Hollywood wants us to head back to the movie theaters

Mattew McConaugheyIf you watched the 2021 Oscars, you may have noticed Matthew McConaughey talking about the importance of movie theaters.

“Movie theaters: they employ over 150,000 Americans. They are the unsung heroes who help bring movie magic to the big screen,” Matthew McConaughey says. “Obviously, it’s been a very hard year for them – furloughs, closures, basically, the longest intermission that they ever could have imagined. Thanks to their dedication and resilience, theaters are coming back.” 

We then get to hear from real people who work in movie theaters, including a couple that met while working at the movies! 

Watch the video here:

“The Big Screen is Back,” and we’re ready for it

The video is part of a new initiative called “The Big Screen is Back,” a collaboration with a variety of professionals who are impacted by the movie theater industry––movie theaters themselves, filmmakers, studio executives, and the National Association of Theatre Owners. 

“We have to let people know that movie theaters are open and they’re ready to welcome people back,” says Megan Crawford, head of motion picture marketing at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) to Variety. “Honestly, movie theaters are better than ever and because of the [safety] regulations, they’re much cleaner than they’ve ever been and the atmosphere is probably more inviting than it had been before all of this happened.”

“It’s important that we highlight the 153,000 Americans that work in theaters,” says Megan Crawford to Variety. “When you watch these interviews, they’re really emotional. They remind you of the passion that theater workers have for cinema.”

Matthew McConaughey isn’t the only Hollywood A-lister telling us to get back to the movies.

While accepting the Best Picture Oscar for Nomadland, Frances McDormand urged us to head back to the movie theaters, saying “Please watch our movie on the largest screen possible and one day very, very soon, take everyone you know into a theater, shoulder to shoulder in that dark space and watch every film that’s represented here tonight.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, filmmaker Christopher Nolan reminded us all about the importance of movie theaters. “In uncertain times, there is no more comforting thought than that we’re all in this together, something the moviegoing experience has been reinforcing for generations,” he says in a March 2020 opinion piece for the Washington Post. He goes on to say, “Maybe, like me, you thought you were going to the movies for surround sound, or Goobers, or soda and popcorn, or movie stars. But we weren’t. We were there for each other.”

Last summer, Tom Cruise headed to a London movie theater to watch a screening of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. At the end of the screening, he gets up and says “It is great to be back in a movie theater, everybody.”

So many of us miss going to the movies because watching at home just doesn’t compare.

When NYC theaters began to reopen in February, we shared tweets from moviegoers who couldn’t wait to get back to the movies

A few weeks back, I went back to the movies for the first time in over a year to watch Godzilla vs. Kong. I followed our tips for safely going back to the movies and had an amazing experience.

At the same time, fellow Hollywood.com writer Heather watched Godzilla vs. Kong from home, and the whole time she wished she were watching it distraction-free at the movie theater, saying “this film, with its long and deep ties to cinematic history, deserved to be seen in a movie theater.”

I shared my experiences heading back to the movie theater to watch Voyagers and Mortal Kombat too. Nothing beats the big screen (and no popcorn beats movie theater popcorn).

Ready to go back to the movies?

We have everything you need to feel good about heading back to the movies.

Check out our guide to movie showtimes for every type of hangout (date night, family night, etc.

Find out which movie theaters are open near you:

Use this tool to search for an AMC movie theater near you.

Use this tool to search for a Regal Theatre near you.

Use this tool to search for a Cinemark movie theater near you. 

Use this tool to search for a Paragon movie theater near you. 

Use this tool to search for a Marcus movie theater near you. 

Use this tool to search for a Bow Tie movie theater near you. 

Discover new movie releases and watch new movie trailers.

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