Pundits have been predicting the death of the movie theater since the first televisions hit the market, but this time, it's really going to happen for a number of reasons. First, with large HD televisions going mainstream and 3D sets becoming more affordable, the average home theater is almost as good as the average multiplex theater. Second, studios and their cable partners have begun releasing some movies for on-demand viewing on the same day they debut in theaters, a trend which is likely to continue.
Finally, the cost of going to a movie theater is so out of control — movie tickets in New York cost around $13 each — that nobody is going to keep paying it. In a world where an on-demand film that's still in theaters costs $7 to rent and one that just left the theater streams for $2.99 from Amazon, who will spend more than $50 for a family of four to go see the same movie surrounded by annoying patrons, dirty seats and overpriced popcorn? Art house theaters that offer specialized films and a sense of community may remain, but the average multiplex will be gone before my son notices it was ever there.