Dear Crabby, Are Cinemas Gone for Good?

Dear Crabby,

Governor Whitmer’s announcement that movie theaters are allowed to open back up on October 9 has me pretty excited. I really missed being able to kick back in those comfy reclining seats and get lost in a story for a couple of hours. But now I’m hearing that some movies are getting pushed back and some cinemas might not open back up at all. Is this the end of the movies as we know it?

E. Bert

Dear E. Bert,

Yes. It’s great that movie theaters in Michigan can reopen this weekend, but it might be a case of too little too late.

Take AMC Theatres for example. They are the world’s largest cinema operator, and thanks to the pandemic the lost over $500 million in revenue during its last quarter. Ouch. You know that had to hurt the old wallet. Even with that loss, AMC has decided to stay open as opposed to the second biggest movie theater chain Cineworld, which operates in the U.S. under the name Regal Cinemas. As far as I know, we don’t have any of those in Michigan, so their decision to close really doesn’t impact us much. So, that brings us to the next question: even if there are movie theaters open, will there be anything showing that people want to see?

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop
Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Most of the big summer blockbusters never saw the light of day and the big holiday movie season might meet the same fate as well. Just recently it was announced that the 25th James Bond movie “No Time To Die” would not be racing onto big screens in November 2020 as planned, but rather waiting until April 2021. Seeing as how the movie was to be originally released in April of this year, the studio is putting an awful lot of faith in its fanbase. Then again, James Bond has managed to survive being shot, drugged, falling off tall structures, and still has a liver after drinking all those vodka martinis, so maybe he has what it takes to go the distance. One of the other ‘big’ movies people have been waiting for is “Wonder Woman 1984.” As far as I know, it is still scheduled to be released on Christmas Day, but don’t be surprised if 2020 gives us The Grinch treatment on that too.

I give cinemas like Emagine (who will be opening this weekend) credit for trying to think outside of the box with drive-in options this summer and offering curbside concessions that allow you to clog your arteries with overpriced snacks at home. Back in July, I talked about all the streaming options which I think are a blessing and a curse. On one hand, Disney Plus, Hulu, Netflix, and the like have given us a chance to still be entertained (How many times have you watched “Hamilton?”), but a lot of these movies are made to be watched on the big screen. I mean, maybe you are one of those lucky ducks who has a 70” screen, but most of us don’t fall in that category. A downside to sending some of these movies straight to streaming is that studios are looking for ways to recoup the millions they’re losing by asking subscribers to pay an additional fee on top of what they pay monthly. A lot of subscribers were excited when they heard “Mulan” was going to be made available on Disney Plus. That was until they found out they’d have to pay a one-time fee of $30 bucks for ‘premier access.’ Some thought that was cheaper than if they saw the movie in the cinemas, while others decided they’d wait until December when Disney Plus will start streaming it for free.

In addition to Emagine, I hear MJR Theaters plan on being open too with lots of promises of lots of extra cleaning and sanitizing of the theaters and restrooms. You will also need to buy your tickets and concessions before you go and you’ll only be allowed to enter 30 minutes before the show. As for the movies being offered? There’s the animated “Coco,” or “Tenet,” and a bunch of other movies I’ve never heard of. My guess is that under normal circumstances most of these movies would have never brought in big box office bucks, so I guess it’s good they’re getting a shot now, huh? Let’s hope moviegoers feel the same way.

As for me, I’ll be watching my old VHS tapes of “The Duke” from the best seat in the house, mine.

Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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