Screening Room – Bringing Cinema into the 21st Century? 

Screening Room is a streaming service that allows you to watch the latest cinema releases at from the comfort of your living room. Napster co-founder Sean Parker is behind the idea that has received backing from many Hollywood filmmakers such as Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg, despite it being accompanied by much controversy. Considering the immense popularity of streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, this does seem to be the inevitable next step in home viewing. However, does is run a risk of causing damage to the cinematic experience?

As you can probably guess, there has been a considerable amount of reluctance from cinema owners to get on board with the idea, many citing concerns based on the damaging effects that streaming sites have had on the music industry in recent years. There is also apprehension that there will be an increasing amount of empty seats in cinemas, as people decide to enjoy brand new films from the comfort of their living rooms instead.

In an interview with Variety, director of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies, Peter Jackson offered his support to the idea and suggested the service would appeal to people who rarely get the chance to go to the cinema. Therefore, making the latest films more accessible and creating an opportunity for a wider audience, rather than cinemas actually losing out on valuable customers.

Screening Room definitely seems to provoke mixed reactions and although there are promises that the service will contain anti-piracy technology, this still seems to be a major concern for some theatre owners. With an upfront cost of $150 (£105) for the service and $50 (£35) per film (you then have a 48-hour period to watch the film), this is definitely not a cheaper alternative to going to the cinema, but still an option that may be a lot more convenient for many people.


Written by Jamie Barton


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