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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What do you miss about the way The Movies used to be?

Even over the course of just my own life, everything about The Movies has changed dramatically: the films themselves, the technology that is used to create them, the way Hollywood sells movies to us, the rise of the indie, the rise of home video, the way the Net has allowed easier communication about film (and the subsequent glut of chatter about movies to be waded through to find the good stuff), and so on.

So of course I sometimes find myself nostalgic for the way things used to be.
One thing that I suddenly remembered recently is that, back when I was a teenager, a public sneak preview of a movie sometimes meant that you didn’t even know what movie it was you’d just bought a ticket for — it was a secret until the lights went down. And a sneak preview always meant that you got two movies: the sneak preview, and then whatever was on the regular bill for the evening.

That doesn’t happen anymore. And it makes me a little sad.

What do you miss about the way The Movies used to be?

Do you miss having to wait for a movie to air on TV to see it again? (Did that make a movie more special, somehow?) Do you miss real butter on the popcorn at the multiplex? Do you miss feeling like a big movie was an actual event, instead of how we get “event” movies every week?

Missing something does not necessarily mean, of course, that you’d rather go back and have the thing you miss all the time, or that you don’t like the way things have gone. I love DVDs and would never go back to having to wait for a film to show up on TV… but there was always a little thrill in flipping around the tube late one night and unexpectedly finding a movie you love and hadn’t been able to see for years.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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