LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's been a rough year for the film industry. The pandemic forced movie studios to press pause on new productions and movie theaters to shut down due to lack of demand.
13 Action News stopped by CinemaCon 2021 at Caesars Palace today to find out what the future of film looks like and if there's any hope on the horizon for this industry.
From popcorn and projectors to seating and speakers, CinemaCon 2021 is giving guests a glimpse into the future of film. This year's theme is, "the big screen is back."
"This is an important show for this industry to show the world that movies are here to stay. We now need to walk before we run to get back to full speed. But what the studios are bringing to the table and the attendance level, we're through the roof," said Mitch Neuhauser, Managing Director of CinemaCon.
Neuhauser estimates about 2,000 guests made the trip to Las Vegas this year -- many coming to see new technology that will enhance the movie viewing experience, like a pair of smart glasses capable of adding subtitles onto any screening.
"It was unprecedented what the industry had to go through, right? There was no benchmark. So for us, it was a big learning curve and a lot of good came out of it. A lot of companies learned efficiencies and some of our newer technologies lend themselves to those efficiencies," said Joe Delgado, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Moving Image Technologies, the California company showcasing the smart glasses.
Others are debuting inventions of their own, like a pizza warmer-turned-UVC sanitizing chamber aimed at making the cinema safer.
"There's no heat involved. It's all lighting. So we put UVC lights down the corners and down the center, and there's a rack that holds multiple items. So you can do masks, you can do pens, your phone, tablets, any shared devices like headphones or walkie talkies. So companies or businesses that do shift changes, it's great between shifts so they can sanitize whatever they need to sanitize," said Shelly Olesen, Vice President of Sales & marketing at C. Cretors Co.
But post-pandemic and with the emergence of streaming, the big question at CinemaCon is: Will the movie theaters bounce back? Attendees at CinemaCon will tell you the big screen will be back.
"There's a lot of talk about movies and streaming. You know what? Everything has its own place. Streaming is in the home. Movies are out of your home for a social family experience. That whole feeling and experience of a social gathering in a darkened theater will never disappear," said Neuhauser.
"You may have a gourmet kitchen, but you still go out to dinner. The cinemas are a communal experience. You want to get out to the big screen," added Delgado.
"I think everyone here is pretty hopeful that within time, we get the great movies in, we get more people in the seats, they're going to buy popcorn, coke, soda, candy, nachos, hot dogs, and we'll all be back at it," said Olesen.
So far, guests at CinemaCon have already been treated to three exclusive screenings, including a 20-minute clip from the new James Bond film, "No Time to Die," the trailer for the new Spiderman film, "No Way Home," and the entire new upcoming Ghostbusters film, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."