Category Archives: Entertainment

The Show goes on for HHS drama

By Caris Mann, ’22

Staff Writer

After an unexpected year that provided many plot twists and turns, HHS Drama is ready to present its newest one-act play: 4 AM. The play by Jonathan Dorf is a “dramedy,” meaning that there are some dramatic and comedic moments throughout the piece with a varied cast of characters. There’s Frankie, the radio DJ, and Jane, the girl writing a letter to a knife company about why their product has failed her. There are two pairs of friends at sleepovers: Anne and Monica and Simon and Hale. The Monster Under the Bed runs into trouble with some Police Officers who storm a sleeping kid’s bedroom. The play also has a kid who witnesses a fire and a teen out for a morning jog. To top it all off, there’s Romeo and Juliet, two teenagers in love with each other but are afraid to make the wrong move. However, this odd group of characters all have one thing in common and that is the fact that they are all awake at the dreaded hour of 4 am. The play provides insight into how different people lead their lives during that last hour of darkness before sunrise and it does so with many comedic and heartfelt moments along the way. 

The play will be entered in the annual Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Drama Fest. This year, with COVID guidelines, the Drama Fest had to be conducted differently. The process began with Zoom auditions and callbacks in January. This was quite different from the in-person auditions of the past. Students had to select a scene or a monologue to read and perform it over Zoom. After the cast list was announced, rehearsals began the following week — once again on Zoom. For a month, rehearsals were conducted via Zoom as it was the safest way to practice. Then, in March, it was announced that rehearsals could be conducted in-person and in the auditorium. This was a huge step forward because now the actors could have a space to work in and be able to interact with each other. However, guidelines were still implemented with actors having to work within their own set boxes on the stage and remain six feet apart. Google forms were also filled out for contact tracing before every rehearsal. In addition, the entire cast was not able to be in the theater together so different groups of actors were brought in at different rehearsals to work on specific scenes. For two months, rehearsals continued in person, with the cast unsure whether the final performance would be in-person or virtual. In the end, Drama Fest officials decided upon virtual performances, and cast members performed separate scenes that were filmed and then edited together. With the hard work of the cast, crew, and HHS Drama Teacher Mr. Fahey, recordings ended on May 12th with the video set to premiere next week.

By far, this has been the craziest year in HHS Drama. But even though this has been a long and unusual process, the end result is something to look forward to. This has been the first production in over a year, which is truly something to celebrate.

“At the beginning of the year, we were all missing the element of performing as a group,” said  Stage Manager Maggie Godin, a senior. “Getting to come in every day and seeing people in the theater again, building sets after school, and rehearsing scenes together has been really great.” 

Mr. Fahey shares the excitement, noting that many school drama programs were unable to perform at all this year. Pulling off 4 AM, though, took a huge commitment from everyone involved. While in typical years the Drama Fest one-act play comes together in about a month, this one took five months.

“We have spent this extra time creatively trying to figure out what to do and hitting roadblocks and trying to adjust,” he said. “We have also spent this time nitpicking every scene which is extremely important in theater. I am excited for the community to see it and I think that those who are involved are excited and believe 4 AM to have been a good experience.” 

However, 4 AM is a bittersweet moment for some in the cast such as senior Elise Falvey because this is her last show. “I’m extremely grateful that we were able to at least put on one show this year, even though it’s being done in a more nontraditional or unconventional way than usual,” she said. “I’ve had so much fun rehearsing and I’m really happy to finish senior year out with such an incredible and touching show.”

Make sure you tune in to watch 4 AM when it streams on Youtube!

Dread Nation: American History, with Zombies

By Mrs. McHugh

Zombie plagues have been the rage in TV, movies and books for years. But setting a Zombie plague during the American Civil War? Now that’s something new.

Justina Ireland turns historical fiction on its head with her two-book series Dread Nation. Titled Rise Up and Deathless Divide, the books explore the racial, social and economic impacts of the ‘War Between the States’ and give new meaning to the term Reconstruction, the period of rebuilding and reunifying society after the war’s end. While no book involving zombies can be historically accurate, the stories build on the real people, events and issues of the time to highlight the brutality of slavery and the inequality that remained as the country moved forward – and westward. As the author explains in her notes, she wrote the books to give voice to characters often left out of history.

The books focus on Jane and Katherine, two Black teens taken from their homes after the dead begin to rise during the Battle of Gettysburg. Like other children of their race, they are deemed inferior – and therefore expendable – and sent to boarding schools that train them to protect rich whites from the undead. (These boarding schools resembled the facilities that Native Americans were sent to in the 1800s, when the U.S. government stole their land and forced their assimilation) The girls excel in their training, but before they can be assigned to protect society ladies, they uncover a sinister plot to build a “utopia” to replace the Eastern cities falling to the zombie plague. This new community is founded on the principles of Jim Crow, the discriminatory laws that rose to continue the oppression of Blacks after slavery was abolished. This means Blacks have no rights and are assigned the most dangerous jobs and the worst living conditions.

Tough-hearted and quick to temper, Jane resolves not just to survive, but to find an escape. Light-skinned and able to pass as White, Katherine plays along with the cruel society in order to help Jane’s plan to secure their freedom. There are tense battles, sorrowful deaths, cruel betrayals, heart-wrenching romances and epic friendships. And that’s just in book one. In the second book, the main characters venture west. Alive but forever changed, one seeks safety and peace while the other pursues vengeance.

The books are a unique way to explore the issues of American history including slavery and Reconstruction, the government’s treatment of Native Americans, the cultural clashes that came with waves of immigration, expansion of the western frontier, and the search for the “American dream.” But if you aren’t really interested in the history, the books aren’t slowed down by it. The series provides enough action and adventure for any reader.

COVID Infects Favorite TV Shows

By Kylie Campbell, ’22

Staff Writer

After the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, the world came to a stop. That included the filming of many fan-favorite TV shows. As people’s lives around the world changed dramatically, families spent more time indoors. People watched a lot more television, increasing their anticipation for new episodes of their favorite shows. Finally last summer, with social distancing and daily testing, many television shows and movies resumed filming. New seasons of popular shows came back this year including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “This Is Us.” These two shows, like many others, surprised fans by incorporating Covid-19 storylines. Fans had differing views on whether or not they liked this approach.

As a long-time supporter of “Grey’s Anatomy,” I was disappointed to see the virus incorporated into the show. I usually watch TV as an outlet from the real world. Especially since Covid-19 has increased stress and anxiety, I would have preferred a show that didn’t remind me of our world’s current situation. Although “Grey’s Anatomy” is a medical show and wanted to try to depict the lives of health care workers, I was disappointed to see the depressing cycle of death caused by Covid-19 to be portrayed in my favorite show. 

I also have been a strong supporter of the show “This is Us” throughout the last couple years but I have shied away from the very realistic season they have created for 2021. I feel as though incorporating the virus takes away from the intense storylines about the Pearson family which have built up over the past seasons . Although I believe real-world issues are an important aspect to be addressed, I feel as though they now have taken away from the original plot of the show. 

Even though I disliked Covid-19 being brought into these shows, some people found it reassuring to find their favorite fictional characters coping with the virus as well. And some good came from it. In “Grey’s Anatomy,” beloved characters who had left earlier in the show were able to come back due to Covid-19’s existence. 

New Library Books Offer Great Stories, Diverse Perspectives

Mrs. McHugh

I’d need at least a million dollars to buy all of the books I’d like for the library. Each month, I read reviews of the latest releases, and I add to my ever-growing wishlist the titles that I think students might enjoy – or might benefit from. But even though the Hanover High library is thankfully well-funded, there’s never enough money for all of them. When I buy new books, I have to prioritize, and I’m usually drawn toward ones that are not just good stories or sources of information, but also shine a light on diverse perspectives. In recent years, I’ve purchased a lot of titles about African Americans, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and refugees. Reading can be an escape from real life, but it also can be a great way to learn about new people, places and things you haven’t experienced  If I find a book that broadens a reader’s world, while also keeping them engaged, I consider my mission accomplished. These five very different titles fit the bill.

Sadie by Courtney Summers is a thriller about a teenaged girl who seeks revenge on the man that killed her little sister. As you learn about her quest, told from her point of view and that of a journalist investigating the case for a podcast, you see the dark impact of poverty, drug use and child abuse. It’s a mystery that highlights the dire circumstances many Americans are mired in. If you read this, let me know what you think of the ending. I hear the audiobook is pretty cool too.

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi is a fictional story about a teenaged boy fleeing Syria after years of civil war. Written by a journalist, herself a refugee from Afghanistan as a child, the story makes real the news stories we may read – or pass by – about the thousands of people displaced by violence.  These refugees lose their homes, possessions and loved ones only to trek to other places that may not let them in. If a country does accept them, they still struggle to find jobs, homes, and their place in a foreign land. This story is partially told by Destiny, similar to how The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is narrated by Death. It’s an interesting way to make one boy’s experience more universal.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo is the latest novel from the highly popular author who wrote The Poet X and With the Fire on High. She focuses on the experiences of Dominican teens in the U.S., often torn between the traditions and expectations of two very different cultures. They also face stereotypes and obstacles that come with being immigrants and people of color. Even if a reader can’t find the Dominican Republic on a map, they can still relate to teens who feel pressured to do well in school, fulfill their parents’ expectations and struggle with relationships.

The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais is about a deaf teen who transitions back to a traditional school when her mom’s job moves them across the country. A senior with big dreams of college, Maya struggles to fit in with her hearing peers who don’t understand that while she’s limited, she’s also very capable. This novel gives a glimpse into deaf culture, a community that relies on its own rich language (American Sign Language) and believes being deaf has qualities and benefits worth celebrating – and certainly not just fixing. It’s an enlightening perspective for many of us unfamiliar with the experiences of the hearing impaired. 

Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri is a quirky and wonderful book that I hope finds its audience. Based on the author’s life, the novel follows Khosrou and his family as they flee religious intolerance in Iran and end up in Oklahoma. The boy, highly influenced by the Arabian Nights and other stories from his homeland, spins tales for his new classmates about who he feels he is (smart, worldly, brave) versus what he seems to be (poor, smelly, weird). As a narrator, Khosrou is informal and irreverent, flipping between the present and past, with frequent tangents that have you feeling like you’re sitting beside him in conversation. Through his stories, you get a sense of his rich, complicated life in Iran, the strangeness of becoming a refugee, and the resilience needed to live through both.

The Comfort of the 2000s Teen Drama

By Callia Gilligan, ’22

Staff Writer

Anyone who knows me is well aware that my most recent television endeavor was watching the six seasons of Dawson’s Creek in all its teen drama glory. And I would not shut up about it.

Dawson’s Creek is all about – you guessed it – Dawson Leery and his friends from his tiny hometown of Capeside, Massachusetts. There’s Pacey, the sarcastic and self-proclaimed loser, Jen, the derelict daughter who was shipped off to Capeside from New York City; and Josephine, who everyone calls Joey,  whose dad is a convict and whose mom has passed away. Joey is also Dawson’s childhood best friend. The show follows them as they navigate their trivial teen problems and spend the majority of each episode talking about all the ways they’ll solve them. 

Dawson’s Creek is not the best show that I have ever seen. It isn’t even really a good show. It focuses too much on an obscure idea of soulmates when the characters are 15 years old, rather than real teen issues or the actually interesting friendships the writers have established between the teens. The characters were far too self-aware to the point where none of them were realistic. Additionally, they talked so pretentiously that asking the audience to believe that they were teenagers, let alone real people, was almost too much. 

And I noted this, several times throughout my binge-watch. But, I just couldn’t stop watching. 

In a world that is so unfamiliar right now, many of us have been using TV as a method of escape. For me, those television shows have been almost exclusively from the early 2000s. 

During quarantine, I re-watched Gilmore Girls. And then I cycled through it a total of four times. When everything was uncertain, revisiting the wacky characters of Stars Hollow as they help young mom Lorelai raise her daughter Rory was far more comforting than anything going on in the news. 

But Gilmore Girls has its own issues. By the time you reach the seventh season, Rory is unrecognizable from the sweet, book-loving, 16-year-old that we met at the beginning. Emily and Richard, Lorelai’s parents, are as stuck up as they were in season one, Lorelai has become selfish, and the townspeople’s stalker tendencies are no longer endearing. That leaves Paris, of all people – comically selfish and abrasive – as the only redeemable character. 

Yet Gilmore Girls is addicting, the same way that Dawson’s Creek was. The simplicity and “nothing really happens” style of the show is what I craved. 

Shows like One Tree Hill, The OC, 90210 and of course, Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek, are some of the most famous teen dramas, and they did really well when they initially aired, continuing for six or more seasons And they do especially well on streaming services nowadays.

There could be many reasons why this is the case. Some viewers might be revisiting them out of nostalgia for the late 90s and early 2000s. But I was born in 2004, there is no nostalgia there. 

For me, what is so enjoyable about a good 2000s teen drama is its simplicity. The stakes are arguably very low in these shows but there’s enough drama to keep it interesting and engaging. One of my favorite Dawson’s Creek episodes is in season two. Dawson reads Joey’s diary and finds out that she didn’t like being a part of a movie that he was making. And then they get into an argument about how Joey wasn’t honest and Dawson invaded her privacy. That’s it. That’s the whole episode. 

In my opinion, 2000s teen dramas are the ultimate escape. If the news is too stressful or I have a lot on my plate at school, spending forty minutes watching nothing monumental really happen on the television immediately puts me in a better headspace. It’s a source of reliability when everything else isn’t. 

So, no matter how bad Gilmore Girls got towards the end, it will never not be my comfort show. 

Featured image: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/10/why-i-love-dawsons-creek-tv-bim-adewunmi

Super Bowl Halftime Show Gets Mixed Reviews

By Grace Van Duyn, ’22

Staff Writer

Many people watch the Super Bowl just to see the halftime show, which has over the years featured memorable, if not always enjoyable, over-the-top performances. But while many appreciated and understood Super Bowl LV’s performance by the Weeknd, many people were confused by its bizarre costumes and maze-like set. The Weeknd told Variety, “ the significance of the (dancers wearing) entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrities and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated.” Super Bowl executive producer Jesse Collins explained how he and the Weeknd planned the show by saying, “instead of focusing on what we can’t do (due to the pandemic), it’s like, look at what the opportunities are because of the cards we’ve been dealt.” This same optimism is what saved the Weeknd from his difficult upbringings. 

The Weeknd, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye in Toronto, Canada, lived in an apartment with two friends after he moved out of the house he grew up in. They shoplifted food and sold drugs in order to make enough money to survive. The Weeknd began his music career with the hope of making a small amount of money, and he has now gone on to sell award-winning albums and headline the Super Bowl. 

Even if this explanation still leaves you confused or unimpressed about his performance, we can all agree that we have been laughing at the memes and jokes about his performance. Some of the most popular memes about the Super Bowl are about the scene where the Weeknd is in the room with the mirrored walls. 

Here is what HHS students had to say about the show: 

“The halftime show was cool, but not as energetic as it should be for the Super Bowl.” – Anonymous   

“I thought it was cool and I liked the songs.” – Abby Van Duyn

“I thought the halftime show was very dizzy. I felt dizzy after watching it and thought the quality could have been better. I like the Weeknd’s music, but the halftime show was not nearly as good as I was expecting it to be -Anonymous 

“I thought it was boring.” – Maeve Sullivan

“I thought the Super Bowl halftime show was a little weird. I thought the way the dancers were dressed was kind of scary and I didn’t really understand why they were dressed like that. I also thought that the Weeknd could have sung a little bit better, I felt like he was a little off tune at times. Lastly I feel that he should have picked a few more better songs.” – Anonymous 

“I got bored and went to make myself a snack while it was on.”- Morgan Taylor 

“ I thought the concept was cool, but I didn’t really enjoy the music or the costumes they wore.” -Anonymous 

“I didn’t like the halftime show, I felt like it was a dud and there wasn’t much interaction with the audience as others did in the past. I think people like Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars were a lot better. The Weeknd just stood there.” – Abby Smith 

“I thought it was overall good! It was a little boring and I was expecting more because it is supposed to be the biggest show of the year.”- Anonymous 

“I thought it was cool and I liked the music.” – Shannon Taylor  

Featured image: https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/sc-ent-super-bowl-halftime-review-0207-20210208-ie2smv3xwbg45l6vqxc4zrhlp4-story.html

Powerful Book Explores Racism in Quest for Better World

By Mrs. McHugh

“This is not a history book. At least, not like the ones you’re used to reading in school. The ones that feel more like a list of dates (there will be some), a declaration (definitely gotta mention that), a constitution (that too), a court case or two, and, of course, the paragraph that’s read during Black History Month (Harriet! Rosa! Martin!) . . . Instead, what this is, is a book that contains history. A history directly connected to our lives as we live them right this minute. This is a present book. A book about the here and  now.”

This declaration by author Jason Reynolds, in chapter one of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, reveals quite clearly that readers will get something unexpected. Few books promise to give you a definitive history of racism, and even if they tried, you’d probably require a dictionary, thesaurus and PhD to understand it. Not so with this book. It’s a young adult version of the 2016 book Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, author, activist and founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi asked Reynolds, a fiction writer whose books include All American Boys and Long Way Down, to translate his ideas for today’s teens.

The book starts in 1415, with a chapter titled “The Story of the World’s First Racist.” Going back this far is a good reminder that Black history did not begin with slavery or the Civil Rights Movement. Black history has roots in the ancient empires of Africa including the Mali, Songhai and Great Zimbabwe. The other point this chapter drives home is that racism is deep-seated, and it’s often influenced by profit as much as hate. Racism isn’t just the thoughts or actions of an evil person, but policies that impact trade, government,  and social norms. Systemic racism is not new, and its impact on how the world has been shaped cannot be overstated. “The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, whether financially or politically,” Reynolds writes. “… it’s woven into people as much as it’s woven into policy that people adhere to and believe is truth.”

The book continues through history, shedding some new light on the causes of the American Revolution (Great Britain banned the slave trade, but the American colonies didn’t want to), the expansion of slavery, the Civil War (the first enslaved men who tried to fight for the North were sent back to the southern plantations they escaped from), Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement. It discusses well-known figures – Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr.,  – as well as names that might be new to you – Angela Davis, Jack Johnson, Stokely Carmichael. It breaks down some of the mythology around the people and historical events that history textbooks have simplified over the years (for example, Rosa Parks was not just a tired old seamstress when she didn’t give up her seat on that bus).

Of particular interest to me was more recent American history, including the “War on Drugs” in the 1980s that many studies have shown led to harsher penalties for Blacks than for whites, something still represented in our prison populations today.  Another was a public school policy called No Child Left Behind in the 2000s, where schools in poor, mostly Black communities had funding pulled when they failed to meet certain standards – which caused them to fall even farther behind.

The book does an amazing job tying our history together, helping us better understand the causes and effects of racism in our country so we may better understand what’s happening in our communities today. The authors do so in a way that is conversational, engaging, and even inspiring. Their hope is that young readers, equipped with this new knowledge, will not only recognize racism, but become actively antiracist – not just bystanders in the quest for a better world, but leaders of that world.

When Life is Stranger Than Fiction

By Mrs. McHugh

When schools shut down last March due to COVID-19, after I stockpiled canned goods and toilet paper,  one of the first things I did was watch Contagion. This 2011 movie, starring Matt Damon and Kate Winslet, is about a deadly pandemic that scientists are desperate to track to its source in hopes of finding a way to fight it.  And then I watched Outbreak, a 1995 movie with a similar plot.

Why would I choose these, when they so closely mirrored what was happening in real life? I’d like to think I was trying to process the scary and ever-changing news. This has happened before; a virus emerges, a cure is found, life goes on. Maybe I was looking for reassurance.

Or maybe I was just crazy.

Neither answer explains why, as the quarantine dragged on, I found myself picking up books about pandemics and plagues. There’s definitely no shortage of them, as I found when researching this article. I’ve always been drawn to dystopian fiction, stories about life after a cataclysmic event, how people go on. Often the plagues create zombies or other monsters that the remaining humans must fight. Sometimes, the true horrors come from other people. It’s the stories of resilience and endurance that draw me in. While I struggled to work from home, cut off from friends and family, afraid that a trip to the grocery store could make me sick with an illness that had terrible consequences, I guess I needed those.

Below are quick recaps of some of the books I read during the pandemic that were about a pandemic. Farther down, I list books I either read in the past or I’ve just heard good things about. If you’re like me, and looking for a story you can relate to in this crazy world, check one out.  Hopefully, someday soon, these books will be the escape from reality they were meant to be.

My Pandemic Reads

The Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks – This story is about the OG pandemic, the Black Plague that hit England in the 17th century. With primitive medicine and backward ideas, villages hit by the plague would be sealed from the outside world in hopes of containing the spread of death. The main character, Anna, is a housemaid when the plague hits. But as the village reels, she discovers her talent for healing. She doesn’t just survive, she grows. Based on a true story.

Afterland by Lauren Beukes – When a mysterious virus kills most of the men in the world, a woman struggles to keep her and her son alive, and out of the clutches of a government that wants to experiment on survivors in hopes of finding a cure. Meanwhile, her sister tries to capitalize on her nephew’s potential to bring her profit.

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay – Set in Stoughton and the surrounding area, this story takes place over the span of a few hours in one terrible day. A new virus has emerged, similar to rabies and spread by saliva – but with a much shorter incubation period. That means hours after being bitten,  victims turn rabid and vicious to others. Hospitals are overrun, fights erupt at grocery stores and the military is trying to restore calm. When pregnant Natalie is bitten, she enlists her doctor friend on a longshot quest to get one of the few available vaccinations. If she can’t save herself, maybe she can save her baby.

Other Recommendations

Contaminated by Em Garner – Two years after a trendy diet drink spread a mysterious illness that turned victims into zombies, the government is trying to restore society.  They’ve placed shock collars on the infected “connies” that will either control them or kill them. Teenaged Velvet tries to keep her and her 10-year-old sister alive. When she learns that her mother is among the infected who are set to be put to death, Velvet risks everything to save her.

Quarantined by Lex Thomas – This four-book series explores a virus that makes children deadly to adults. When the students at McKinley School are infected, the building is quarantined under military rule. When gangs form and battle to survive, misfit David tries to keep him and his brother alive.

The Wall by Marlene Haushofer – An ordinary woman awakes one day to find there is a wall at the end of her property and everyone else has vanished. In extraordinary times, she must live by her wits – and anything she can find on her land – to survive.

Blindness  by Jose Saramago – When an epidemic of blindness hits a city, the residents show the best – and worst – of mankind.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – This story explores what it means to survive. After a mysterious flu decimates the population, a traveling band of artists, actors and musicians strives to keep humanity alive.  Others, however, see the breakdown in civilization as a chance to wield brutal power.

The Stand by Stephen King – A military experiment wipes out 99 percent of the world, and the handful of survivors must choose sides. Will they follow the kind but frail Mother Abigail or the powerful and cruel Randall Flagg? Considered to be  one of King’s finest books.

Severance by Ling Ma – Candace, a millennial living in New York, practically sleepwalks through life. So she doesn’t initially notice when a plague sweeps through the city, killing everyone who doesn’t flee. When she meets a group of survivors, who promise salvation in a destination called the Facility, she must decide whether it’s safer to join them or stay on her own. This satirical novel is part science fiction, part quirky coming-of-age story.

Featured image: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-outbreak-who-pandemic

Will COVID Make Movie Theaters Go Extinct?

By Abby Van Duyn, ’24

Staff Writer

Already struggling with rising prices and competition from home entertainment options, the movie theater industry has been hit hard due to COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, theaters across the country have been mandated since March to severely restrict attendance or completely  shut down under emergency powers granted to each state. This has resulted in a myriad of inconsistent regulations imposed on the industry, which – along with the advancing technology allowing streaming services at home – are proving extremely challenging.   At this point, patrons are wondering if theaters will survive or become a relic of the past.  Will the COVID-19 pandemic prove to be the “straw that broke” the theater industry’s back?  According to marketplace.org, AMC theaters’ revenue is down 90 percent this year due to the pandemic. Many smaller  theaters, such as the Regan Theaters, have had to completely shut down.  

Hanover High School students had mixed opinions on the future of movie theaters.

“I think movie theaters will re open and be very popular again because everyone wants to leave their houses,” said sophomore Maeve Sullivan.

Freshman Izzy MacLellan agreed. “I think the theaters won’t have the same amount of fans as they used to,” she said, “but there are definitely some people who miss going to the theaters to see movies.”

Others are not so optimistic.

“Traditional movie  theaters are a doomed business model,” said Grace Van Duyn, a junior. “The pandemic along with the rise of streaming services will render them obsolete.”

“I think that people have gotten used to watching newly released movies in their pajamas and in their comfort of their own home and won’t be rushing back to the theaters,” said Sam Curtis, a freshman.

It is possible that movie theaters – losing popularity against Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services even before the pandemic – were already bound for extinction. Movie theaters were created without all the technology we have today. There is a lot more freedom in watching a streaming service like Netflix because you can choose the time, place, and occasion that you watch it. And more services are producing original movies that are just as good as what we used to find in the theaters.

Journalist Charlie Osborne from zdnet.com believes that people will be more inclined to watch from their own homes, forcing more movies to be released straight to streaming or to theaters and streaming at the same time. “I resent having to wait weeks or months if I don’t want to take a trip and pay extra to sit in a theater to watch ’em,” he said.

Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post, though, believes that theaters will not decrease in popularity despite the pandemic. “Audiences, you may recall, had plenty of at-home options before the pandemic and still chose to go to the movies instead,” he said. “They will again.” 

For some people, they may never enter a theater again. Movie theaters can be very fun to go to, and a perfect activity to do with friends are family. But, this fun can be easily outweighed by the appeal of watching shows and movies from your home. 

Sources:

https://www.marketplace.org/2020/11/03/amc-partners-universal-stay-afloat-during-covid19-pandemic/ 

https://nypost.com/2020/12/21/cinemas-live-event-venues-to-get-15b-in-new-covid-19-relief-bill/ 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/warner-bros-to-movie-theaters-drop-dead/ 

https://nypost.com/2020/12/04/movie-theaters-are-not-dead-despite-warner-bros-streaming/ 

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