Have you tried finding the movie theater listings in the newspaper lately?
The movie theater showtimes advertising grid disappeared from the Pasadena Star-News a while ago. And I recently noticed that all the ads for AMC theaters throughout the Los Angeles metro area have vanished from the Los Angeles Times as well.
It seems to be yet another sign of the times, so to speak, and apparently another nail in the coffin for newspapers versus the Internet and smart phone apps.
Ironically, a survey published Sunday in the Times said that even those who read e-books prefer printed books. So what does that mean? People prefer things in print, but are so unwilling to go to the extra trouble to carry a book or open a newspaper that they use their iPad, smart phone or computer instead?
Too few younger people even subscribe to a newspaper anymore to make it worth AMC’s money to run ads. Those ads could not have been cheap; AMC’s ads in the Times used to cover the better part of two pages.
It represents the ripple effect of how the ways we consume entertainment has changed. Movie theater attendance itself has been declining for years.
In fact, moviegoing has never recovered from the loss of more than 3.6 billion ticket buyers from 1947-1964, when television first entered the entertainment scene. Admissions plummeted even lower in the mid-1970s, with the introduction of the VCR and movie rentals.
Attendance slowly but steadily rebounded by the mid-2000s but has declined ever since. Consumers are watching fewer movies in general and prefer Netflix, DVDs and/or electronic downloads when they do take in a flick.
I know all of this is inevitable and that there is nothing to be done about any of it. Nonetheless, I’m oddly melancholy about no longer being able to check the newspaper for the movie theater showtime listings.
Hettrick's City Views blog is not intended to reflect any position of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, where he is Executive Director.