Posted by: ckckred | April 6, 2014

Do You Prefer Seeing Movies At Home or the Theater?

With the rise of Video-on-Demand and indies being released online, home viewing for new releases has grown excessively.  While none of the big budget studios are willing to release their films on VOD, many indies that wouldn’t receive a wide release can find a good audience on the format.  So this brings me to my question: do you prefer home-viewing or theater-going?

While there’s plenty of reasons to enjoy seeing a film at home, I much prefer going to the theater.  Sure, I’ve complained plenty of times before about the modern day cinemas today, from the overpriced tickets, obnoxious audiences, and excessive sound, but there’s nothing like watching a movie on the big screen.  It’s a feeling that can’t be matched.

But what about yourself?



  1. Cinema every time! The sound and big screen is far better than anything you can have at home!

    • Nothing really beats the silver screen. It’s just not the same at home.

  2. I love going to the cinema! It’s a truly immersive experience. I love TV but seeing a film on the big screen is the best way to do it.

    • It’s far different watching a movie at theaters than at home, an entirely different experience. The cinema is the best way to see a picture easily.

  3. Nothing beats going to the cinema.

    • Agree. I will even put aside outrageous ticket prices to watch a movie in theaters.

  4. It depends on the movie. I like to see great epic movies (such as Titanic) in a movie theater. Since some parts of the film are edited out to fit TV screens and schedules, you can miss bits of the story.

    I, too, prefer the movie theater whenever possible.

    • The cinema is almost always the best way to see a movie. I agree that some films really deserve to be seen on the big screen (recent examples would include The Master and The Tree of Life).

  5. I love both, though I agree that obnoxious audiences are sometimes an issue & prices can be terrifying if you’re paying for more than one person, the experience for a horror or a blockbuster is unbeatable. At home I still use DVD & Blu-Ray though as I find VOD has a minimal selection and, more importantly, internet speed in my area makes Netflix look like those 240p youtube videos from 2008. Even on ‘HD’ mode somehow…

    • Audiences and ticket prices are the main reasons I dislike modern theatergoing but it’s still far better than seeing a picture at home because it’s a truer experience.

  6. I still enjoy the theater. I know the complaints, but I usually don’t have a problem with the other audience members.

    • I’ve had some bad issues with audience members (during the climax of Zero Dark Thirty, a few people behind me wouldn’t stop talking), but I’ll take the theater over home viewing any day.

  7. While the answer is ‘the cinema’ I usually watch most films at home. I like the convenience of stopping, I have a decent TV and stereo surround sound, I like to drink while watching films (hence don’t want to drive) and I dislike groups of people. I feel like Howard Hughes’s sister 😉

    • I can definitely see that. Audiences today can be pretty rude, and home viewing does have its advantages.

  8. Theater-going always wins out for me! I do most of my viewing at home since I watch mostly older films, but even with classics, nothing compares to seeing them on the big screen (which I luckily have the opportunity to do at places like the Redford Theatre).

    • I’ve been able to see some special re-screenings in theaters (such as The King of Comedy, Do The Right Thing, and Dazed and Confused) and they’re a great way to see them. Home viewing doesn’t quite compare to the real experience.

  9. Though the clear answer is the theater, theaters still annoy me a lot of the time and not all of them are created equal. I’m much more likely to go be willing to see a movie if its playing at this awesome old timey indie theater rather than a big chain theater like Regal or AMC. The tickets are slightly cheaper, the popcorn’s better, and the theater is unique and just better all around. But if I had to go to the theater to watch every movie I’d be really annoyed, and would see way fewer movies. Ideal situation? Home movie theater. Someday I’ll make it happen 🙂

    • The art house theaters I go to are always better (as you mentioned, the tickets are cheaper, not to mention audiences are more polite). It’s difficult to go to the movies on a regular basis today though. For a manatee to Tim’s Vermeer, I had to pay $14 for my ticket.

  10. I do gotta say I prefer the theater experience. I just like having that excuse to get out of the house and experience a new movie on the big screen. Sure, watching a film at home is fine and all, but there’s really nothing else quite like what you get from actually seeing a movie in the theater. 🙂

    • There’s nothing quite like the theater experience. While it’s hard to see every current release on the big screen, I much prefer it that way.

  11. Even though there’s no better way to watch a movie than on the big screen, I would almost always rather watch it at home. The audience ruins too many movies. I didn’t pay all that money to hear people talking and have to listen to everyone stuffing their face with popcorn. Also, what’s with half the theater coughing the entire movie? Seriously, what the f*ck is up with that? And then there’s the people who think it’s a good idea to bring a baby to the movie, one who isn’t even old enough to create memories yet. So yeah, as much as I love the theater, I’m there to see and enjoy a movie, not have it ruined by everyone else.

    • I hate how most audiences are today. I’ve sat in theaters where people have continuously heckled the picture, text on their phones, and loudly talk to others. It really hurts the viewing process.

  12. If I can be serious for a minute: Nine times out of ten any self-respecting movie lover will pick the experience of a movie theater over the experience of home viewing; bigger screen, bigger sound, yadda yadda yadda. However, the theatrical experience can be a bad one if some douchebag(s) either A. Will not shut up; or B. Will not stay off their phone (you ever try watching a movie and have the light of a cell phone pop on in your line of sight?); C. Will not stay in their seats (this happened with some teen-age girls when my wife and I went to see The Woman in Black). To make my experience in the theater a better one I either A. Sit in the very back row and thereby guarantee no one is behind me flapping their gums; B. If I can’t sit in the back I have no trouble politely telling someone to please be quiet.
    As for what Ryan said on his comment about babies: I read an interview with the late Roger Ebert in which he stated that he had a ten dollar bill that he would give to any usher who ejected a crying, disruptive baby and its parents from a theater. If I recall correctly he also said that he has never given anyone the money.
    So to answer your query my answer would have to be the theater; but with precautions.

    • Audiences today can be incredibly rude. It’s bad at many of the movie chains but better in art house theaters. Still, it’s an incentive for me to wait for more films to hit DVD.

      • I wish there was a decent art house theater here in Bakersfield.

  13. Definitely at the theaters. Nothing like it. But I don’t always get out to see everything that’s playing so at home is a very close second and sometimes you just can’t beat hanging out a darkened living room with your kids watching scary flicks

    Great post!

    • Thanks! Home viewing is easier to set up and often times I prefer VOD over the screen. But there isn’t anything quite like the big screen.

  14. Definitely the theater. For me going to the theater is an escape and when the movie is great it’s an experience. I love the huge screen, surround sound, etc.

    • The theater has a lot of things that home viewing can’t compare. While I have a pretty good set-up at home, it’s not quite the same as the cinema.

  15. At the theater. No question.

    • Yeah, it’s the best way to see a movie.

  16. Even with all the problems, a theater is still the best way to experience a great movie. Now crap, that I can watch at home with very little loss in value.

    • Home viewing has really improved through high-definition sound and images, but I’d still take the theater any day.

  17. I like them both, really, but the theater is certainly my most preferred option.

    • I enjoy both formats as well but the theater for me is a richer experience. It feels much different watching it at home.

  18. Theatre.

    • Agree. I like home viewing, but it doesn’t have the same impact as going to the cinema.

  19. Movies every time. That being said, you don’t get irritating teens/old people and people munching their body weight in snacks at home.

    • I’ve sat behind people who munch loudly on popcorn or keep crinkling candy wrappers, which is one of the most annoying things audiences do during movies. But like yourself, the theater’s still better.

  20. I actually prefer seeing stuff at home as it’s just more convenient, but there is also something fun seeing stuff on the big screen, as my home cinema is just not gonna be as good, ahah.

    • Convenience definitely factors into home viewing as it’s hard to find screenings of certain pictures (last year I caught To The Wonder and Berberian Sound Studio on VOD after giving up on going to a showtime), but the theater is a much richer experience.

  21. I nominated you for a Liebster Award – yeehaa, check it out –

  22. I enjoy both. I feel like going to the theater is the best way to get the full effect from a film (seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm was a revelation), but I do quite like the convenience of watching something at home.

    • The theater is the best way to get immersed into a movie but often times it does feel easier to watch at home, which is why I’m often times impartial to both formats.

  23. I enjoy watching films both at the theater and on my computer. Computer for the convenience and pausability, and the theater for being able to fully immerse my senses in the film. Good discussion ck

    • Thanks! I don’t often watch movies on my computer (though I do watch plenty of TV shows online), but it’s a pretty accessible way to see films.

  24. Ideally the theater – the screen, the sound, the atmosphere, the smell of popcorn… but it’s so much more convenient and cheaper in my own home. Wish I had a better home cinema set-up though.

  25. Although I like cinema watching at home is more efficient. Still some movies I’d rather see on the big screen (some I have seen on TV first and went to the cinema to experience again), but for things like comedies I don’t usually feel the need to head out.

    • I do find home viewing to be pretty easy, but the theater makes the experience makes the movie feel so much better.

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