Absence of Cinema

By Onyx Staff | 09/22/2021

My love for cinema was developed by my dad. He would take me to horror films that he probably shouldn’t have at the time. Now that I am a father myself, I have taken my daughter to quite a few movies, but none during the last year. The pandemic has taken a lot away from us, personally and socially. Movies are an experience we have with others, and I miss that experience. Since the Onyx Theatre and various local theaters have closed, there is a void left in the area. Sure, we could watch movies on our HDTV, no problem – we can pop our own popcorn, pour our own drinks – but it is not the same as going out to see a movie in a dark theater. You get to go with someone important, choose a time, get your snacks, talk beforehand, pick your seats, talk about what trailers you think look good, and after the movie you get to discuss what you saw and see what each of you got out of it. I cherish those moments with my dad – being there together watching the big screen. Nothing quite beats this experience! 

During this time of cinema’s absence, movies have taken a back seat while the nation heals itself. With studios no longer getting their movies shown, they had to start getting crafty with how to release a movie and turn some profit. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney+ were thriving because people were all at home looking to be entertained. Disney+ introduced Premier Access, a service where you could see a newly released movie at home for $29.99. You do not even get to own this movie – it is a one-time rental that you get access to and do not have to leave your home to go see it in a theater. Other studios sold off their films to streaming to get some revenue coming in since theaters were either not at full capacity or not open at all. 

It’s not all bad news – with vaccines and testing, we can see movie theaters starting to reopen again, slowly. Unfortunately, some of the theaters did not survive the long year and a half without making any money. The Onyx will be reopening again in October, marking its first time open since closing on March 14, 2020. I will be happy to support the Onyx and see movies the way they should be seen. It’s been a long wait, but we can look forward to welcoming back something familiar very soon. 

 -Written by Sean Devine, former Onyx Staff Member

(the Onyx will miss you, Sean! But, we look forward to your visits!)