Christopher Nolan is the biggest proponent of the moviegoing experience on Earth. Well, either him or Quentin Tarantino. Nolan has championed the movie theater as a filmmaker, providing exclusive trailers, IMAX previews, and helping pioneer new filmmaking techniques to enrich the filmgoing experience his entire career. Well, now that the majority of theaters are facing an uncertain future because of the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, Christopher Nolan wants to remind you of how important moviegoing is to the cinematic experience. In The Washington Post, he has penned a letter about the importance of movie theaters, and that need us more than ever when they open their doors again.
Christopher Nolan on how it takes a village to run a theater:
When people think about movies, their minds first go to the stars, the studios, the glamour. But the movie business is about everybody: the people working the concession stands, running the equipment, taking tickets, booking movies, selling advertising and cleaning bathrooms in local theaters. Regular people, many paid hourly wages rather than a salary, earn a living running the most affordable and democratic of our community gathering places.
Christopher Nolan on how people use the movie going experience as an escape, and how there need to be cooperation to help right now:
People love to experience stories, because whether they are doing it together or alone, film, television, novels and games engage our emotions and provide us with catharsis.
In uncertain times, there is no more comforting thought than that we're all in this together, something the moviegoing experience has been reinforcing for generations. In addition to the help theater employees need from the government, the theatrical exhibition community needs strategic and forward-thinking partnership from the studios. The past few weeks have been a reminder, if we needed one, that there are parts of life that are far more important than going to the movies. But, when you consider what theaters provide, maybe not so many as you might think.
Christopher Nolan on how we will need this community experience going forward, not just from an economic standpoint, but for our own sanity:
Movie theaters have gone dark, and will stay that way for a time. But movies, unlike unsold produce or unearned interest, don't cease to be of value. Much of this short-term loss is recoverable. When this crisis passes, the need for collective human engagement, the need to live and love and laugh and cry together,will be more powerful than ever. The combination of that pent-up demand and the promise of new movies could boost local economies and contribute billions to our national economy. We don't just owe it to the 150,000 workers of this great American industry to include them in those we help, we owe it to ourselves. We need what movies can offer us.
Hardest hit right now are workers from businesses such as movies theaters, whose entire appeal is based on humanity's greatest instinct — and the one now turned against us, which makes this situation so damned hard: the desire to be together. Maybe, like me, you thought you were going to the movies for surround sound, or Goobers, or soda and popcorn, or movie stars. But we weren't. We were there for each other.