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From Mayfair to Netflix

I have always loved watching movies. I remember when I was in college, some of my classmates would go to Cubao or Quiapo to catch a movie for 60 cents. We would also eat out at our favourite cheap restaurants like Ma Mon Luk and Chopsticks House.

Even when I was in high school, I remember being already addicted to movies. I would go to movie houses on Avenida and Recto like Ideal, Odeon, and Galaxy. The Mayfair movie house, I recall, was famous for showing back-to- back movies, double features they would later call them. I must admit I am partial to the classics: Dolphy, FPJ, Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Rogelio dela Rosa, Chiquito, and the like.

Modern times and new technology have transformed the way we enjoy movies. I remember when the VCDs and the DVDs became popular, people were saying that movie houses will no longer be patronized as families would prefer to just rent out DVDs and enjoy the movie in the comfort of their homes.

Today, VCDs and DVDs seem ages ago. Streaming services like Netflix, Iflix, Hulu, and iTunes have changed the way we watch films. I am a fan of Netflix and iTunes. I use them all the time. But I do not think movie houses will go away in the very near future.

In my opinion, these new advancements cannot replace the authentic experience of going out with your family on movie night or going out with your wife on date night.

As I have mentioned in my previous column, one of my most favourite times is when Cynthia and I go out to movies Sunday night. We do this almost without fail.

I may be overly sentimental but I enjoy looking at the screening schedules, checking out the time. I enjoy lining up for tickets. I enjoy looking at the cinema posters for the next attraction. Cinemas have changed a lot these days.

I remember back in the day when we had cinemas with wooden chairs and with no air conditioning, just big, industrial fans competing with the sounds coming from the movie.

Today, cinemas are very comfortable and hi-tech. Some offer reclining sofa chairs that recline your backs and allow you to straighten your legs. You can order food from stalls outside and have them deliver the food right to your seat!

In fact, cinemas are so comfortable these days you can just buy tickets so you can catch a nap inside. I remember watching this movie which turned out to be a drag and I dozed off…comfortably. That’s not a bad idea at all. Many of the new cinemas have state -of –the- art sound systems you’d think the helicopter you are watching is actually landing just behind your seat.

Our very own Vista Cinemas at the Evia Lifestyle Center in Vista City, Daang Hari, features the first and only MX4D Motion EFX Theater in the country. We have seats that actually move in-sync with the action on screen. So if you see a car moving uphill, you will actually feel it in your chair.

Our special EFX generators inside the cinema make viewers feel every jolt, poke, tilt, plus timed wind and mist atomizers. Imagine that! I remember some of the old movie houses smelling old and dingy but this is on another level.

I think it’s good that things are evolving. I like the fact that new technologies are making our lives better, allowing us to enjoy life better. But amidst all the modernization, I also think that we need to make sure that we keep connected to our loved ones.

Binge-watching Game of Thrones or House of Cards alone, locked in your room might be enjoyable but do get out once in awhile. Ask your family to watch the new film at a nearby movie house. Ask your wife/husband or girlfriend/boyfriend to a movie night date.

Let her cry on your shoulders while watching a chick flick. Or let him laugh hard until he almost chokes on the popcorn.

Watching movies are indeed best enjoyed with the people you care about.

(For comments/feedback, send e-mail to mbv.secretariat@gmail.com or visit www.mannyvillar.com.ph. )
(Senator Manny Villar)

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