Is movie-going doomed? Possibly, according to this piece by John Dvorak:
As it now stands, I can feed an HDTV signal into a standard Toshiba LCD projector through the composite video ports and blow out a 100-inch 16:9 image on a screen and get a theater experience in the home. With progressive scan or line-doubling DVD players, the experience is phenomenal. Use a DLP theater projector or a large-screen plasma display, and you're in heaven.Well, I want to go because, despite all of the above, watching a movie in the dark and with a lot of other people is a better way of seeing it. I'm not altogether sure why this is, but part of it is a greater involvement in the experience, getting more 'lost' in it, so that even the advantages of seeing the thing at home that Dvorak goes on to mention ('You can stop the movie when you want. You can eat dinner while watching. You can pause the movie and examine a scene more closely') have a way of detaching you from it. He does acknowledge what he calls 'big-screen impact' and 'the group experience', but doesn't seem to give them too much weight in his gloomy prognosis. (Via Andrew Sullivan.)
So why do I now want to go to the theater? Do I want to go because it's more expensive than a DVD rental? Do I want to go for the greasy popcorn coated with trans-fat butter-flavored oil? Do I want to go so I can hear cell phones going off all over the place and people yakking on them? Do I want to go because most of the movies aren't shown on large screens at all, but in boxcar-sized rooms with screens not much bigger than my projector screen at home? Do I want to go because the sound is turned too loud and pumped through a mediocre audio system?
Update: See Eric.