Coronavirus Life + Arts Movies

Movie theater attendance decreases as pandemic continues

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

With the ongoing pandemic, many businesses have been jeopardized, especially those that typically involve large crowds. Movie theaters in particular have reached an all time low.

All Regal Cinemas nationwide, including five major Houston locations, will be closed temporarily until further notice, according to the Houston Chronicle. However, this decision not only affects movie-goers, but also approximately 45,000 people unemployed due to the Regal Cinema closures.

New releases are now being made readily available on virtual streaming platforms such as Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max and more.

“(I use) Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, as well as Amazon Prime, about every day, especially now that we are off classes. But before or (on) an average day, I’ll watch like an episode or two of a show or like half a movie,” said biochemistry freshman Alyssa Delgado.

With new cinematic features being readily available at ones fingertips, where will the future for movie theaters stand after COVID-19 passes?

“I think that movie theaters will remain open afterwards, even if there are movies on streaming services because going to the cinema is a different experience than having friends at home to watch the movie with,” Delgado said.

Delgado said she holds an optimistic approach to the future of cinematic experience.

“After the pandemic, I’d still consider going to the movies,” said biology freshman Reyna Amezcua.

Both students say they would watch movies in the theater on average once every other month prior to COVID-19, but anticipate theaters to have a better outlook in the upcoming years post COVID-19.

Movie theaters could make a comeback similarly to how they did during previous pandemics, according to BBC.

About a century ago, the Spanish Flu affected millions around the world, alongside the end of World War I. Even though the coronavirus outweighs the severity of the flu outbreak, after the global crisis, many flocked back to the theaters in hopes of feeling the experience that comes from the movie-watching in the cinema again.

“To me, going to the movies is more about going out. They’re still a good social activity, it’ll just be a while before they make a comeback,” Amezcua said.

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