By: Cal Parsons
About a year ago, Sean Parker introduced a new streaming service for home use, The Screening Room. The Screening Room is a service that would allow users to purchase new movies currently in theaters to stream at home, for a much higher price. Although not much news has come of the idea since then, there is still much debate as to whether or not this service should be available, ever.
Imagine paying $50 to get a new movie streamed directly to your TV in the same quality that movie theaters play. That’s what Screening Room, and other potential future companies, plan to initiate. Since Screening Room first came to the attention of the film industry, it has sparked numerous debates among Hollywood’s best and brightest, including Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and Martin Scorsese.
Spielberg and Scorsese support this streaming service, and many more directors and celebrities do as well. Having the ability to stream new movies at home would encourage more viewership of new films, since movie theater attendance seems to be in a steady decline, and this would give a wider access to new films. Although there would be a much higher price for one copy, this would encourage group screenings in one home, splitting the cost among the participants. Overall, a home streaming service for new films would possibly increase the amount of people watching the film.
There are others such as Christopher Nolan who oppose this service. Nolan is a film purist and has always believed that the cinema is and always will be the most authentic and definitive way to view a film. Nolan’s films are obviously made to be seen in a movie theater on a large screen with a loud sound system, and many others make movies for the same reason. That’s why many filmmakers are choosing to oppose this idea; this would potentially make movie theaters obsolete.
There are many people out there without easy access to a movie theater who would benefit greatly from a service like this. But there are many others, myself included, who love going to the theater and sitting in a dark space without distractions and just absorbing a film and the experience it gives you, and fear that movie theaters will disappear due to this service.
But business always wins, and no matter how many people fight it, this service will eventually come to fruition, giving anyone with internet access and a screen the ability to watch a movie the night it releases in theaters. I’m expecting a huge increase in home movie theaters around the world when this service eventually is brought to us.
What do you think? If this service were available to you, would you still go to the theater? Or would you and some friends buy these movies to stream at home?
Here’s one of the first articles that talk about Screening Room.