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“Theater Versus Home Movies”



Pre-Listening Activites

Discussion Starter: Begin by asking the students a general question related to the topic of watching movies, such as: “Do you enjoy watching movies? Why or why not?”

Vocabulary Check: List some of the terms mentioned in the interview (e.g., Netflix, portable devices, iPad, movie theater, surround sound, 3D, cinematic experience) and ask students if they are familiar with these terms. Encourage them to explain their meanings.

Predictive Questions: Before listening to the interview, predict what the pros and cons of watching movies at the movie theater versus at home might be. Think about both the audiovisual experience and the overall convenience.

Pair Discussion: Discuss the following questions with a partner:

  • Have you ever watched a movie in a movie theater?
  • How was the experience?
  • What are some advantages of watching movies at home?

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

prefer (verb): like or favor one thing over another
– Aubrey prefers watching movies at home because it allows her to multitask.

experience (Noun):  knowledge or skill gained from doing something over time
– Going to a movie theater provides a unique cinematic experience with its surround sound and big screen.

convenient (adjective): making things easy or accessible, saving time and effort
– Watching movies at home is convenient because you can pause and snack without leaving your seat.

especially (adverb): particularly, in a special or significant manner
– Randall enjoys action thrillers, especially when he can experience them in a movie theater with surround sound.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video, Aubrey and I are going to be talking about the idea of watching movies. And as you know, Aubrey, when I was growing up, nothing like Netflix, portable devices, iPad, and so forth, to actually have that choice. But when you think about the idea of watching movies, going to a movie theater versus watching them at home or on a portable device, what are some of the pros and cons of each option?

Aubrey: Yeah, so I personally prefer to watch movies at home, um, like maybe on my computer or on my phone. I like to be able to do something else at the same time. I know there . . .it seems like there’s two camps of people, right? People who like to do that, people who like to go and actually watch the movie in the movie theater. Um, and that could be a great social experience. You’re going to get a great audio experience, a great visual experience, um, especially if you’re watching a movie in 3D, which isn’t as popular anymore. But that’s really hard to do at home. Um, I remember I watched Avatar when it first came out, um, the movie with the blue people, not the kid with the arrow on his head, but it was a beautiful cinematic experience. Paper thin storyline, terrible movie, but it was beautiful, right? You can’t recreate that at home.

Randall: No, you can’t. And I like going to a movie theater where you have surround sound, large speakers, especially if you’re watching some type of action thriller, and you just can’t replicate that at home unless you have that type of sound system.

Aubrey: Exactly. Yeah. Even with headphones, it’s hard.

Randall: Yeah. At home, just like at the movie theater, you can make popcorn and have all kinds of different things like that. The nice thing about watching a movie at home is that you don’t have to leave the movie theater to go out and wait in a line for 20 minutes to get a new, you know, hot dog or something like that, where if at home, you can just have that food readily available to you right there: very fast, very convenient.

Aubrey: Much cheaper, too.

Randall: Right. Well, thank you, Aubrey, for sharing your thoughts on watching movies.

Conversation Questions

  1. Technology’s Impact on Movie-Watching: How has technology, like streaming services and portable devices, changed the way we watch movies today compared to when Randall was growing up? Do you think these changes have enhanced or diminished the movie-watching experience? Why?
  2. The Role of Cinemas: In an era where home theaters and streaming are prevalent, what do you think is the future of movie theaters? Are they still relevant? What could cinemas do to attract more audiences?
  3. Immersive vs. Convenient: The interview highlights the pros and cons of movie theaters and watching movies at home. Which aspect (immersive experience at the theater or convenience at home) do you personally prioritize when choosing how to watch a movie, and why?
  4. The Value of Storyline vs. Visuals: The example of “Avatar” is brought up in the interview. Do you think stunning visuals can compensate for a weak storyline in a movie? What elements of a movie matter most to you, and how do they influence your choice of where to watch it?
  5. The Social Aspect: Aubrey mentions the social experience of going to a movie theater. Do you believe that watching a movie in a theater can be a social event? How does it compare to watching movies with friends or family at home?
  6. Cost and Accessibility: How does the cost of watching movies at home versus in a theater impact your choices? Are there other factors, besides cost, that influence your decision?
  7. Sound Systems: The interview emphasizes the importance of sound systems in theaters. How crucial is sound quality to your movie-watching experience? Have you ever had an experience where excellent sound enhanced your enjoyment of a film?
  8. Nostalgia vs. Modern Convenience: Randall mentions the absence of modern technologies during his childhood. Do you think there is a sense of nostalgia associated with watching movies the way he did? How does nostalgia influence your choices in entertainment?
  9. Adaptations in the Film Industry: Given the changing landscape of movie-watching preferences, how do you think the film industry should adapt to meet the needs and expectations of today’s audiences?
  10. Global Perspectives: Do you think the preferences for watching movies vary between different countries and cultures? How might cultural differences influence where and how people choose to watch films?

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

ChatGPT was used collaboratively to prepare some of the discussion questions for this lesson.
Try More Free Listening at