2005/07/02

How the housing boom is killing Hollywood.

Articles everywhere are crying about how bad a year Hollywood is having. Industry execs are blaming everything from piracy to DVDs. Critics are blaming the crappy fare the studios keep releasing, but their all wrong. The housing boom is killing Hollywood.

Think about it. With everybody from Sony to your brother-in-law telling you how great wide-screen television is, you're probably goin' to have one soon (if you don't already). With the lowest mortgage interest rates in history, everybody is leveraging themselves into more space than they really need. And, what are you gonna do with all that space? Why, build your own home theatre. That's what! Did you just refi and pull money out of your house? And what was the first thing that you bought after your Lexus S.U.V., an HDTV, right?

If you don't go to far overboard, making a movie room doesn't even cost that much. I did it, and I have a small (well small by American standards) flat in San Francisco. I mean, you've probably already got decent stereo. Just add some extra speakers; move stuff around for the best sound; install that plasma; add a comfy couch and voila!

Now think about theatres. If you're like us, you go to some overpriced metroplex at least 3 times a month. You pay $22 for tickets, $10 for snacks (even water costs 4 damn dollars!). So that's $32 x 3 x 12 = $1152 / year, and we walk to the theatre. You probably drive. So tack on a bit more. Now, look at the alternative, your home theatre room. It's quiet. No cell phone or bozos who can't keep their mouths shut. You get to watch what you want, when you want, and if you don't like the latest from Netflix-no guilt-shut it off and mail it back. The movies you screen aren't too loud, too soft, and are always in focus. I bet your movie room doesn't smell like sweat and stale popcorn.

Yup. No question about it. The housing boom is killing Hollywood.

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