People are going back to the cinema

LAFAYETTE, La. — Another sign that things are getting back to normal is that movie theaters are seeing an increase in patrons.

A movie theater in Lafayette says that even though it had to close for months, it is happy to see more people coming to see movies on the big screen.

The management of the Big 16 tells KATC that even though they had to lay off some people and saw some days with very low attendance, things are looking up at the theaters.

“In 2021, especially with the rollout of the vaccine, I feel like more people have come. I guess I feel safer being in an auditorium with other people,” said the director Heather Carroll.

They closed in March 2020 and were able to reopen in August, but they had to make some changes. They only opened on weekends, and since Hollywood didn’t release new movies, they resorted to retro films. But now they see more and more people entering the cinema.

Perhaps what brings people back are the Art Deco carpets saturated with the smell of fresh popcorn or the dark screening rooms that let you dissolve into the movie.

For a movie buff, it’s all about technology.

“Giant screen, giant screen, you can see everything,” said Adam Roy, who hadn’t been to the movies since 2019. He went back Wednesday for the first time to watch “A Quiet Place II.”

While movie theaters struggled, online streaming services did well. Currently, AppleTV+, Paramount+, and Peacock each have just over 30 million subscribers. HBO Max and Hulu are both approaching the 40 million mark. Disney+ has about 100 million, and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have passed the 200 million mark.

Roy’s family subscribes to some of these services, but he says it’s not the same.

“I can watch them in my room, eat snacks,” Roy said. “But it’s, besides the price of those things, it’s good. It’s the best experience.”

The Grand’s director says there’s a relationship between theaters and Hollywood – one that’s getting better.

“We’re just really happy that now it seems like every weekend we get these bigger movies that can pull people in,” Carroll said.

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Alfonso E. Cramer