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That phrase – going to the movies – that shared experience in a movie theater full of strangers already makes me nostalgic, like listening to vinyl records.
Before the pandemic, the movie theater business was an 11-billion dollar industry in the US alone. In 2020, there were approximately 40,000 screens in 5,798 theaters that employed over 115,000 people.
Then, of course, in March of 2020, like all communal entertainment experiences, they were all shut down. Netflix, Amazon and Disney, which were already increasing their market share of the movie experience, replaced movie theaters overnight. But as we crawl out of the pandemic to a post-corona world, will the tension build to return to the movies? Right now, we are seeing early signs of a market for the sanctity of the movie theater experience.
To help us understand the history of the film business and where it goes from here, post-corona, John Podhoretz returns to our conversation. He’s been a prolific film critic for over four decades. John is editor in chief of Commentary Magazine and host of Commentary’s award-winning daily podcast, he’s a columnist for the New York Post, a book author, and was film critic for the Weekly Standard and television critic for the New York Post.
Are movies as we’ve watched them for the past century — over? Were movie theaters already in decline and the pandemic simply accelerated the race to the inevitable? Or are we itching to get back out… to go to movies?
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