Movie Theaters Will Have To Adapt To The Changing Times

   Movies.
   That word alone conjures up all sorts of thoughts, memories, and emotions. Drama, comedy, action, science fiction, fantasy, romance… They allow us to escape from our everyday lives so that we can be in other places, times, and worlds. We can even be other people for a little while if we want.
   Kind of magical when you think about it.
   As to how we watch movies, there have been significant changes over the years, especially lately. Before the existence of television, going to movie theaters is what people did to watch a film, whether it was to see a big blockbuster or a low key drama. To watch a movie, you went to a theater. Grand movie palaces were built to enhance the experience. And before the main feature began, there were often news pieces and sometimes cartoons because remember, no one had TV’s at home.
   Then television was invented, and before long, virtually every household had a TV. People could watch the news at home so that the movie theaters ended up dropping news segments before the main feature. Same thing happened to the pre-feature cartoon shorts. Kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons on TV instead.
   But movie theaters still persevered and were quite popular. People enjoyed seeing films on the big screen. It could be a nice escape. Get out of the house for a little while. Perhaps go on a date at the movies. VCR’s and cable TV arrived on the scene after which some people began to worry about the future of movie theaters in general. But watching a movie on the big screen was still quite popular.
   These days, options for home entertainment have advanced greatly. Televisions have much higher resolutions now than those of the past, and most people have TV’s with significantly larger screens as compared to 15 years ago. In addition, streaming services (I’m talking about things like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, On Demand, etc) have exponentially expanded the number of shows and movies people have access to at home. The result has been that (even before the pandemic), people on average have been going to movie theaters less frequently as compared to the past, and a growing number stopped going altogether. When the COVID Pandemic hit. With the risk catching COVID being such a concern and increased restrictions, movie theater attendance plummeted. For a while, the number of new movies being created also went down dramatically. Many people got even more used to watching movies at home.
   Now let’s be honest, with streaming services and high quality televisions, it’s really convenient to just relax and watch a movie in the comfort of your own home. Stretch out on the sofa or recliner and watch the movie whenever you want, whether that’s at 9 in the morning or 12:30 at night. And if you want to grab something to sip on or need to go to the bathroom, you simply press pause. Yep, it’s really nice. That’s why even before COVID, a growing number of people pretty much stopped going to movie theaters. And for those still going, on average, people were attending movie theaters less frequently.
   In 2022, with vaccines being widely available, movie theaters hoped to see a big resurgence in movie theater attendance. While it has certainly increased as compared to the height of the Pandemic, the numbers are still below 2019 levels. Another trend being seen is that people are more likely to go to the theater to watch a big blockbuster movie as compared to a smaller drama, comedy, or independent film. With the latter types of movies, people are more likely to wait and watch them at home.
   So what is the future of movie theaters. A number of smaller movie theater companies and independently owned theaters closed. Many were already struggling so that the Pandemic finished them off. The major movie theater chains have reported financial losses in 2022 and have shuttered some of their locations. While I don’t think movie theaters are going to disappear in the foreseeable future, there will be changes in this new reality.
   Home entertainment options will continue to improve with advancing television technology and widespread streaming services. Movie theaters will have to accept that and the fact that a significant number of people don’t go to movie theaters anymore and that those who do, often go less frequently than in the past. Tactics theater companies may attempt to try to deal with the situation could include things like increased marketing, theater improvements (perhaps focus on theaters with fewer but larger screens), expanded concessions (like maybe alcohol sales and greater food options), more comfortable seating, showing live events (such as concerts, sports, etc), and membership programs for discounts. Even with these efforts, I think the total number of movie theater screens needed will be less as a percentage of the population as compared to 20 or 30 years ago. In order to stay profitable, companies will need to figure out how many movie theater screens are actually needed in an area; otherwise, if they have too many, they will lose money. There may also be more focus on attracting people to the blockbusters while just accepting that a growing number of films such as dramas, comedies, romances, and independent films are going to go straight to steaming services and have no theatrical release at all.
   In order to survive, movie theater companies will have to adapt to the changing environment and accept that home entertainment with large, high resolution televisions and expansive streaming services are the future. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Too Many Movies Use Unfair, Negative Tropes About Bisexual+ Individuals

   I’m bisexual+ and genderfluid. And you know what: I’m sick of unfair, negative stereotypes that are still so pervasive these days. It’s got to stop.
   I was watching a movie about 2 female best friends, one straight and one gay, who are extremely close and in each other’s lives all the time. Texting, hanging out, laughing, telling each other everything, you get the picture. Their relationship changes when the straight one gets in a serious relationship with a man. She doesn’t have as much time for her best friend. So far, good story with a very relatable plot and sympathetic characters. Things change with time, especially when people get into serious, long term relationships. It affects other relationships in both partners’ lives.
   My problem with the movie comes when the gay friend is dumped by a woman (whom she’s been dating). The girlfriend in question is leaving her for a man and because of this, she is treated as confused, possibly a cheater, etc. The gay friend tells her straight friend that she’ll be more careful in the future to date women who are more sure of their being gay (I’m paraphrasing but that was the message). I stopped watching it at this point because it’s unfair, negative tropes like this that contribute to the ignorance and intolerance so many people hold with regards to bi+ individuals. Bisexual+ people can be just as faithful as anyone else. But too many straight and gay people think of us bi+ as a bunch of confused, lying cheaters. And that’s not fair. Straight and gay individuals can be lying cheaters, but people don’t automatically assume that all of them are, whereas, far too many people assume such unfair notions when they realize a person is bi+. It’s not right. It’s why so many bi+ suffer in the closet afraid of what will happen if their secret sexuality is discovered. It’s also why many of us bi+ find dating brutally hard. It’s a significant factor in why I’m still alone with dates being extremely rare (and going nowhere when they occur).
   Things need to change. People need to open their minds. Bisexual+ people are not a bunch of confused, lying cheaters. Are there some who cheat? Sure there are, just like there are straight and gay individuals who cheat. But that does not mean the entire community is a bunch of cheaters. Bisexual+ people can be just as faithful as anyone else. It’s time society accepts that.

Kristen Stewart Plays Princess Diana In Her New Movie Spencer

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   There’s been quite a bit of buzz about bisexual+ actress Kristen Stewart’s new movie Spencer in which she plays Princess Diana. From the photos I’ve seen, it looks like Stewart really got into the part as she attempted to recreate the tragic and beloved Royal. It also sounds like numerous critics are giving her very positive reviews with some even speculating on a potential Oscar nomination. At least one reviewer felt like Stewart really captured how Diana didn’t fit in well with the traditional rather stoic, stiff upper lip Royals. Since I haven’t seen the film yet, it’s obviously difficult for me to say if I agree with them, but I could definitely see Kristen Stewart potentially nailing this role.
   She has shown herself to be a very talented actress. I thought she was excellent in The Runaways where she played rocker Joan Jett in her younger days and Personal Shopper, a quiet independent psychological thriller whose story I don’t want to give away. Stewart made each of the characters she played in these films feel real and very believable even though they were quite different from each other, as were the films.
   Now, you may be wondering why I made a point to include the fact that Kristen Stewart is bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, fluid, etc). I did it because bisexual+ people still have to deal with so much lack of understanding, intolerance, and prejudice from too many members of the straight and gay / lesbian communities (which is why most bi+ are still in the closet and why of those who are out, a great number find dating terribly difficult to nearly impossible). For things to change, we need people who are straight and gay to open their minds and educate themselves and stop automatically believing unfair, negative stereotypes that don’t hold true for most bi+ individuals . Hopefully, having more people come out as bisexual+ will help this process. This is why it’s so important having celebrities such as Kristen Stewart be open about having bi+ feelings and desires. It helps humanize bi+ people so that more of society starts to recognize that bi+ are real and can be just as decent, kind, caring, and faithful as anyone else.
   If and when to come out is clearly an individual’s personal decision, and no one should be forced to do so. But I will say that I greatly appreciate all bi+ who have come out because it does help in the long term battle for understanding, acceptance, and equality.
 

The True Story Of Movie Star Rin Tin Tin

   I wonder how many people know the true story of Rin Tin Tin. Sadly, these days, most probably don’t even know who he was. But in his day, Rin Tin Tin was a movie star!
   A canine movie star!
   Yep, you heard me right!
   It all started during the horrors of World War 1.
   The year was 1918 in the Lorraine part of France. Corporal Lee Duncan was an American soldier caught up in the bloody conflict. On September 15, his unit was investigating a bombed out kennel when they discovered among the wreckage a German Shepherd mother with a litter of 5 puppies.
   Duncan took two of the puppies, naming them Rin Tin Tin and Nanette, after a couple of puppets popular with French children. Sadly the others didn’t survive.
   Duncan realized how intelligent Nanette and Rinty (Rin Tin Tin’s nickname) were. He sought out the German Army Kennel Master, who had been captured, to learn more about the two and German Shepherds as a breed.
   Duncan started training them and was impressed with how quickly they took to it. After the war came to an end, Duncan was sent home aboard a ship across the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, Nanette came down with distemper during the voyage and died.
   Only Rinty was left.
   Duncan took him back to Los Angeles where in 1922, Rinty began his movie career.
   He starred in some 2 dozen movies and is credited by many with saving Warner Bros Studio from bankruptcy. He also received the most votes for Best Actor for the First Academy Awards, though it was decided to give the award to a human instead.
   Rin Tin Tin passed away on August 10, 1932 in his front yard in the arms of famous actress Jean Harlow, who lived in the same neighborhood.

135th Aero Squadron with puppy believed to be Rin Tin Tin