Nonstop Hollywood Movie Show

black and white image of a darkened movie theater with just two patrons watching what appears to be a bleak Western scene
Json [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

by Osita Nwanevu

The American film industry has substantially recovered from the slump of the last few years, but given trends that were only exacerbated by the pandemic, it seems unlikely that moviegoing will ever be the same again. In the fall, the National Endowment for the Arts reported that only 43 percent of Americans had reported going to the movies in the past year, a 16 percent decline from 2017. And there are fewer theaters now—between 2019 and 2023 alone, the number of screens in America fell by about 3,000. 

For a variety of predictable reasons, including the cost of tickets and concessions and “the comfort of viewing at home,” two-thirds of Americans now say they prefer streaming movies instead. Generally speaking, I am one of them. 

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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