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The 1A Movie Club: Are Theatrical Releases Going Bust Forever?

An aerial drone view shows a temporary drive-in movie theater at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California.
An aerial drone view shows a temporary drive-in movie theater at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California.

The coronavirus pandemic paused summer blockbuster season as movie theaters closed and Hollywood productions halted. Studios are trying to adjust: Films like “Scoob!” switched to a digital release and “The Old Guard” has given streaming giant Netflix a bump. Meanwhile, potential hits like “Mulan” and “Tenet” keep  delaying their release dates to one day score a theatrical release.

For industry insiders, this time has provided a glimpse into what a streaming-heavy future could look like as the closure of  movie theaters accelerates due to COVID-19. But some theater chains have brushed it off as an anomaly year due to the pandemic. Still, with the news that Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” release has been postponed indefinitely, many are left wondering if theatrical releases will even be an option any time in the near future.

What does this mean for Hollywood’s future? Does movie popcorn taste quite as good if you make it at home? And what about the workers involved in getting these movies to the box office?

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