With the second week of classes beginning, many of us have the weekend (mostly) free of heavy classwork, leaving a large gap of time left available. Obviously, many of our previous forms of entertainment are either no longer available, or only available in a limited capacity. However, it is becoming clear that entertainment is not fading away, it is evolving to the changing times, and has given the spotlight to new and old forms of entertainment.
Within the last couple of decades, we’ve observed the slow decline of cinema theaters, correlating directly with the rise of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and now Disney Plus. They simply make life more convenient, not having to leave your house to pay roughly $10 to see a single movie. Services such as those listed previously in addition to popular apps such as YouTube and TikTok, seemed like they had nowhere to go but up.
The pandemic seemingly eliminated the dying competition from the equation, and it certainly seemed so in the first few months of quarantine. Then, something interesting happened; people got sick of the indoors. People no longer desired to stay inside all the time and watch movies by themselves or with their family. They wanted to go outside, hangout with their friends, and catch a movie. In place across the country, drive-in movie theaters began becoming a popular destination for everyone once again.
Speaking of going out, the great outdoors has also become a fun way to spend afternoons. I’m sure that you’ve heard anyone around the age of 50 or 60 rant about the good old days, how they used to romp and play out in the streets, and just spend all their free time playing outside with their friends. People are out again, biking, walking, jogging and enjoying the outdoors more then ever.
Maybe it’s little bit of cabin fever from being inside all the time, maybe it’s the desire the exercise again or maybe people just want to appreciate the outdoors now more than ever. It is most likely a combination of all of the above, and it’s been such a pure and honest experience to be a part of it, just like they did back in the good old days.
Live theatre is something else that at first glance, would have no way of surviving in a pandemic. Instead, theatres have also be adjusting for the current times, recording performances or even streaming them, while still earning some money. Over this past summer, many of us watched Hamilton: An American Musical for the first time in our living rooms. If it were not for this recorded performance, many people would likely have not seen this musical at all, due to not having the spare cash or the spare time to fly out to see it.
Even here on campus, Texas Tech Theatre is continuing into the Fall 2020 Tech Theatre Season, dubbed The Personal & The Political and will be a virtual theatre season. They have stated on the Tech Theatre website, that this will be a fluid season, evolving and adapting to the current COVID situation.
While they do not have a definitive answer to how they will be conducting the fall season, it will likely be an online experience, meaning everyone and anyone with an internet connection and a screen can watch their art take place. Strong elements of creativity and plenty of surprises are promised for the season, make sure to stay tuned for this unique experience. Updates on how exactly the season will happen will be put the Tech website.
These last six months have been a roller coaster of emotions, and while that coaster has had some very low points, it has had a few gleaming high points. Watching entertainment and fun switch back to old ways is such a natural experience and really feels like somehow, we are coming together as a community of human beings. Meanwhile, other methods moving to more accessible methods just adds to this feeling to togetherness, as we have been able to experience things otherwise not available to us.
Will these changes and evolutions stay once we are in a post COVID-19 world? Most likely not, we may keep them around for shortly after for novelty or convenience reasons, but things will eventually return to a similar norm as it was pre COVID-19. That doesn’t mean we have to lose our ways of having fun together and enjoying unique experiences, entertainment always changes and evolves, entertainment will find a way. We just have to follow the entertainment migration.