The balcony is closed and the curtains have been shut – all cinemas across the globe have been put on hiatus, as per the shutdown of entertainment venues in this time of emergency. All Perth cinemas, from Hoyts to Luna, Event to Palace and Ace to Backlot, have gone into shut-down for an undetermined amount of time that’s hopefully as short as possible.
This unprecedented moment in cinema history just so happens to come at a time when streaming is readily available so while the local cinema industry’s struggle is real, at least we won’t be starved of entertainment. The big screen will be missed, but the smaller screens at home are ready and packed with an unfathomable amount of content – most of it very likely bad, but even to get through all the good stuff would probably take you a couple of years.
Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, Foxtel Now, all the VOD services, and if you’re a sneaky mofo with a VPN, your collection becomes even more vast. And if we find ourselves in the worst kind of apocalyptic situation – the one that involves no internet – we still have thousands of hours of viewing pleasure on our DVDs and Blu-Rays (as long as you didn’t throw them away). If this pandemic had occurred during a time when home streaming wasn’t available, we’d be forced back to free-to-air TV, reading, and family conversations – the horror.
As comforting as readily available streaming content is, this compulsory indoors scenario hopefully won’t debilitate the cinema business even further. It seemed this business, particular the independent cinemas, were already holding on by a thin string thanks to illegal downloading and the streaming boom that evolved out of it, and now this pandemic has delivered a strong blow to such a sensitive industry that we’re reliant on for our arts and entertainment consumption.
Be sure to keep yourself tuned into Xpress Mag’s Film & TV reviews as we help you navigate your way to the best (and worst) movies and TV shows ready for your home viewing.
And once normality is returned, the re-opened cinemas are going to need a strong burst of support to show they are still needed. The convenience of home steaming will be felt stronger than ever now, but it will only go to highlight the majesty of the cinema experience that will be missed more and more as this uncertain amount of self-isolation continues.