Experiencing summer with no movie theaters

Benjamin Haylett, Arts & Leisure Editor

It has been a strange period of time to be a movie lover. For the most part, aside from the occasional new release on Netflix, there has been zero new movies put out in theaters the entire summer season.

Many of the highly anticipated blockbusters have been pushed back, and although my local theater in Meadville has been open for most of quarantine, I haven’t dared go out into the public to see older films that I could just as easily see in the comfort of my own home.

Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the movies, but when it involves going into a place where I have to wear a mask for two hours in a dark and hard-to-sanitize area, I would much prefer my couch.

Apparently many other people felt the same way, considering how well Universal Studios made out by making one of its newer releases, “Trolls: World Tour,” available for rent on Amazon Prime Video for $20. I personally thought that releasing the movie that way would be financial suicide for the movie, but I was proven completely wrong.

The overwhelming success that “Trolls” brought to Universal even prompted Universal to say that it may start releasing all its movies online as well as in theaters, a statement that angered AMC Theaters, one of the largest theater chains in the country. AMC is already hurting financially as more and more people were staying home to watch their movies before the pandemic even started.

Taking all this into account, I have been thrown almost completely out of sorts when it comes to how to spend my free time. There was a time in the not-so-distant past where I was going to the movie theaters just about once a week. Whether it was for a date, with a group or by myself, I practically lived at the movie theater since I started going to Gannon. Any time I needed a bit of an escape, I knew that I could see the most recent releases for a half-decent price, but that has officially been taken away from me.

Pretty soon, the theaters are going to start opening up again, but I am not sure if I am comfortable returning for reasons that I have already said. I don’t want to wear a mask for the whole movie, there is no way that they can completely clean the theaters, and if studios are going to be releasing movies at home at the same time they are in theaters then I think I am sadly going to be trading in my big screen experiences for that of the small screen.

And I do mean small screen, as my faithful television that I have had since sophomore year spontaneously died over the summer, so until I can collect enough money to replace it, I’m stuck with my laptop screen for the time being.

The fact that no new movies have come out in a couple months has also been a slight positive, as it has given me ample time to go back and rewatch some of my favorites, many of which are now available on Netflix.

If you’re itching to watch something good and you’ve got some time to spare, I would highly recommend the “Ocean’s Eleven” trilogy that was recently added to Netflix. I could watch them over and over again, and they are just plain entertaining throughout. The fact that they are now on my favorite streaming platform means that I binge watched all of them in a weekend, and a good time was had by all


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