LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As businesses are reopening and films are vying for awards, movie theaters are still struggling to keep customers.
At the Oscars Sunday night, one actress made a plea for people to return to movie theaters at a time some experts are calling a make or break for the industry.
“One day very very soon, take everyone you know into a theater shoulder to shoulder in that dark space and watch every film that’s represented here tonight,” said 2021 Best Actress winner Frances McDormand.
According to the Motion Picture Association, box office receipts plummeted in 2020 by 72% worldwide and 80% in the U.S.
AMC, the world’s biggest theater chain, nearly went bankrupt and earlier this month, L.A. favorite, ArcLight Cinemas announced it would be closing permanently after being in business for nearly 20 years.
“The night to celebrate movies and go back to theaters should happen at the Oscars and it just didn’t feel like it was there,” said Variety senior editor Marc Malkin.
Malkin is among many who say the Oscars should have done more to encourage a return to theaters.
“Frances McDormand did it but she’s one of the very few people who talked about the theater-going experience and I know a lot of theater execs are not pleased that they didn’t see that champion rally,” Malkin said.
However, according to Malkin, studio executives are hopeful that people will eventually feel safe enough and want to go to theaters again.
While some say there are advantages to watching movies at home, others miss the theater experience.
Experts believe it will take some time for movie theaters to catch up with the major losses during the pandemic, but they tell us, slowly but surely, they will.