As we go into the first full week of many shut downs and closings due to the coronavirus even the entertainment industry is being hit by the disease. Not by people getting sick but by studios shutting down production and venues like theaters closing to insure large gatherings are not taking place. This is all part of the containment strategy or trying to make sure the disease doesn’t spread. So while these locations close and things like sporting events end for a period what is a family to do?
One things Universal studios is doing is offering some of their newer films almost day and date with their theatrical run on pay per view. Films like THE INVISIBLE MAN, TROLLS WORLD TOUR and THE HUNT will be available for $19.99. While that sound high the fact is it comes to about the same thing you would pay for two tickets to see it in the theater. And then the release of movies to disc is continuing as always.
Fortunately the majority of you have a nice sized collections of movies and TV series on disc you can watch. Or you can buy new ones. Local stores that stock both have them on hand and services like amazon are still delivering. I’m waiting on the first seasons of THE DOOM PATROL and TITANS to arrive at my house as I type these words.
One of the great benefits of having discs of your own is that you can watch what you want, when you want. If you have a favorite movies, one of those films that when you see it on TV while flipping stations you always stop for, you can watch it to your heart’s content on disc. If you have a series that you love you can watch it from start to finish or at least up until the last season on disc. And if you have a movie that you loved as a child you can share that experience with your own children or grandchildren.
It’s an amazing thing if you think about it. Growing up when you knew THE WIZARD OF OZ was going to be on TV the entire family would make popcorn and sit together in the living room in front of that “huge” 24 inch screen in anticipation. Now though movies like that can be enjoyed any time without having to wait a year for them to air.
With that though things changed. Those days disappeared. Families were too busy and had too many interests. They no longer gathered together for an event like that. Mom would read, dad would watch sports and the kids would be glued to handheld gaming systems. A family in the same home separated.
What does all this have to do with the coronavirus? We now find ourselves in a situation where sports are on hold and series are shutting down productions. We are in a situation where families are staying at home together, hopefully not going out to spread germs. Families are home together and somewhat confined. What better time than now to discover not just one another but those movies you loved, the ones you grew up with and the ones you could share with your kids?
Disney classic animated features like PETER PAN, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CINDERELLA, BAMBI, SNOW WHITE and more are on disc and likely on dusty shelves forgotten in your home. E.T. and THE LOVE BUG can be shared for the first time with your kids if you haven’t already done so. The great thing is that you can get together as a family, pop corn like you did when you were a child and have a wonderful evening getting to interact with one another and share those memories you had as a child with your own children.
You can binge watch series or better yet go through entire film franchises over a week with your family. I remember waiting for the next PLANET OF THE APES movie to come out. Now you can sit down each night and watch them in order since they’re available together on disc. The same with the classic James Bond films. Those might even take you the whole month to get through.
The things is we live in a world where while one form of entertainment may stop for a while there is plenty more available. With the request to avoid crowds seems daunting at first, why not make it something worthwhile instead. It gives you the opportunity to connect with your family once, to share memories, to share movies, to share stories of growing up. It’s a silver lining in a dark cloud. Don’t be afraid, be hopeful. Don’t look for the bad, look for the good. As the Bible says “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.”
The time is now to stay safe, rediscover your family and your favorite films.