Nov 18, 2020

Are Movie Theaters Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Covid-19 has wrecked havoc on so many places of business.  Movie theaters haven't been exempted.  

AMC Entertainment, the largest movie theater chain, is about to go bankrupt.

One would think you had to have movie theaters for entertainment.  But streaming video that can be accessed anywhere and at anytime has hurt the format of the traditional movie theater.

Today's kids (and adults) can watch movies in the palm of their hand through smart phones and tablets.  

Couple this with the fact that many movie companies are skipping the movie theater completely and are producing movies for companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney+ and other outlets.  An example is the Star War series called "The Mandalorian."  And then there is the movie "Mulan."  In years past, these movies would have went to theaters first.  But not in this new age of streaming video.  Why go to a movie theater and pay for tickets when you can take that same money and purchase 2-3 months of unlimited movies for at home and on the go?  It's now a streamers world.

Few and fewer people are going to the movie theater.  In the last 20 years, overall attendance has declined at an average rate of 1% each year.  Unless something changes, many movie theater chains will have to close their doors soon. 

Covid-19 certainly hasn't helped.  Only 26% of Millennials say they are comfortable returning to movie theaters right now.  

So what does this mean for the church?

Streaming video content that is available at anytime and at any place is taking over traditional movie theaters.  The church that wants to reach the next generation should keep this in mind.  

What content can you get to kids and their parents each week through live streaming and archives? 

It appears that watching content at home is going to bury watching movies at a large theater. Will this trend affect the church world as well?  Will families stay home more often and watch online?   How can we adjust what we do to minister in a streaming world?

Looking at this trend, should children's ministries start putting more of their focus on creating online content for kids and families?

We do know that in many homes, it is the kids who make the decision about attending church online or in person.  How can you create an experience that has kids dragging their parents to church in person?

What are your thoughts about this trend?  Do you think streaming and archived video will be the primary mode of church attendance for families in the years ahead?  

What are the pros and cons of both formats? (online or in person)

What are you seeing in your local church?  Does it follow this narrative? 

Share your thoughts, ideas and insight in the comment section below.

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