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Home theater vs. movie theater


First M Night Shyamalan, and now this guy. Going on and on about "the theater experience" and what viewing movies at home can't hope to match. There's always somebody who (to me at least) feels their theater going way of life is threatened by HDTV, home theaters and the like. As a result, there is a list of reasons why movie theaters rock. I was quite unsatisfied with his list so of course, I made my own.

Why home theaters rock

  1. The little screen: No bad seats in the house. Last time I went to see a movie on opening night, I showed up late and ended up in the first row needing a neck brace. No such thing here, my favorite seat is always available and perfectly positioned the way I want it. Someday all theaters will have digital projectors for a consistently high quality show, but not yet. If you need something larger, grab a projector and find the largest wall you have, problem solved.
  2. No interruptions (unless I want there to be):: If a cellphone goes off during a movie at home, I don't have to wonder what idiot forgot to turn his phone off, I know who it was and I can answer it if I want, the movie goes on pause and waits dutifully for my return. Try getting the projector operator to back up a few minutes because your mom wanted to know how you're doing and why you never call.
  3. Big sound: I've got big speakers and a little apartment. Only the best theater systems rumble the seats in a similar fashion (with bonus banging from my downstairs neighbors). Ok seriously, this is at best a push, movie theaters may have better sound systems, but mine is personally calibrated to my liking and I can usually get a DVD commentary or two.

  1. The loner factor: When I've got a movie I really want to see, I'd rather see it by myself without anyone else around to know that I cried at the end of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. On the rare occasions I do want to watch movies with others, I can, but only the people I want to, and not that one guy who always wants to talk about a review of the movie he read while watching the movie.
  2. Any food I want: And this time, my mother didn't have to sneak an overfilled purse past the usher to get it. That popcorn he's drooling over? Costs like 5 bucks at the theater, a third of the price and always just right at home. And all the Jujubes I want.
  3. No cleanup: At my personal theater, we have a "come as you are" policy, without all those silly public indecency violations mainstream moviehouses try to hit you with. An added bonus is that you don't have to step in the popcorn and soda some other guy gleefully didn't clean up.
  4. Miss the hype: I never feel ripped off at the end of a movie because I know all about it before I see it. Nobody ships a DVD to stores before giving reviewers a chance to watch it, unlike theater releases (Ultraviolet we are talking to you.) I don't feel the need to see "THE #1 COMEDY/HORROR/GAY COWBOY movie in America" just because everyone else is watching it. If its good I'll catch it when it comes on cable, thanks.
  5. No bad seating: We mostly covered this with number one, but we'll say it again, there is nowhere in the world more comfortable than the couch. And if you need theater style seating, just go visit Hoyty, he won't mind.
  6. No coming attractions: The newspaper said the movie started at 10 p.m., but it's 10:20 and you're watching a trailer for something that is not the movie you paid to see. Thanks but no thanks, when I want to see a trailer I'll hit or fire up my Xbox 360.
  7. Pirated movies are freaking sweet: First of all the price is unbeatable, plus you can get stuff thats not necessarily available in the U.S. I saw Cowboy Bebop more than a year before it came out in theaters and loved every illegal minute of it.
  8. The immersion factor is controllable: Anyone who says you have to see a movie in a theater to get the full experience is a liar. This one is really a combination of many of the above, and the best part of a home theater. Whatever you want to be enhanced in your experience is at your discretion. You can watch whatever cut of the movie you want, jump from scene to scene, turn on the lights during the scary parts, anything you choose. You be the director, that guy Spielberg is a hack anyway.
So what do you think, are one or both of us being totally unreasonable, or what are you reasons for going to the theater or staying at home?

[Via digg]

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