Technological advances have provided more and more options for watching movies where and when you want. Today, you can watch movies on your laptop, electronic tablet and even smartphone. If you want a "bigger" experience, however, you'll have to choose between staying home and going out to a movie theater. Which is better? The answer is completely subjective. Going to a movie in a theater has a number of advantages and disadvantages.
Sound and Picture
Experiencing a movie in a theater lets you see the film on a huge screen with plenty of detail. It also offers a surround-sound system that enhances the overall experience, making you feel as if you're actually part of the story. The downside, however, is that you have no control over either of these. The volume may be too high or too low, and the picture may be slightly blurry or too bright for your eyes.
Watching a movie in a theater full of other movie-goers can be very satisfying, especially for movies that provoke a strong reaction. The feeling of solidarity can be quite enjoyable. On the other hand, other people can be a significant source of distraction and annoyance. Despite warnings, many people talk (on cell phones or with friends nearby) or send text messages while a movie is playing. Others may kick the back of your seat, spill food or drinks, or bring unruly children to the theater.
Movie theater concession stands offer plenty of snacks. Movie-goers can enjoy popcorn, nachos, and a large variety of candy and soft drinks. Some theaters even offer restaurant-style food and alcohol to enjoy during a movie. Unfortunately, movie theater refreshments are notoriously overpriced; you may be charged more than twice the normal price for even a small soda. Additionally, if you want a snack during the film, you'll have to miss part of it to make a trip to the concession stand.
You can count on movie theaters to always have the newest, hottest films. Larger cinemas, with 12 or more screens, can show a dozen movies at once, giving you plenty of options. However, big theaters generally stick to Hollywood blockbusters and do not show independent or small-studio films. Additionally, because their number of screens is limited and theaters must appeal to as many people as possible, some popular movies may not be shown.
Seeing It First
Movie theaters typically show only new movies. When an especially popular movie comes out, people clamor to see it right away if they don't want to wait for the TV showing or DVD release. However, the privilege of seeing a movie right away is costly. Movie tickets often cost well over $10, and you must contend with huge crowds and long lines. The cost and crowded circumstances may diminish your pleasure of seeing a new movie.