Blooloop just published a new article I wrote about the possible extinction of the movie theater. It’s worth a read if you love movies, are in the entertainment business, or are in any market that is being threatened by the coronavirus lockdown.
The thought of the movie theater’s extinction fills me with sorrow. We go to theaters to escape and to seek comfort. Curling up in an auditorium with a bucket of buttery popcorn and our favorite candy nestled between our legs, having the lights dim and the curtains opening fills us with a sense of anticipation that is soon replaced with the excitement of the opening credits. The real world fades away, and we spend the next two hours lost in a fantasy. All thoughts of the horror of the real world dissipate.
Many things we formerly used to seek comfort are being taken away. Besides movie theaters, I can no longer go surfing for a few hours to distract my mind and calm my soul. I can’t take a long drive to be alone with my thoughts. I can’t go to dinner and have a conversation that starts with “how are you?” before it moves to my deepest thoughts and concerns and ends in a warm embrace and a promise to do it again before long.
My fear is that this might not be a temporary situation. The idea that movie theaters might be a vestige of the past causes me dread. If an institution that existed for generations before I was born could disappear, what else might be gone and soon forgotten? Will I still be able to travel to foreign lands to meet new people and discover different ways of seeing the world through the perspectives of strangers? Will I be coming to industry trade shows to see friends I’ve known for 30-years?
As a global nomad, I couldn’t have a pet, so I became a pet sitter for other travelers to feel the comfort of a furry companion. I used to stop and pet dogs being walked down the street, and it would bring me comfort and joy. There is no more pet sitting, and people are so afraid of the coronavirus that I am hesitant to even ask if I can pet their dogs.
HP Lovecraft wrote,
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
We have entered a time of the infinite unknown. There is no way of knowing what comes next. At times like these, we need comfort more than ever. For me at least, most of those comforts have been stripped away. And some of them might never come back. I hope movie theaters come back soon.
If you’re struggling with the coronavirus lockdown, either personally or professionally, I want to hear from you. You are not alone.