I love the concept of simultaneous release. I think movies should move simultaneously to theaters, DVD and on demand. It allows you to choose your medium for consumption of entertainment. I had never thought of this as reflective of societal shifts. CNet poses an interesting thought on whether this is tied to the idea of bowling alone.
Now I am no fan of Putnam. I am, by nature, a student of Hobbes and Locke. But I believe that in a state of nature man would be content to exist alone and only congregates together only for the purpose of law enforcement against those who violate another’s natural rights or as a method to meet an individual need.
The idea that movie theaters will cease to exist is absurd. When color film was invented, someone invariably mourned the death of black and white film. While they are fewer in number, they still exist and are often commercially successful.
When TV was invented, someone invariably bemoaned the death of radio. But today we not only have radio, we have several flavors from terrestrial to satellite.
I don’t like my fellow man very much. People are, for the most part, rude and inconsiderate. They talk through movies; they arrive 15 minutes into the movie then insist on sitting in the middle of the row of seats; they take calls in the middle of a movie; etc., etc.
I go to movies because I am a fan of movies, not because I am a fan of people. If I can take the people out of the movie equation, I am thrilled. Simultaneous release would result in me rarely setting foot in a theater, but it would not result in everyone turning away from theaters. Some people attend movies for other reasons – the roar of a crowd laughing together, the shared suspense in a thriller with the audience all leaning forward in their chairs, or the sound of others weeping the death of a character.
So there will still be theaters… But I won’t be there to share it with you, so talk all you want.