Reports are that 2017 was a financial disaster year for Hollywood movies. Attendance at theaters has been dropping for a long time, and with streaming and other computer entertainment alternatives ever expanding, there’s no relief in sight.
I can remember back to the 1930s as a little kid, when I paid a dime to spend an afternoon at the neighborhood movie. The show included current news, short comedy or western, cartoon, coming attractions and the feature movie. As a teenager with a part-time job, I could afford to spend $1 to go downtown to a major theater, with all the same movie line-up plus a live musical show.
One day the downtown theater program featured a popular swing band. I was just leaving when I saw a crowd of excited teenage girls surrounding the Tommy Dorsey singer, as skinny young Frank Sinatra signed autographs.
There are many reasons I don’t go to the movies today. They’re full of deafening rock music, locker room cursing, political preaching and brain-confusing quick scenes. And that’s just on the screen. The audience is often loud and obnoxious. Little Shirley Temple would be shocked at the filthy themes and language!
The average price is $9, plus nearby parking at $2 or more per hour. Finally, why go to a movie house, when most new films are available free on cable TV within months of their premieres?