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Defector At The Movies

Please Do Not Doom Me To A Life Of Only Watching Movies In My Wretched Home

Movie theater
Photo: Getty Images

There’s big news in the movie industry today. Here is the big news:

https://twitter.com/kristapley/status/1334565615902679041

Maybe you are the type of person for whom this news is exciting. Sure, you like to see the occasional blockbuster in a theater because you enjoy the big explosions, but you also have a pretty tight viewing experience set up in your home—nothing crazy, of course, just a big couch, a big TV, and maybe some cool surround sound—and you would much rather watch movies at home if doing so didn’t always require waiting for them to hit streaming platforms months after their release.

If you are this kind of person, and if you believe that more studios will follow Warner Brothers’ lead here, then you might be staring down a future in which you will be able to see basically every newly released movie without ever stepping foot inside another theater. If you plan to eagerly gobble the fruits that such a future will bear, that’s fine. You are free to live your life how you want, but I also want you to know that you will be personally and emphatically fucking me over.

I simply cannot abide a world in which movie theaters become obsolete and eventually non-existent. I do not say this because I harbor some cinephilic belief that a movie can only be truly enjoyed and understood if it is viewed on a big screen in a darkened theater. I am no that much of a purist. I make my claim because watching movies in my home sucks mondo ass.

I live in a third-story apartment that happens to place my front windows nearly within touching distance of an elevated train track, upon which large trains zoom past every 8 to 10 minutes. This means that every movie that I watch at home—on my small television, while perched on my small couch that sits near a scorching radiator—is soundtracked by the roaring sound of trains. While you are watching movies in your “movie den” or whatever it is you choose to call it, enjoying the swells of music, the expertly delivered lines of quiet dialogue, and the crisp clanging of swords, I am sweating and trying to find a comfortable sitting position and hearing trains. Always the trains.

I need movie theaters, man. I need them to remain enough of a cultural necessity that I do not need to travel through multiple boroughs in order to get to one, or to worry that a movie I want to see will not be showing at the theater nearest me. I am basically never happier than on the days when I can take a short train ride to a nearby neighborhood, get an afternoon drink at the bar that’s just down the block from the theater, and then go watch a movie while stuffing my face with an obscene amount of popcorn. Unless you want to rob me of being able to continue having this experience, to wound me in a manner most foul, you must purchase a ticket to see a movie at a movie theater as soon as the pandemic ends. And then you must keep doing that, no matter how many new releases become available for you to see at home. That is all I have to say.