Cinema Is Here To Stay Says Exhibition Chief

Though they’re still around, bookstores and record shops certainly aren’t what they once were thanks to the rise of digital distribution. Advances in home cinema, streaming services, the disappearance of mid-budget films and audience bad behaviour has also led to at least a perception that cinemas are on the way out too aside from certain tentpole films.

This week’s CinemaCon, the expo for the film exhibition industry, is raging against the dying of the projected light and trying to put a positive spin out on their numbers with National Association of Theater Owners president John Fithian telling THR:

“I can’t begin to tell you how often reporters have asked me if the movie theater industry is dying. Every downturn in admissions is a sign of secular decline, every innovation or improvement is intended to ‘save the movie theater business.

There has been a lot of hype about the next ‘disruption’. VHS. DVD. Streaming. Shortened windows. PVOD. Subscriptions and simultaneous release. Yet we never die but remain a strong business in the face of disruption everywhere else in the entertainment landscape.

Would ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Get Out,’ ‘Wonder Woman’ or any other major recent hits have become significant cultural landmarks if they went straight to streaming? Of course not. Their impact is a direct result of people experiencing them in a communal way.”

The NATO president believes that the future of cinema lies in one thing – the quality of the product coming through the pipeline. Namely, the hype about declining attendance is just that, people will still come out for a good movie and share in the communal experience.