November 30, 2020

When we rescued Melissa’s succulents several weeks ago, we stopped at a local restaurant that had outside seating.  This had an order counter (with plexiglass covering) and the meal was brought to your table.  I was surprised by how many people were eating inside the restaurant, and at the number of 4-5 person groups who gathered.  We took our meal sign and went to a table on the outdoor patio and were the only ones there.  The restaurant was situated next to the local Mall and the parking lot was completely empty.  The door to the Mall entered a theater with 20 screens and an IMAX.  It was only while leaving the restaurant that I remembered this was the theater we have attended on Christmas Day.

One of the traditions Melissa and I have had since we married is to attend one of the new holiday releases in an IMAX theater.  While we attend family events around Christmas, we realized we needed to create our own traditions as well.  We have always gone to the first showing of the day, usually around noon.  These matinees were about half the price and provide a better chance of getting a good seat.  Preferably, our Christmas movie needs to be 3-D and combined with surround sound.  It creates an amazing experience.  When we first attended this theater, we were disappointed by the small size of the screen.  The theater where we used to live is billed as the largest IMAX screen in the world.   It does make a difference.

I have begun to hear of new releases over the last several weeks, but when I searched for them online, most are on one of the streaming networks and not in theaters.  While many movie theaters remain closed until further notice, and many studios have pushed back release dates on major films, there are select theaters that are open and showing movies.  These movies seem to be a mix of old classics and a few new releases.  Most of the blockbuster movies scheduled for release are being held until they can have a full release.  They are hoping for this spring.  

Thoughts:  During the early 1920’s, sociologists began cost of living surveys to create budgets for the poor.  This included all the essential needs (food, housing, utilities).  The cost of luxuries (cars, vacations, movies, amusement parks) were also recorded.  The budget surveys less than a decade later showed movies and amusement parks had become an essential need and not a luxury.  The IMAX webpage contained a link to  The pandemic has put both small independent screens and nationwide movie theaters at risk of closure.  As the link explains, “our local theaters employ over 150,000 people and have formed a cornerstone of the American experience.”  Once again, we are redefining what it means to be essential.  Follow the Science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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