Streaming takes down cinema

Bridget Hyland, R1 Editor in Chief

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​It’s a Friday night in 1957, and you and your friends are about to do the same thing you do every week: go to the movie theater. Today, 60 years later, the parking lot of that theater might be deserted.

This is not to say that movie theaters have gone extinct, but recently attendance has been steadily decreasing. According to, 2017 marked the lowest-grossing summer at the box office since 2006, with a 14.6-percent drop-off in sales from the summer of 2016.

The reality is that today, people have more movie-viewing options than they did a decade ago. Now you hear people say, “Let’s watch Netflix tonight” far more often than “Let’s go to the Rialto.”

Netflix provides the ability to watch a movie at your own pace, making it enticing to movie-watchers. “I don’t really have time to plan around movie times, so watching Netflix is a lot easier for me,” said senior Emily Bloomfield. Many people feel the same way as Bloomfield, as seen by a boom in the online streaming site’s success. According to Business Insider, Netflix had 7.48 million subscribers in 2007. By 2016, that number had increased to 93.8 million.

Despite the shift toward streaming, there are still some who appreciate and are devoted to the experience of going to the movie theater. Senior Stefan Sujanthakumar feels that movies are meant to be watched in the theaters, and said that during the summer he goes to the movies three to four times a month. “Movies are meant to transport you to an alternate reality,” he said. “I like going to the movies because of the idea that you kind of have to become involved in the story.”

But for so many, the lure of the couch is just far more appealing than leaving their house with money for a movie and popcorn.

“Movie theaters don’t have beds,” said senior Emma Rogers. “I love my bed.”