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Even when indie films are available at home, moviegoers still go to the theater, said Tori Baker, executive director of the Salt Lake Film Society — the nonprofit that runs the Broadway and Tower theaters.
"[People say,] ‘I want to go out tonight, I don’t want to sit on my couch,’" Baker said. "You’ll still choose to go out of your home for cinema, because you want that cinema experience."
This is especially true for issue-oriented films, Baker said. "They don’t just want to see the anti-war movie," she said. "They want to go talk to people about their anti-war views."
Andersen, at Megaplex, noted that this isn’t the first time Hollywood fretted about new technology destroying the theatergoing experience. In the 1950s, it was television. In the 1980s, it was home video. And now it’s video-on-demand.
Movie theaters have always countered with bigger movie experiences — such as CinemaScope and 3-D in the ’50s, blockbuster films in the ’80s, and now massive digital screens and 3-D (again).
"It might be fun at first" to watch a movie at home or on a smartphone, Andersen said, "but they’re going to long for the big-screen experience. … People will always want a night out."
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