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OPINION: Streaming services are destroying the traditional cinema experience

One of my favorite things to do is go to the cinema. Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, but there’s something about seeing a new movie in a theater.

More and more people are choosing to wait until a movie is available on a streaming service to watch it, rather than going to the cinema. As someone who grew up with several cinemas nearby, I enjoy going to the movies and am glad they have reopened after COVID-19.

Buying the tickets, getting popcorn and other snacks, and then going to the cinema to watch trailers for other upcoming movies is such a fun experience. I recently became a fan of Marvel movies, so the first movie I saw after everything opened up again was Spider-Man: No Way Home. Hearing and seeing audiences react the way I did is something you can’t get from watching a movie on Netflix in your room.

I watched the new movie “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ already watched twice because I miss going to the cinema. Every time I watched it I saw a different preview that looked interesting and it made me curious for the next time I go to the cinema. I turned to the person I was with and said, “I have to come back to see this movie!”

When I talk to my friends about my love for cinema, they say that they don’t like going to the cinema that much. I was absolutely shocked when I heard that: I really thought everyone liked going to the cinema. A friend of mine said she’d rather wait until it drops on Disney+.

Streaming services destroy the cinema experience. Movies are shown there first rather than being sent to theaters, or people choose to wait for the movie to be available on a streaming service to watch at home instead.

I remember going to the cinema before COVID-19 and the cinemas were full of people. The last few times I’ve been there I’ve seen 20 people at most.

I truly believe that you’re not just paying for the movie, you’re paying for the entire experience. You can even start a tradition like my mom and I did. Whenever we didn’t have anything planned for New Year’s Eve, we’d get a movie at 11 or 11:30 that night, so we’d go to the cinema at the end of one year and come out at the beginning of another.

Next time you and your friends have nothing to do, think about going to the movies. It’s not very expensive if you eat in advance (or smuggle in your own snacks). It can also be a fun way to see what other movies are coming out soon. The movies can also give you something to look forward to, or they can serve as an excuse to see your friends and take a break from school.

Olivia Franklin (she/she) is a junior student majoring in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. She is a member of the IU Swim Club and the Women in Media organization.

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