Kristen Conklin, News Editor-in-Chief

Every year, spectacular films are released to the world, but the increasing popularity of online movie streaming slowly discourages movie-lovers from going to the movie theater when they can just stay home and watch Netflix. For many people, young and old, the movie theater is a hallmark of their childhood experiences. The excitement of deciding which movies to watch while standing at the box office and the feeling of a sugar rush after eating too many concessions are just a few of the many memories made at the cinema. The nostalgia and unique experience of seeing a film in theaters is incomparable to any online streaming service. In this decade, a variety of options are available when deciding how to watch a movie, but the movie theater is another realm of entertainment in its entirety, and should always be first choice.

In the bubble of the cinema, films can be viewed at the depths they were meant to convey. The absence of light and electronic distractions paired with a large, technicolor screen and comfortable seating makes theaters the perfect environment for movie-watching. Movie theaters allow people to encounter the art of film in an atmosphere of near-perfect isolation, providing audiences with the best visual experience.

Not only do movie theaters embrace the art of film, they also embrace the comfort of food. Perhaps another trademark of the iconic movie theater experience, the concessions stand is a treasure chest filled with rare gems and favorites. From classic candy boxes and popcorn to cheeseburgers and chicken strips, the cinema offers a variety of snacks to suit the tastes of all movie-goers. Nothing pairs better with the opening night of a movie like a large bag of over-buttered popcorn and an even larger blue raspberry icee. At the theater, the public’s hunger for entertainment and enjoyable food can be satisfied all under one roof.

The most unique experience of viewing films in a movie house are not the movies, but sometimes the unforgettable memories made within its walls. The giddy feeling of walking past the threshold of the movie theater doors and the late nights spent lounging with friends in the lobby cannot be simulated anywhere else. Whether the film that premiered last week was actually memorable, movie-goers may never forget the Coke that squirted out of their best friend’s nose or the nacho cheese they spilled on their lap during the scariest horror feature at the theater. The best part about the nostalgia of the cinema is that each movie-goer’s encounter and recollection of the theater is specific to him or her in a way that no one else has witnessed.

Movie theaters provide patrons with experiences that cannot be replicated outside of the cinema, but at times streaming movies online can be more convenient. When individuals are desperate for entertainment, but not desperate enough to leave their couch, they turn to streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu. With a few swipes and the tap of a finger, “Thor: Ragnarok” plays on the screens of their smartphones and laptops. On the other hand, the complete experience of watching a movie via streaming is susceptible to various factors that ruin movie-watching, such as: smartphone notifications, pressing work matters and demanding children.

All things considered, movie theaters and online streaming are both great ways to indulge in film, but the convenience of a smartphone app cannot replace a unique encounter at the movie theater. Other than presenting movies on a screen, online streaming services simply cannot capture the essence of a cinema’s quality viewing experiences or the nostalgic memories that accompany the magic of such an environment.