Here we are now, entertain us

Well, it has to be said: entertainment certainly has changed over the last few years! A lot has happened in the world, and humanity has been forced to separate, to step back from each other, and spend much more time isolated in our homes. The entertainment industry is one of the industries that took the biggest hits when our lives changed about a year ago.

All of the things that many of us loved to do were suddenly scary and potentially even deadly. Some people loved to enjoy live music, spending their evenings and weekends in concert halls, theaters, or maybe at a club dancing the night away to their favorite band. Some people loved to head down to a comedy show and laugh until their sides ached. Some people best enjoy time spent in front of the silver screen: watching the latest movies and holding onto the arm of the one they love in the dark. Maybe you enjoyed putting on your best suit and hitting the casino for a night of excitement and intrigue, or maybe you liked to take your significant other out to a fancy restaurant and indulge in the finest delicacies. Whatever your flavor, things are now vastly different.

Many have asked the question: what is the future of entertainment in the “real world,” now that things can finally start getting “back to normal?” Will we truly be able to go back to normal any time soon? Even when it is safe to do so, will people want to leave the comfort and safety of their own homes, put on “real clothes,” and interact with strangers once more? Will brick-and-mortar entertainment establishments make it through? Let’s take a look at what some of the experts had to say.

Living in a material world

Although the entertainment industry has evolved to suit the new needs of its consumers, experts do not believe that physical entertainment is on its way out.

Cinema

While streaming services have seen such a radical increase in demand that many new services have actually popped up to meet that demand, cinemas will not be closing their doors any time soon. Cinema lovers have been polled, and the results are clear: while we all love getting comfy on the couch with a good Netflix series, nothing will ever feel quite the same as watching a movie on the big screen. The smell of popcorn and the buzz of the crowd: you can’t beat it. While many new films, such as Black Widow, now have simultaneous theatrical and streaming release dates, the movie biz won’t be shifting its focus entirely to streaming. While precautions will likely remain in place for some time to come, cinemas will continue to operate as they always have done.

Music

Anyone who loves live music will tell you; there is just no way that a streamed concert or listening to iTunes in your sitting room could ever beat the real thing. It is the dearest ambition of many music lovers to see their favorite acts live at least once in their life. The expectant hush of the crowd as the lights go down, the roar as the band walks out on stage…there is no feeling in the world like it.

Bands were understandably concerned when health and safety restrictions were at their most intense, and healthcare professionals could not accurately predict when they would end. Sadly, many smaller venues have, in fact, closed their doors in recent years. Thankfully, now that restrictions are easing, the venues that remain will be able to open their doors to bands and patrons once more. Of course, safety precautions will likely stay in place for some time, and we suspect that many establishments will eventually begin asking for proof of vaccination to enter.

Casinos

Online casinos have been a massive hit for a long time now. Not only can you play slot games, but you can also play live games with real dealers from halfway across the world. That being said, casinos, just like music venues and cinemas, are not out for the count. Many casinos have begun offering bonuses or loyalty programs to get their customers up off the couch and back onto the casino floor. You can often get free drinks at specific tables. Nothing goes better with a game of roulette than a nice cold beer, except a big win, of course! You can win incredible jackpots in online casinos, this is true, but the payouts on brick and mortar casinos are just as good, with the added bonus of feeling like you’ve done something a little different for a change.

Image by Denner Nunes via Pexels

Night Clubs

At the height of social distancing restrictions, many people missed their nights out so badly that they would host Zoom dance parties to get their weekly dose of the boogie. However, now that standing in a long line to get into a loud, hot room is allowed again, people are queuing up to go! Like casinos, many clubs have adopted loyalty programs and offer excellent happy hour specials to keep their customers coming back instead of opting to stay at home with a bottle of wine. Weekly specials, sometimes including the price of entrance and bottle service, sweeten the deal and help ensure that the club industry will be around for many years to come.

Image by Mauricio Mascaro via Pexels

Final Word

While many people may still be cautious for some time to come (and rightly so, because keeping ourselves safe is keeping everyone else safe as well), there is no chance that the brick and mortar entertainment industry will have to change any more than it already has. Home entertainment is great, but it is missing that special something that sets in-person entertainment apart – the human ingredient. While some smaller venues may have had to close their doors, we hope that this is only temporary and that we’ll see you all back in the real world soon!

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