We have had the privilege of seeing how movies have changed from silent era films to the colourful, soundful movies we have today. There’s no doubt that movies have played a large part in our lives, and now we are watching them more than ever, especially during this pandemic. We love all the classic films, but we also want to see the most recent films that are being released. But the way in which we have consumed movies has also changed over the decades, and we will be looking at these changes in this article.
At one point in time, the only place to watch films was in a movie theatre. While it could be nice to go to the cinema every so often, it wasn’t practical or cost-effective for people to travel to the movie theatre every time they wanted to watch a film, which is why when films became available to view at home, cinema attendance dropped rapidly.
Even now, people see going to the cinema as an occasional treat. Less and less people go there regularly, and when they have the opportunity to watch films at home, they don’t have to worry about queuing up or paying for overpriced popcorn.
It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that feature length films were shown on TV alongside television shows. While it was nice to watch a film in the comfort of your own home, you wouldn’t know what films were going to be played until they aired, unless you fortunate enough to have bought a television guide book so you could see what shows and films would be aired during the week. Made-for-TV movies also became popular and now they are frequently aired alongside mainstream movies and regular TV shows.
Between the 1970s and the 1990s, Video Home Systems (VHSs) became a central part of many households, and with VHS came the videocassette recorder (VCR). They became popular because once you bought a film on VHS, you could rewatch it whenever you wanted.
If you wanted to see the most recent release and couldn’t wait to buy your own VHS copy, you had to head to your local movie rental store and hope that no one had already rented it. Anyone born before the turn of the century will remember the pain of having to rewind their video cassettes before they watched them, if the person who had last played them had neglected to do so.
DVDs and Blu-ray Discs
At the end of the 1990s, Digital Video Discs (DVDs) were introduced. These thin disks began to replace the clunky video cassettes, and VCRs were replaced by DVD players. The days when families had cassettes piling up in the corner next to their TVs were long gone.
In the 2000s, people began to favour Blu-ray Discs over DVDs, as Blu-ray offered them the chance to view the most recent films in high-definition.
We’ve all enjoyed being able to watch thousands of films by streaming them online, watching on our smart TVs, or by using a digital media player. And while some steaming platforms do charge a fee for people to view all the films and TV shows that they have available, there are some places where you can watch movies online for free. These streaming sites acquire films by licensing them from various studios, or sometimes the company that owns the streaming platform produces films so that people have to use their site to view them. Some of the top film studios own streaming platforms, so people can stream their films exclusively.
Thanks to the many streaming platforms available, we can now watch movies on our phones, tablets and laptops. We’re no longer limited to watching films in the cinema or at home, and we can take these devices everywhere. You can watch a movie during your train ride to work, while having a picnic in the park, or while you are on holiday as long as you have internet access. However, you can still enjoy streaming films while sitting on couch or lounging in bed, but just think of all the space you’ll save without all those pesky DVDs and video cassettes cluttering up your house.
Image Credits: Pixabay