Every weekend, Americans flock to the movies to catch a glimpse of their favorite superhero saving the day, two attractive people falling in love, or an anthropomorphic animal learning to believe in itself. Despite the home video industry, the internet, and that one-eyed veteran who sells bootleg DVDs outside the building where I work, movie theaters in America are currently booming. This is due to a number of revolutionary features that can’t be found anywhere except the movies.
One of the big changes that came to theaters across the country a few years ago was the installation of recliner seats. Thousands of movie theaters across the US now allow moviegoers to kick their feet up, lean back, and take a nap in the middle of the movie. Many of these seats also have a vibrating massage feature that you can activate by inserting an amount of quarters equal to $13. Of course the seats come with cup holders, but the movie theater seat cup holders of today are temperature controlled, keeping your drink nice and cool while you laugh at whatever Paul Rudd is doing on the screen. Dozens of Americans in the last five years have gotten frostbite by falling asleep during a movie and accidentally leaving their hand inside one of these refrigerated cup holders, but none have complained.
Concessions have also been revolutionized by the movie theater industry. Most movie theaters now offer literal popcorn tubs that customers can sit in during the movie. Some theaters also offer a “concession trough” that the moviegoer fills with an assortment of open snacks and desserts, and then hooks onto the three seats in front of them so that they have something to shove their face into while the movie is playing. Additionally, the smallest soda sizes are now 44 ounces, and the largest are roughly the size of a three-year-old human. Movie theater companies are also starting to remove their restrictions on opioids, cannabis products, and other types of recreational sedatives to make sure that the average moviegoer’s escape from reality is as fulfilling as possible.
Theaters are also making a push to sell tickets for 3D and IMAX movies, which the home theater industry cannot compete with. Some theaters are experimenting with 4D technology, which allows viewers to watch every scene of the movie at the same time. In order to bring a sense of realism to the movie-going experience, a number of theaters will shine powerful lights into people’s eyes during a film’s bright desert scenes, fill the theater with mosquitoes and other bugs during scenes that take place in a swamp, or flood the theater with the smell of urine for any movie that takes place in Newark, New Jersey.
Whether or not these changes and advances in movie theater technology make going to the movies worthwhile is still a matter of some debate. With each new change comes an increase in ticket prices, long lines, and one more thing for bloggers to complain about. The movie theater industry is still going strong, however, which if nothing else proves that humans will tolerate just about anything.
Written by J. S. Wydra: @jswydra
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