I was heartbroken to learn the unfortunate fate of my favorite movie theater in Tupelo this past week.
While casually keeping a check on the schedule to see when they would make their triumphant return, I was shocked to see the message appear across my screen “This location has been permanently closed.”
It broke my heart. I have some of my fondest memories in this theater. I saw one of my favorite movies, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” as well as “Avengers Infinity War”, with my family. Not to mention my first high school excursion with my friends, where we saw the late showing.
I have always had a special place in my heart for this particular theater. The close proximity to the mall made it the perfect destination for those birthday trips to Tupelo. You could shop the mall, eat in the food court and then cap off the day by catching a show. Or, as I often preferred, due to the early showtime options of this particular theater, perform the tasks in reverse. There were always options.
They had the cheapest ticket prices in Tupelo as well as cheapest concessions.
However, as sad as I am about this theater closing, it is part of a much larger and more upsetting trend. Is it really the end of movie theaters?
They were experiencing hard times already due to the rise of home streaming. I myself will always prefer the big screen experience. There really is nothing quite like it. However, there are a vast majority of people who would rather stay home and watch everything in the comfort of their living rooms. Because of this, theaters were struggling, then came the pandemic. This was the nail in the coffin. When movie theaters across the country were forced to close down for over three months, many did not reopen. So far, this is the only theater I frequented that has permanently closed, however, I am afraid that my favorite might be on the chopping block.
Could this truly be the end of the movie theater? Some major movie companies seem to think so, saying that they would not release their movies in theaters anymore, opting instead to release them directly to home streaming.
I personally am not a fan of this method, if that was not already apparent. I have always and will always prefer the movie going experience. It serves as an escape from reality for me.
I hope with my heart of hearts that this is not the end, but I am afraid that hope might prove futile.
This might truly be the end of an era.