Pause the Movie!

What ever happened to the intermission in movies?

There are intermissions for operas, orchestral performances, musicals, and stage productions, they’re often used to change the stage dramatically for the second half. I guess a movie doesn’t have that limitation but consider this:

If you decided to watch older movies like Ben Hur or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, you will often in the middle of the movie get a title card announcing an Intermission so it used to be a thing, why did they remove it?

The first thing I thought of was running time. Ben Hur is a whopping 3 hours and 44 minutes, it would honestly be insane to ask someone to sit that length of time, most operas are that length. Movies now aren’t as long… Right? Well, while looking up the length time of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I got curious and looked up the running time of Avengers Infinity Wars. Infinity Wars has a run time of 2 hours 40 minutes while Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is 2 hours 25 minutes including the short intermission. Even musicals have that have the same run time as movies have intermissions so length isn’t the issue.

Once I went down that rabbit hole things started confusing me about this no intermission thing. Why shouldn’t movie theaters include them? I often find myself overstimulated by the big screen and have to take a breather to process everything. Wouldn’t that be a perfect time to say “let’s all go to the lobby and get something to eat?” There is literally a 7up commercial that states just that! I’m not a business woman by a long shot but wouldn’t that increase food and drink sales?

The one major thing that I saw while diving down the Wikipedia for intermissions that made movie theaters start doing away with them was the added time.

More run time = less movie options = less money in ticket sales.

The decision is ultimately do you make more money from the tickets or the food? I, personally, would enjoy movies more if I had that intermission but that’s just me.


#wethegeek #wethegeekmabel #movies #intermission #breaks #theaters #letsgodowntothelobby #marketing


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