Why I Still Go To The Cinema
Support For Filmmakers
This is the big no-brainer. The home video market is shrinking, so distributors and filmmakers don't get as much revenue from rentals or sales as they used to. You may think that the business is doing just fine, but that's only true to a degree. Yeah, the big blockbusters do decent business, but what about those little filmmakers trying to produce daring new projects, and wind up out of the job because their little movie didn't do well at the box office? It just sends Hollywood a message: make more artistically bankrupt blockbusters.
And you can make the argument that maybe this means that shit little movies can't be made. Sure. But it also means that potentially awesome little movies are in danger. I like knowing I've helped a movie by paying $15 to see it, rather than relying on Netflix, or just pirating it.
Support For Cinemas
This is the big one nobody thinks of when it comes to piracy & home video vs. the cinema. "The big movie companies make money anyway!" they all decry, oblivious of the other industry that's affected by piracy and declining cinema attendance rates: the fucking cinema industry.
I worked at a cinema for 2.5 years, and working there was an experience I very much enjoyed...for about my first 6 months. In my early days, I was racking up tonnes of hours and getting steady work. But then the bosses decided to start cutting back on hours, slowly but surely. Oftentimes I would have one 3.5-hour shift per week if I was lucky - hell, I once went 8 weeks without a shift. And you know why? Because people don't support cinemas enough. Back in the '80s and '90s, before piracy and with a lesser home video market, tonnes of people went to the movies. I heard stories of my cinema from back in the day, when six sold-out showings would be running at once. When lines went all the way out the door and into the car park. Now with less interest in the cinema, people like myself or my poor colleagues cop a fair brunt of the impact. And it's disheartening.
Cinemas are a steadily sinking ship. And it matters. Nobody likes suddenly going out of work because of the need for bulk redundancies or seeing their workplace shutting down - so think about how much you affect cinemas by pirating.
Oh sure, people can say "You guys should do a better job!" as an excuse, but you can suck my dick. Do you have any idea how stressful it is to clean a cinema on a time crunch when you're understaffed because management is trying to save a few bucks? Or how stressful it is to serve people on Candy Bar on a busy night when you have management riding you to sell more loyalty program cards, or upsize everything? I suppose you're so fucking perfect at your job, too?
Getting To See Movies Quicker
I get that some people may not be in a rush to see certain movies. But I also don't exactly get why. I have a wide taste and have thousands of movies I wanna watch. If it's in cinemas, why wouldn't I go on opening day or opening weekend? I get to see it quicker and cross it off my list. There are several movies I'm just dying to see, and I don't want to wait. If I miss it in cinemas, I always find the wait for its home video release absolutely agonising. Yeah, you'll get cam-rips on piracy sites pretty quick, but they're almost always unwatchable. If you're watching cam-rips of new releases and then calling the movie shite, you're a fucking waste of life.
Seeing a movie in the cinema, you are witnessing it in superior quality: The best audio/visual presentation you can get. DVDs are not even close to comparable, and though Blu-rays come close, you'd need to shell out thousands on a huge screen and the best surround sound system you can find. And even then, it's still not the cinema.
Although I've become desensitised to seeing a movie in the cinema, it's still a magical experience.
Horror Is Scarier, Comedy Is Funnier...
Due to the superior audio/visual presentation of a motion picture, and the fact you're sat in a cinema with little-to-no distractions, with a crowd who reacts, movies just work a lot better than they would if you were watching it on your TV at home.
I've laughed my ass off during comedy movies in the cinema, and then found them mildly amusing at home. I've shat my pants during horrors at the cinema, only to find them less impressive at home. Yeah, it does mean I overrate movies because I've seen them at the cinema, but movies are meant to be seen at the cinema. I feel like I'm giving a movie a real shot.
A lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but the crowd can be a huge positive in many cases when you go to the cinema. In the case of the first two Expendables movies, I watched them with rowdy crowds who were fans of all the actors, and it felt like being at a football game. Arnie's entrance in the first film provoked cheers and hoots. The one-liners made people laugh. People were getting riled up by the action scenes. In the second movie, Chuck Norris's scenes got huge reactions from the crowd.
I saw Rocky IV in a cinema and, thanks to the crowd, it was awesome. They really got into it. They chanted "Rocky! Rocky!" during the end fight. They laughed at the cheesiness. They cheered and hooted the whole way through. Seeing a movie with the right crowd is a total gas. Admittedly, seeing a movie with the wrong crowd can be shit, especially snobs who laugh at horror movies, but the point still stands.
At home you can pause a movie to jump on your laptop for a few hours. Or you can pull out your phone while watching a movie and miss something. Or you can pause a movie and forget about it, and never finish it.
At the cinema? The movie is there, playing on the big screen. You go to the toilet before the movie. You turn off your mobile phone. You don't have distractions around you. You're there to watch the freaking movie. And it means you can get a bit more out of your day. I can spend an entire Sunday chewing through a 3-hour movie, but if I saw it at the cinema, it'd just take up 3 freaking hours. There are also movies that can be hard to follow and require your complete attention, and constantly checking Facebook at home can be a huge distraction and make you feel lost. Yeah, you can check your phone in a cinema, but that's majorly frowned upon. I still do it from time to time, but only to just check it and maybe read a quick text - 10 seconds max. I'm not going to sit there and text for 5 minutes and be a rude asshole.
3D Is Better
Watching a 3D movie at home is fun, and believe me I own a 3D TV and enjoy using it, but it's just not a patch on the cinema. Watching it on a TV at home, the screen feels too small, and if you sit closer to the screen, the 3D starts getting squiffy.
In the cinema? Big screen, hugely immersive, and you can sit pretty far away and still get the full effect. Sitting closer doesn't diminish it much, either.
This is going to be a polarising reason of course, since most people hate 3D, but I much prefer watching a 3D movie at the cinema than at home.
Getting Out Of The House
(Suggested by The O.P.)
Yeah, it's easier to whack on a movie in the comfort of your home, but it's also nice to get out of the house for a few hours. Take a break from your work at home. Get the kids out of the house for a little bit. Go have some fun.
Going to the movies is an exciting adventure for me.