NORMAL (WEEK) - Theaters across the country are having to find new ways to stay in business after temporarily closing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government-owned Normal Theater in Uptown Normal, for example, opened in 1937, but closed in March. However, they have found a solution, streaming movies.
Theater Manager, Adam Fox, says it has allowed people to watch at home, and they are calling it 'the living room film festival'. Fox says allowing customers to buy a ticket and access a movie online is necessary to keep the theater open.
"A lot of the distributors and theaters very quickly found themselves in a place where we couldn't do the one thing that we do, which is bring people together around a shared experience. and not being able to have that moment of assembly or opportunity to gather people together, we needed to figure out how to still share those stories," said Fox.
While many movie theaters have adjusted, they could now be facing additional competition. Earlier this week, Universal Pictures announced they will continue to send movies straight to streaming after the stay-at-home order is lifted. However, Fox says he is not worried about streaming movies potentially erasing theaters all together.
"Seeing a movie in a movie theater is a special experience. we all know that inherently but maybe haven't put the words to it before. it's a slow turn and it will never take the place of traditional movie going. i don't think we're going to see it take over what we always do," added Fox.
Fox says the way we watch movies is sure to change after the COVID-19 pandemic, but he is certain people will still crave the movie-going experience.
If you want to purchase a ticket for the Normal Theater's next online showing, you can visit their website.