Steven Spielberg has written an essay about why he believes cinema will never die. He spoke to the current pandemic and explained why he was confident audiences would return to cinemas in future. “In the current health crisis, where movie theatres are shuttered or attendance is drastically limited because of the global pandemic, I still have hope bordering on certainty that when it’s safe, audiences will go back to the movies,” Spielberg began.
“In a movie theatre, you watch movies with the significant others in your life, but also in the company of strangers. That’s the magic we experience when we go out to see a movie or a play or a concert or a comedy act.”
He continued: “We don’t know who all these people are sitting around us, but when the experience makes us laugh or cry or cheer or contemplate, and then when the lights come up and we leave our seats, the people with whom we head out into the real world don’t feel like complete strangers anymore.”
Spielberg also spoke to the feeling of community in the shared experience, however temporary. “We’ve become a community, alike in heart and spirit, or at any rate alike in having shared for a couple of hours a powerful experience,” he continued.
“That brief interval in a theatre doesn’t erase the many things that divide us: race or class or belief or gender or politics. But our country and our world feel less divided, less fractured, after a congregation of strangers have laughed, cried, jumped out their seats together, all at the same time.
“Art asks us to be aware of the particular and the universal, both at once. And that’s why, of all the things that have the potential to unite us, none is more powerful than the communal experience of the arts.”