After watching a movie in our friends' home theater over the weekend, I truly think that if I had that setup, there would be no reason to go to the movie theater. I can buy a 3D Blu-ray for much, much cheaper than the cost of taking our family to the movies, and my theater snacks would be healthier, more fun, and way less expensive. Plus, my theater would be filled with good friends and family. We don't need anything bigger than a 110" screen. Really.
It's not that I think the day is coming when most families will have luxurious home theaters of their own, making movie theaters obsolete. Having a separate room dedicated just to movie watching and the expense of buying the equipment simply isn't realistic for many families. However, as technology becomes cheaper and time goes by, a lot of people will have some type of home theater, or at least friends who have one. The dwindling numbers at movie theaters over the years could mean that movie theaters will become fewer in number, or they will have to adapt.
Which makes me wonder, what will movie theaters be like in the future? Will they try to go 4D or add some other component to the theater experience that can't be replicated at home? The 4D component was attempted recently with the movie Spy Kids 4. Fail. Even kids didn't love the scratch n' sniff card, mostly because the smells were indistinguishable from each other and having to watch for the cues in the movie was distracting. Or, maybe movie theaters will become more like those simulation rides at fairs and amusement parks, with seats shaking and the floor moving up and down. A lot of people don't like that kind of gimmicky stuff, though, so maybe they would just all become more like IMAX theaters with a bigger, more immersive experience.
We have a decent home theater system, though not a dedicated media room, and we do go out to movies less since we got a nicer TV. I have a feeling that if we do get a media room, my kids would use it just as much as a stage to perform their "shows" they love to put on as they would to watch movies or play video games. Yep, if my husband ever gets his wish for a decked out media room, my requirement will be that it has a proper stage, and we'll probably spend a lot of time watching the performances of three little girls who love to sing, dance and act. And were it not for my job, we would also spend a lot less time at movie theaters.