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NOW SHOWING: People are going back to the movies

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jun 02, 2021

LAFAYETTE, La. — Another sign that things are going back to normal is that movie theaters are seeing an increase in customers.

A movie theater in Lafayette says although they had to shut down for months, they’re happy to see more people coming to see movies on the big screen.

Management at The Grand 16 tells KATC even though they had to furlough some people and saw some days with very low attendance, things are looking up in the theaters.

“Going into 2021, especially with the vaccine roll-out, I feel like we’ve had more people come in. I guess feeling safer to be in an auditorium with other people,” said Manager Heather Carroll.

They closed in March of 2020 and were able to reopen in August, but they had to make some changes. They only opened on the weekends, and since Hollywood wasn’t putting new flicks out, they resorted to retro films. But now, they’re seeing more and more people enter the cinema.

Perhaps what’s bringing people back is the Art Deco rugs saturated with the scent of fresh popcorn or the dark showing rooms that allow you to dissolve into the movie.

For one movie-goer, it’s all about technology.

"A giant screen, a massive screen, you can see everything,” said Adam Roy, who hadn’t been to the movies since 2019. He went back Wednesday for the first time to watch "A Quiet Place II."

While movie theaters were struggling, online streaming services were doing alright. Currently, AppleTV+, Paramount+, and Peacock each have a bit over 30 million subscribers. HBO Max and Hulu are both around the 40 million mark. Disney+ has around 100 million, and both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have broken the 200 million mark.

Roy’s family is subscribed to some of these services, but he says it’s not the same.

“I can watch them in my room, eat some snacks,” said Roy. "But this is, besides the price of these things, is good. It’s the better experience.”

The Grand’s manager says there’s a relationship between the theaters and Hollywood - a relationship that’s improving.

“We’re just really happy it seems now every weekend we’re getting those bigger movies that can pull people in,” said Carroll.

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