch at home, as opposed to the theater, where you’re at the mercy of show times and traffic. Nothing quite compares to the convenience of watching what you want when you want.
5. Noise/Sound Quality. Save yourself a headache and high blood pressure by controlling not just what you watch but also the environment you watch it in. Staying at home allows you to avoid rude theater-goers who never learned about public etiquette. (It seems as if, no matter how many creative ways theaters try to explain the shortcomings of humankind when it comes to cell phones and talking during movies, humankind simply will not abide.) What’s more, you can get better sound at home, especially if you calibrate your system so it performs optimally. Compare that to a theater that may or may not have quality speakers or the capability to run the kind of setup the film demands, with presence and enough bass to rumble your seat. A standard 5.1-channel surround sound system in your home can easily rival (or even surpass) that of many theaters.
You may want to remember these points before you decide to go see the latest blockbuster in the movie theater. Chances are it’ll be available to watch at home in a couple of months anyway!
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