Streaming Services Hurt Movie Theaters

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Ryan Leon

Cinepolis in Pico Rivera, CA – Cinepolis was opened earlier this year for moviegoers who want to experience that special feeling of watching a movie inside a theater that you can’t get anywhere else.

As we continue to grapple with the never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, movie theaters are slowly making a comeback. In March 2020, movie theaters across the country were forced to shut down, which caused concern for many.

The Cause

At the beginning of the pandemic, movie theaters had no choice but to close their doors. This was especially hard for employees because they would either have to find another job in an already difficult situation or file for unemployment.

Soon after the closure, streaming services became more popular than ever. Websites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus were already huge platforms prior to the pandemic. However, their popularity soared to new heights once movies were no longer available for viewing at theaters. Due to services like HBO Max and many others, it seems that online streaming is starting to become audiences’ preference.

The Effect

After resuming business in March 2021, Cinepolis in Pico Rivera has not seen enough traffic as they did prior to the shutdown. There is no doubt that all the online streaming services out there are to blame for this.

For example, “Black Widow” was supposed to be the next big Marvel movie to premiere in theaters; until Disney decided to release the film on Disney Plus simultaneously. This was a massive blow for theaters because they didn’t just lose money due to limited capacity. They also lost money to potential guests deciding to watch the movie at home online instead.

Is It A Bad Thing?

This isn’t to say that online streaming services are completely bad because they aren’t. After all, we’re still living in a world that is currently going through a global pandemic. Yes, it is true that movie theaters are losing money because of them. However, I can see why it is also a good thing to have them around.

Thanks to streaming services, people who are not ready to go out and watch new movies around other people can now enjoy them in the comfort of their own homes! While streaming services may be bad business for movie theaters, they are not bad for everybody. No matter how people choose to watch films, it’s great to know that there are plenty of options out there for everyone to explore.