Category: Entertaining

So long to cinemas? Our watching habits after COVID-19

When you think about it, the entertainment industry as we know it isn’t very old. The first movie theater only went into business in 1905. From there, technology has rapidly changed to bring about a stunning evolution in home entertainment and theater experiences.

Throughout the film and television industry timeline, the way we’ve watched our favorite shows has changed time and time again. In under a century, families have gone from gathering around large black and white TVs at scheduled times for limited programming to seemingly limitless options spread among countless streaming platforms.

The way we watch is constantly changing, but once COVID-19 came into the picture, the entire industry had to evolve at a lightning pace.

Simultaneous Movie Releases

Before COVID-19, the movie theater was a regular part of many film lovers’ social lives. Movie fans would flock to theaters in droves for the latest blockbusters, packed together shoulder-to-shoulder to enjoy a shared experience with their friends and other audience members.

While many of these cinema buffs also sported impressive home theatre setups at home to indulge in the classics, a night at the movie theater was still a regular part of life.

Before COVID-19, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ had already hit the market. However, their catalogs only featured older films and television shows.

In March of 2020, movie theaters and film production studios nationwide were forced to close due to the pandemic. In fact, here in Springfield, MO, we saw famous chains like Alamo Drafthouse and AMC Theaters shutter auditoriums for months at a time. At first, these closures were thought to be short-term, but they extended intermittently for almost a year as the pandemic raged on.

For the majority of 2020, movies simply weren’t released. However, this wasn’t a viable long-term solution.

Back in the before times, in the mid-2010s, Netflix had set a precedent by releasing their self-produced feature films in theaters and on their streaming site simultaneously. While this was never done for large blockbusters, it set an interesting precedent for how studios and streaming platforms could pivot their content releases in a pandemic-plagued world.

So, Disney+ and HBOMax, owned by Disney and Warner Bros. respectively, decided to try something similar on their streaming services. For a premium fee, they allowed their subscribers to watch blockbuster movies at home on release day.

This led to a far more cost-effective way for home viewers to watch their films, with families only paying a single premium price instead of costly tickets and concessions in a theater. Additionally, for those with a premium home setup, utilizing large displays in 4k video and audio setups with cinema-style surround sound, the theater experience is almost entirely recreated at home.

The Future of Movies After COVID-19

Once you give people a feature they like, it’s hard to take it away. Unfortunately, this does prove to be a complex problem to solve for movie theater owners. For example, Disney+ released the Marvel movie Black Widow on both streaming and theaters in July 2021. This movie netted about $131 million in its first week in movie theater box offices. An additional $60 million of revenue came from Disney’s opening weekend streaming sales.

However, the National Association of Theater Owners has expressed their frustrations that sales in box offices could be higher if they weren’t competing with home streaming.

With movie theaters struggling to recover from a year-long shutdown, followed by low ticket sales as they reopen, it will be interesting to see how film distribution changes in the future.

In the end, it’s unlikely that large media corporations like Disney or Warner Bros. will take new movie streaming away entirely. However, with so many families enjoying movies at home, it’s more likely that we’ll see films better optimized for a home viewing experience first in the future, instead of the opposite way around.

As long as movie theaters exist, we’re sure there will still be film fans who partake in movie theaters. However, many in the industry anticipate that theater runs will become more limited.  With streaming media in the future made the priority, it looks like the home theater will be king. After all, in the comfort of your own media room, the snacks are plentiful, you can rewatch whatever you desire, and you’re free of the sticky floors of cinema aisles.

No matter what happens in the future of film, there’s no doubt that streaming services and their endless content libraries are here to stay. If you’d like to make your home watching experience more comfortable and immersive, we can help. Our experts at SCS Home Entertainment can help you design the perfect movie-watching experience. Call us at (417) 720-8282 or visit our showroom today to get started on your next project.

5 Tips to Perfect Your Spring Entertaining

Spring is in the air. It seems like after the winter holidays, the long isolating winter really turns into a grind. By this time of year, most of us are gearing up for sunny days, vacations and dreaming of summer fun. With COVID-19 vaccinations underway, some of our friends and loved ones are ready to meet up after a long time apart. As the vaccines continue, you may be ready to throw your first small party indoors but don’t forget those who aren’t yet eligible for their shots may be safer in outdoor settings.

With all that in mind, let’s get your spaces prepped and parties planned for your first exciting foray into entertaining for the year.

Tip 1: Start with a little spring maintenance

It’s easy to get complacent with a little more mess and a little less maintenance in winter. Your home automation system is a great resource to encourage you to keep up on occasional and annual tasks. Set an automated schedule to remind you of important chores like cleaning your central vacuum system, clearing out the gutters, or scrubbing the grill.

With extended daylight, you’ll also want to adjust your lighting to fit the new season. One great way to do this is to set up your automated lighting system is to adjust your light scenes to fade in and out with the sunrise and sunset.

Tip 2: Give your spaces some color

Once your living spaces are ready to go, why not give them a little upgrade? Your home theater, living room, or centralized kitchen can benefit from splashes of blossom shades. Use peel-and-stick temporary wallpaper to give your entertaining space a seasonally appropriate or floral hue. Match it with some vibrant throw pillow colors and rainbow drinkware for a fun space fit for celebrating spring.

To kick it up a notch, many automated lighting systems feature colored lights. Have fun creating a unique lighting mood and color palette for your next party or just a night at home.

Tip 3: Light up the grill for an early-season BBQ

No matter what anyone tells you if it’s warm out, it’s grilling time. Give your grill an annual scrub and break it out for a much-needed early spring BBQ. Invite your guests to join you on your patio for afternoon drinks and eats.

Outdoor speakers are the perfect addition to any outdoor entertaining setting. Use your speakers to kick up the jams or play some lively, spring-themed ambient noise with soft lo-fi for a more relaxing approach.

Tip 4: Delight the kids with an outdoor Easter party

Easter is near and with it comes colorful candy, Easter dresses, and hunts for treat-filled plastic eggs. Host your neighbors or family for a festive Easter egg hunt in your backyard.

Make the day extra special by using your short-throw projector to show fun Easter favorites like Peter Rabbit or It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown on an outdoor screen. Lay out picnic blankets and let the kiddos enjoy the show and their candy while the parents kick back and relax.

Tip 5: Throw a spring movie party with popcorn that makes a statement

Spring isn’t always beautiful sunny days. When there is a surprise burst of winter weather or rain drowns your plans, don’t dismay. Take the party indoors with a spring movie party.

Let your guests enjoy your home entertainment system with fun and uplifting spring movies like Eat Pray Love or The Secret Garden. With a front-row seat and a large screen, the beautiful spring blooms will come to life for you and your guests.

With your guests nestled in, you can wow them with bowls of easy salty and sweet popcorn that are sure to make a statement.

 

Sweet and Salty Candy Popcorn Recipe

8 Cups of Fresh Popcorn, salted and buttered

1 Cup chocolate covered peanuts

1 Cup of mini pretzels

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups minis

After salting and buttering your fresh popcorn, place it in a large mixing bowl. Combine the chocolate covered peanuts, mini pretzels, white chocolate chips, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis into the bowl with the popcorn. Gently mix and serve.

 

Spring is an exciting time of year when the weather is mild, the flowers are in bloom and now that vaccinations are underway, your friends and family will soon be ready to socialize. After a long time apart, fun small gatherings with family and close friends are quickly becoming reality. While the projected openness of summer is a bit away, you can still have fun this spring with the right company.