The Ideal Theater of the Future?
TheaterBuff1 ponders the future of the movie theater:
There once was a time when people placed all faith in the movie palaces, believing they would always be. But such proved not to be the case, which is not the same as saying that the strong desire for them ever went away. Just as it was before they were built, while they existed, and after so many of them were demolished, the widespread wanting for them very much remained. And not just with regards to movie palaces, but also, regular neighborhood movie theaters where everyday folks could go between the big epics. So it’s to say of the ideal theater of the future it should come in two types — that is to say, tomorrow’s movie palace and its regular neighborhood theater. But in order for such theaters to exude a sense that they’re of the future and not of the past, they must have an overwhelming sense of solidity to them. Yet at the same time this solidity should fall far short of anything that could be describable as outright obnoxious. Regarding the latter, they must instill a great sense of hope in people from many varied walks of life, rather than, “We’re invading your world whether you like it or not.”
But in order for that to be achieved, they must exude that which everyone can positively identify with. And especially those whom the theater is built in closest proximity to.
They should also be very attuned architecturally to the underlying natural environment of where they rise up, rather than attempting to be a confrontation of this. Or in competition with that. For lack of a better way of putting it, there has to be that smooth positive flow one experiences when going from the natural environment into the theater, or vice versa. For to this day I can still recall an elderly aunt telling me as a kid, “Oh, why would you want to spend the afternoon in a gloomy old movie theater on such a beautiful summer’s day like this!?” And I see that her point was a very valid one now as I look back.
But my sense as I now look to ahead, is that if the theater of the future is designed really well, nature, and the theater, must be complementary of one another, something which it appears the ancient Greeks understood very well. Of course, a lot of this would have to do with the scheduling of when movies are exhibited. Still, there’s something to be said for making sure the theater’s design is such that it doesn’t look like “that frumpy old thing” when the sun is high in the sky and surf’s up or what have you. In the light of the bright sunny day its appearance should serve as “advertisement” for the excitement of what the night later to comes holds. Or on days when the weather’s not nice in the least, an appearance that would have everyone say, “Well thank God we have this great theater here to go to on otherwise miserable days such as this!”
And that to me, all told, is how I envision the best theater design of the future should be. In alignment with all that. But to the best of my knowledge, such movie theater has yet to be built. But then I figure, well, that’s what we, the people of today, are here for. And it’s what the historic cinema treasures of the past appear to be pointing us in the direction of.
My opinion at least.