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Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

In the era of streaming, theaters are under attack

Concession+counter+at+The+Strand+in+Brockport%2C+N.Y.+on+Feb.+21%2C+2024.+Canalside+Chronicles+photo%2FMichala+Schram
Concession counter at The Strand in Brockport, N.Y. on Feb. 21, 2024. Canalside Chronicles photo/Michala Schram

By: Michala Schram

The Strand theater in Brockport, N.Y. on February 21, 2024. Canalside Chronicles photo/Michala Schram

Many people have memories of spending an evening at the movie theater. Walking in and immediately hearing sounds of popcorn popping, smelling the warm butter, and seeing a line form at the concession stand. As time goes on, Gen Z and Gen Alpha have less of these fond memories.

People have ways to access movies at home with a variety of streaming services. This stops some people from going to the movie theater. Resident of Rochester, N.Y., Lindsey Aaronson says as an adult she rarely goes to the movies because of the cost and distractions of having others sitting close-by.

Even with streaming options, the numbers have gone up in attendance at AMC theaters. In 2020 about 75 million attended versus almost 240 million in 2023. However, current numbers are still quite far from the 2019 attendees at 356 million. This leaves 116 million attendees that may be choosing streaming options over going out to the theater.

On average, the cost for a family of four to see a movie is about $50Ticket prices jumped on average $3.22 between 2006-2017 and have continued to rise since.

What sets places like The Strand apart from the competition are lower ticket prices and the historical aspects of their property.

It is ranked the second oldest theater in the country said supervisor at The Strand, Katelynn Vanelli.

“[I enjoy] seeing a lot of the regulars that come in that are older that tell us stories about how they used to come here as a little kid,” said Vanelli.

She said that hearing the memories from those who visit the theater is one of her favorite parts of the job. 

Director of the Brockport Museum of Local History, Fiona Stockdale tries to keep the Brockport Museum alive through school connections and said that it could be helpful to The Strand.

“The college is a huge source of potential customers,” Stockdale said.

SUNY Brockport student government works with The Strand to provide opportunities to visit the theater.

Concessions at The Strand in Brockport, N.Y. on February 21, 2024. Canalside Chronicles photo/Michala Schram

“The Strand is chosen so that students can go experience a fun movie at their leisure on their own time and get to know the Brockport Village by going to The Strand since it is in such close proximity,” said student government President Lily Wegerski.

The experience gained from visiting The Strand is more than just watching a movie. With its long history, The Strand has housed more than just film and productions. The Lyric first occupied the building in 1907.

“The Lyric Theater opened in the downstairs of the building with a candy store in front and multiple other stores within along State Street. You can still see where in the brick alongside the building today. The Lyric offered more than just movies. They also had magic shows, fashion shows, vaudeville acts,” Stockdale said.

The Strand opened in 1916 with law offices and a dentist office. It was later bought by newspaper publishers, P.A. Blossom and P.J. Wilson in 1918. Two years later, Ralph Blouvet and Arthur Merritt bought the building in 1920, while running the Family theatre in Leroy, N.Y. at the time.

Now over 100 years later, The Strand is showing films with a full concession counter. With a 1950s retro theme and bright neon lights for refreshments and popcorn, they give customers an experience— something you can’t get from watching a movie on your couch.

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