What will the future hold for cinema?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: February 24, 2022 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)

Cinemas closed in 2020 and again in 2021 around the world, release dates were postponed, and streaming services grew in popularity. 

Although most people anticipate music festivals, live concerts, and theatrical performances to resume imminently, the cinema’s long-term viability as a venue for entertainment is perhaps far more fragile. 

What lies ahead for the fate of this much-loved and once highly valued experience? Cinema provides us with topics for conversation, immersive adventures, and transports us to other realms.

Streaming Services

For most of us over the past few years, streaming services have been a precious commodity, offering viewers a much needed getaway like never before. During the peak of the lockdown, the average British adult spent approximately 40% of their time in front of a television, according to Ofcom in August 2020

These statistics are for the early part of 2020, and they show a spike in popularity in streaming platforms and their content. In an age when technology allows us to enjoy the low-cost privilege of streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video, the need for fresh content grows, and the yearning to return to our favourite cinemas grows.

The cinema experience

Let’s face it, there’s nothing that can truly match the experience you get at the cinema. You get to choose your seat, indulge in a huge bucket of popcorn and take in all the sound and visual effects you just can’t recreate at home. Nothing beats being in the middle of a busy cinema and experiencing every rush, gasp, laugh, and tear in synchrony, delivering an engrossing experience unlike any other.

While cinemas have had a difficult few years financially, one reassurance remains: moviegoers will always want to escape to another dimension, seek amusement through film, and become deeply immersed in new blockbuster movies.

The future of cinema

While many cinema chain owners are upset about the sudden influx of films heading to streaming platforms, it’s worth noting that studios have been making similar choices about direct-to-consumer material in various formats for decades. Prior to streaming, major motion picture films were released directly to VHS or DVD, bypassing the cinema outright.

There will undoubtedly be further changes to the cinematic release strategy as vaccination rates rise and cases fall, however one thing is certain: the cinema still has a future in our world.

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