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13% Of People Miss This Part Of Movie Theaters The Most During Quarantine

For many people, 2020 seemed like it moved along at a glacial pace, thanks to the fact that they could no longer safely do the activities they took for granted prior to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. From eating at restaurants and having Academy Awards watch parties to going to the movies for a night out, regular life was put on hold. In 2021, the situation is looking up — thanks to COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out — but the pandemic isn't over yet, and it looks like it might be months before movie fans feel safe going back to theaters for the big-screen blockbuster experience. 

Given the current world situation, Looper.com asked readers from around the country what they missed most about going to movie theaters during this time of quarantine. It's no surprise what people said, but it certainly proves everyone is ready to get back to normal life, whenever that may finally be a possibility.

13% of moviegoers missed concessions the most

Out of 650 respondents, 49.2% of people actually seeing movies on the big screen the most. That's fair: there's nothing like the experience of watching your favorite films on that giant screen, especially if there are a lot of special effects or if there are details you don't want to miss. Plus, the theater experience makes it less likely that you'll get pulled away by ringing phones or other distractions from daily life.

Another 20.8% of people missed being able to watch movies with friends and family. Of course, get-togethers during the pandemic with anyone outside your bubble definitely adds risk to your life, so this is a predictable — and reasonable — response. Hopefully group movie nights become a thing again soon!

In third place, about 13.4% of those polled missed movie concession food/snacks. While some local theaters actually sold popcorn and other snacks as a way to bring in revenue during stay-at-home restrictions (via the Wall Street Journal), many had to shutter their food stands entirely when state regulations allowed them to open up again (via the Detroit News). Since concessions make up such a large part of movie theater revenues, this made some wonder if opening up was even worth it. Plus, food makes up a big part of the theater experience, too — it's hard to imagine seeing one without overpriced popcorn and drinks, right? 

Another 9.9% missed IMAX/3D options, which make the movies even more immersive, and 2.5% missed midnight showings. 

The "Other" section: Is the movie theater experience fading in popularity?

In this survey, 4.3% people chose Other, as some commenters found that the options listed didn't quite encapsulate the reason they miss movie theaters. One voted for "the feeling of adventure that is the whole theater experience" and another said they missed the recliner chairs that have become standard at many theaters in recent years. Yet another missed the sound, which — especially with the surround sound experience in theaters caused by strategic speaker placement and multi-dimensional resonance — is definitely an improvement on most home setups.

However, many people had negative things to say about the movie theater experience, with various voters saying that they haven't been to the movies in years, even decades. "They are obsolete and charge too much," one said. And others said there wasn't anything they miss about theaters. As TV technology has improved and screens get bigger, it is becoming easier to replicate the movie-watching experience at home. Streaming services offer so much content that viewers can often find something interesting and trendy to watch without leaving their living room couch.