I haven’t been to the movie theater in almost two months. For those of you who know me, you know this is a very big deal. At a certain time in my life I was going to the theater weekly, if not multiple times per week. It was glorious. I used to see everything, even things I knew were going to be not-so-great (like the time I dragged my friends against their will to see Batman V. Superman). At the time I was living in Richmond, Virginia aka the perfect place for cheap movies. Regular tickets cost around $10, the Bowtie had a $6 deal on Tuesdays and the historic Byrd Theater always cost $2. It was my paradise. Since living in Richmond – the place I grew up in and will always be my home – I have lived in Chapel Hill, NC; Los Angeles, CA; and Atlanta, GA (all within the span of a year). When it comes to movies, Chapel Hill and Richmond are comparable; you can hit up the movies regularly without severely breaking the bank. Unfortunately, on the other side of the coin, you have LA and Atlanta. They may make the films there, but you do not want to watch them there.
First, living in Los Angeles was like living in a movie, so the urge to go to the theater was at an all time high. I could walk down the street in almost any direction and run into a studio or location shoot. Every single billboard was plastered with an ad for a film. I was surrounded by what I love the most. It was amazing. However, almost all of the theaters in my area sold tickets that cost between $15 and $20 (not including IMAX or 3D or BOTH). In the city built on film, it should not be an extravagance to go see one.
Second, Atlanta really wants to be Los Angeles. Believe me when I say it’s well on its way considering the urban sprawl and insane traffic. It’s also positioning itself to be something like the Hollywood of the East Coast. One way it’s doing this is the ticket prices. Los Angeles is great, but when taking notes one should ignore the pricing. Lower the price and you are guaranteed at least I will show up, and that’s all that matters right?
I just can’t justify spending $30 (or more with two tickets and snacks) every time I go to the movies. The last movie I saw here in Atlanta was Kong: Skull Island. The movie itself was a ton of fun, but the experience was lackluster. I mostly blame the disrespectful audience (shout out to the high schooler in front of me who Snapchatted the ENTIRE movie). To pay so much for a ticket and have the audience talk loudly and play on their phones for the duration is just not worth it. Lord how I wish there was an Alamo Drafthouse nearby:
During this two month drought, Netflix Original movies have been my savior. The broader Netflix library is full of things I’ve already seen, but the originals I’ve watched range from good to great or are, at the very least, interesting. I highly recommend the following:
Beasts Of No Nation
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
Win It All
Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday
as well as their original documentaries, which are consistently great.
As much as I’ve been enjoying these streaming options, nothing beats the big screen (with a respectful audience). While streaming, it’s too easy to get distracted by a phone, a conversation, or anything really, because of the comfort of being at home. I also feel as if some of these Netflix movies would greatly benefit from being seen in the theater, especially Beasts Of No Nation. A film so cinematic and arresting deserves as large a screen as possible.
Things have been quiet around here because I’m just not watching movies like I used to. I like the movies I’m streaming, but not enough to inspire me to write about them. It’s that layer of distraction that keeps getting in the way. Thankfully, with the large filmmaking presence in ATL, there are plenty of opportunities to score free tickets to early previews of films. I have passes for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Monday and I hope I can make it. With ticket prices being so high, it seems like entering contests is my only option. I hope I win often so I can keep going back to the theater. I just don’t feel right without it.