Starmax Closes-Theaters More Doomed Than Thought?

It’s an eternal argument of movie lovers, folks–is the home theater the future of the movies, or is it the theater experience that will rule the day?  Naturally, most of us gear heads who come here believe it’s the home theater that’ll carry the day.

But there are plenty of us–me included–who thought that there might well have been a role for the theater, for the “theater experience“.  Just not necessarily a regular role–a “cameo”, if you will.  I had personally thought for some time that, eventually, most movies would be watched at home with the theater being reserved for special events, like dinner at a really nice restaurant.  So theaters would become augmented to amplify that experience.

But with the closing of the Starmax complex in South Carolina, I’m left to wonder.

See, by even my own standards, Starmax was doing what the “theater” should.  They’d added on a full sports bar, restaurant, arcade and bowling alley.  What could be more “experience” than that?  Go see a movie, bowl a couple games and then watch the game and have some wings!  Sounds like a good full night, doesn’t it?  Well, the problem was what the problem usually is–it just wasn’t making enough money.

So despite the fact that the theater did EXACTLY what I figured they’d need to to survive, they still couldn’t.  Does this suggest that the theater is more fragile than even I believed?  Or is this an isolated incident that shouldn’t be taken as a trend in the making?  Tell me what you think, folks–I’d love to hear it.