‘Screening Room’ idea could revolutionize cinema

Jillian LeBlanc, Opinion Editor

Movie theaters have been popular attractions since their inception in 1905. Before television, this was the only place people could view cinema. While our modern society may have some difficulty grasping that idea, the world was a completely different place back then. Yet, theaters are still prevalent today, making for an easy date night or a fun activity.

The Internet has tried its best to thwart theaters by uploading bootlegged videos, allowing tech-savvy individuals to save a few dollars.

People choose to stream movies not only to avoid the price, but also to miss the crowds and to simply have a comfortable time at home. Sometimes people prefer to stay home in their pajamas with their dog, choosing to have a cozy night in, without the hassle of people.

Unfortunately it is impossible to stream the newest blockbuster the weekend it comes out. If you really want to see that movie, you are going to have to put on some pants and say a temporary goodbye to your pet. But maybe you won’t have to in the future.

Entrepreneur Sean Parker – co-founder of Napster and first president of Facebook – proposed a controversial idea over the summer at CinemaCon, which received much backlash from the film industry. He introduced an invention that could completely change the world of cinema.

Parker’s newest idea involves the release of the latest Hollywood films directly into a viewer’s living room. By purchasing a secure box – similar to a cable box – patrons can purchase first-run movies from the comfort of their home. Parker theorized the prices, placing the device at $150, with each movie costing around $50 each.

This idea is brilliant. Mike Montgomery – a contributor with Forbes – addresses the idea that people can hold their own screening parties, which would make the movie rental price much more affordable. If five or more friends got together, and evenly split the rental cost, the fee is far less than an average movie theater ticket.

Technology is constantly evolving, and this very well could be the next step in film. With a world that depends on instantaneous content, filmmakers cannot honestly say they are surprised by this proposal. It seems natural in the progression of our society.

While directors such as James Cameron believe an invention like this will destroy the movie theater experience, frugal America might disagree.

Much of today’s society is accustomed to setting low standards, streaming poor video because they themselves are poor, or lazy, or – in their eyes – thrifty. This couldn’t possibly diminish the experience; if anything it would enhance it, stressing the need for a better home entertainment center.

This idea would revolutionize cinema. While movie theaters may go on a witch-hunt – seeking the destruction of every one of these special boxes – I don’t believe the movie theater business would close shop. While some companies may take a hit, the majority will stand, continuing to service their usual customers.

Theaters will continue to attract movie snobs, or others who love the theater experience. It will also serve as the cheap alternative for people who own a box, but don’t want to watch a $50 movie alone.

Screening Room can achieve what modern media cannot. This creation would unite people once more, taking the world back to a simpler time. Back to the days when everyone gathered around the television, and watched with admiration because once it was over, it would never be seen again.


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