My mom took me to my first movie when I was barely 2 years old. The movie just happened to be the original Star Wars, A New Hope. I have very distinct memories of that experience. It helped set me on a course to become both a lover of movies and of Star Wars. But even more than loving the movies themselves, I think what I really enjoyed and still do enjoy was the movie experience.
I love walking into the theater. There is a tremendous anticipation about this hopefully amazing story that I am about to enter into for the next 2 hours. Then there are the snacks. Sure they are overpriced, but we never ate gigantic tubs of popcorn at my house, so it was definitely a special treat. Then, finding that perfect seat in and among all of the other people who had also purchased their tickets. There was something special about sharing the experience with other people. And don’t even get me started about the previews. Sadly today, most movie previews have been viewed to death through television and internet, but when I first begin going to movies as a child, the previews that I was about to see had never been seen before. This was my window into the upcoming summer blockbusters. It was magical. Honestly the previews were almost better than the movie. I said almost.
A good movie, a really good movie, is made to be seen in a theater. It’s big. It’s epic. It’s a giant screen that stretches from wall to wall. The sound rumbles all around you. It’s overwhelming. When you have seen a movie in a theater, it is just never quite the same on your little screen at home (Although some people I know are getting pretty darn close to theater size screens in their homes these days.)
So when I look back on those early experiences, I am so thankful that my mom introduced me to that magical world. I love movies, and I love compelling stories. But it is so much more than that. It’s like having a great product but knowing that there is a certain way of engaging with that product that can really maximize the way people experience it.
I love movies, and I will watch them at my home on my television. But if you give me the opportunity to experience a movie the way it was intended to be experienced, there is no way I would choose to sit on my couch in front of my little screen. I’ve tasted how it is supposed to be. I won’t choose a lesser experience when I know how good it can be. How about you?