Mar 29th, 2022, 01:59 PM

The Return to the Movies

By Chandler Sumpter Gillyard
Image Credit: Chandler Sumpter Gillyard
After the ruthless pandemic, people begin to find sanctuary at the movies.

With big blockbuster movies like The Batman, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Avatar 2 coming out this year, crowds are beginning to flock back to the movies after a stark pre-pandemic decline.

While the theaters have been closed, streaming services largely took their place as the premier spot to watch a new film, creating a monopoly on the industry and a safe haven from the coronavirus.

But now movie theaters seem to be making a comeback as life starts to return back to normal, and new concerns are coming up due to the pandemic as audiences begin to stray from their comfortable routines. 

Image credit: Unsplash/ Michael Marais 

In both France and the United States, an interest in returning to the theater has created a 'migration' to the movies. Last week, the long-anticipated DC movie, The Batman was released in cinemas after a lively premiere in Paris.

This weekend I had the opportunity to see the almost three hour long movie with some friends at UGC ODEON, where the theater was quite full and buzzing with anticipation as the lights began to dim and the movie began.  While this was not the first movie I had seen since theaters began allowing audiences, it was a different experience.

Image credit: Unsplash/ Krists Luhaers

There was an enticing aura throughout the theater as viewers watched Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz act together on screen. Audible reactions such as gasps and laughs swept through the theater throughout the film.

It reminded me of before the pandemic when another anticipated movie, Marvel's Avengers Endgame, came out, where the theater was full of life, cheering, clapping, and crying at the penultimate scene that was 10 years in the making. 

Even though these reactions are positive and memorable the reactions to the return to the theater vary.

Many are glad to have some normalcy back, "I am super excited to be back in the movie theater! It’s a comfort zone for me and so I’m happy that we can return to some normalcy," said Caitlin Lam, an AUP first-year. "I feel like one doesn’t interact with many people at the movies so I feel okay going to them."

Image credit: Unsplash/Samuel Regan Asante

Others are conflicted, Sara Crawford, another AUP first-year doesn't go to the movies anymore. In a post coronavirus pandemic  world there is something off-putting to her about sitting, eating, and watching a movie for a long period of time without masks.

"It may be something I need to get used to, I go clubbing out with friends with no issue, a movie theater is a different setting but it has the same risk, one is routine and the other is new," said Crawford. 

While going out to clubs and restaurants are more routine now than sitting down in a theater, the safety levels are similar.

You can see the entire lineup of upcoming movies at theaters around the city on the UGC website.