Film and Television

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Compare and contrast watching a movie on TV versus in a theater.

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The story of the rise of cinema reflects the desire for a social experience as much as the appeal of the silver screen. The story of cinema’s decline reflects the sense of isolation that developed in society as technology became more pervasive. In the early years of cinema, going to...

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the movies was a social event, charged with anticipation and excitement. In today’s society, however, the movie-going experience has lost its appeal, largely because people tend to downplay the significance of the social experience and get the majority of their entertainment from their computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Studies have shown, however, that the movie-watching experience is enhanced when it is shared with other people, and that shared experiences, in general, lead to greater enjoyment than solitary ones. Hence, movie theaters today are trying to revive the social experience of cinema by resulting to sales gimmicks, such as serving food and drinks.

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There are many differences. So, I will have to be selective. Here are three differences.

First, the most important difference is context. When you are watching television presumably at home, you can do whatever you want. You can stop the movie, fast forward it and pretty much anything you want. Hence, it is much less formal. When you are at a theater, it is a public place. For this reason, you need to act according to behaviors that are socially acceptable. This can make the movie much more enjoyable, because there are social constraints for you to actually watch the movie without distractions. This attention goes a long way in enjoying the movie.

Second, you pay for the movie, whereas television is free. For this reason, you are more apt to only watch movies at a theater that you like. Also you are monetarily invested, which can add to the enjoyment.

Finally, the scale and quality of a theater are much better than anything at home.

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