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The case for watching movies in a theater

Now that movies like Netflix's "Roma" are starting to be taken as seriously as films that are in theaters, it sparks an interesting debate: does seeing a movie in the theater matter anymore? Then, of course, we got into an argument about seeing movies in the theater (the big screen) vs. watching them at home on a TV or laptop (the small screen).

We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema—we’re Cinebuds.

Read more and listen to the full podcast episode below to hear our debate where Kpolly defends going out to the movies and Justin says staying in is just fine.

Going out vs. staying in

The case for the theatre

Kpolly thinks it's important to see movies on the big screen because it's "the way movies are supposed to be seen." And he's not just talking about the size of the screen (though he is also talking about that). He says the sense of community and human connection of being in the theatre is irreplaceable—laughing and gasping along with the audience is essential to what movies are about. True movie appreciation comes with movie theater appreciation. And true immersion and escapism is much easier in an isolated environment like a closed theater.

The case for home viewing

I think that being surrounded by people in the theater doesn't really matter. It's not like you talk to them during a screening anyway. Seeing a movie at home is much more personal. And all the greatest movies I've ever seen (the old ones where he wasn't around when they were in the theater), were displayed on a TV screen at home. I don't think the presentation took away from the experience. A good movie is a good movie. And being able to pause something is ideal.

After a heated debate, we each came around eventually to agree that both have their advantages and both contribute to the longevity of the art. Streaming is keeping lot of types of movies accessible to lots of demographics of people. But movie theaters are keeping curation alive, because having an unlimited selection is not always the best.

Another trend we love is theaters bringing back older classic movies that we've only ever seen on the small screen. Milwaukee Film has been showing a lot of great ones lately at the Oriental Theater. So to experience for yourself the pros and cons of the TV vs. theatre debate, check out one of these showings, like "There Will Be Blood" or "10 Things I Hate About You."

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Cinebuds is brought to you by Associated Bank and Steinhafels.