Last week-end, Rob and I went to see The Hobbit thanks to a giftcard we received as a wedding present. We went to the 3:30 showing, and the theater was packed.
In general, it surprises me how many people go to movies. It surprises me even more how many movies people go to (including myself.) From a financial perspective, movies are not a great choice. They do not give you a return for your money, and furthermore, they will be about 10 times cheaper if you wait to see it in red box. But yet, we pay money time and time to watch movies in the theater.
I think there are two main reasons that people go to movies. First, I think that people like to have a shared experience with the other people in the theater. It creates connection when everyone is experiencing similar emotions as the people around them.
Second, I think that people like how going to a theater forces them to focus on one thing--watching a movie. Even in the commercials and programming before the movie starts, movie-goers are reminded to turn off all devices because "It's movie time." It's one time a person can completely disconnect with a free pass of "I was at a movie" if that person missed an important phone call or text. For myself, going to the theater is one of the few times I ever ONLY watch the movie instead of multi-tasking by folding laundry, checking email, or writing cards all while trying to watch the movie.
I wonder how our lives would be different if we didn't go to movies in the theater? I don't really think it would affect me too much. I seldom feel that movies challenge me to do more with life. They kind of just make me envious of the lives of the characters (who are mostly all fictional characters.) It's kind of ridiculous. ..why am I jealous of fictional characters? I digress.