People love to go to the movies. They eat buttery popcorn and sit in cushy seats. They laugh with friends and family. They watch the latest films on the big screen. But many movie theaters are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have stayed open. But ticket sales are down. More people are watching movies at home. With streaming services, they have lots of choices.
Richard Greenfield is a media analyst . He spoke to TIME about the future of movie theaters. “Do people get so in the habit of watching Netflix that they don’t want to go back?” he asked. “I think that’s a real risk.”
On December 3, Warner Bros. made an announcement. Its 2021 movies will stream at the same time they are shown in theaters. The company says this is good. It will help people who “aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies.”
But theater owners aren’t happy. They say they’ll lose money. Why will people pay for a ticket when they can watch the movie at home?
Adam Aron is the head of AMC. It’s the largest theater chain in the United States. “The theater business is expected to recover ” after the pandemic, he said on December 3. He says that AMC will act “aggressively ” to keep its business.
Cassidy Kelly will be glad to hear this. The 5-year-old lives in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Cassidy likes going to the movies with her family. Movie theaters are “different and bigger” than home, she told TIME for Kids. And the best part? “Big buckets of popcorn!”