Curbing Your Entertainment: The Impact of COVID



Movie theaters like AMC have suffered since the start of the pandemic. Many teens haven’t enjoyed the experience of a night out at the movies.

Jon Laukaitis, Junior Chief Advocate

WOODBURY — Going to the movies on a Friday night and sharing a bucket of popcorn with your best friend while sitting back and laughing at a movie has always been a staple in American teens’ lives. 

For many teens across America, this has been flipped around. COVID-19 shut down movie theaters, trampoline parks and many other entertainment businesses for many months. Teens were locked away from all of these experiences that shape their teenage years. How are teens and big entertainment chains dealing with this after being in a global crisis? 

Eddie Longo, an eighth-grade student at Woodbury Middle School claims that “COVID made us unable to do the things we would normally be able to do.”

Another student, Delia Coelho, agreed.

“Ever since COVID hit, I haven’t been out to do these things nearly as often,” Coelho said. “Just this past November, I went to the movies for the first time since January 2020. Being away from some of these things for so long made me get used to being without them. Whenever I think about times before the pandemic, it feels like another lifetime.”

COVID has shifted our routines by putting things like going out to the movies in the back of teens’ minds. Why go to the movies if you could simply stay home and stream a movie for free? 

Netflix and other streaming apps like Prime Video have more viewers than ever before, showing how teens are staying home more instead of going to the movies. 

Statista claims that 33% of teens’ video consumption is on Netflix. This goes to show that the majority of teens are staying home instead of going out to see a movie.

In a survey conducted for this article, 86% of the 38 eighth-grade respondents claimed that they went to a trampoline park before COVID; only 42% of them have gone to a trampoline park since the pandemic started. Similar numbers were reported for moviegoers.

These staggering statistics are leaving businesses like AMC, a movie theater chain, to flounder. In 2020, AMC had a net loss of $4.6 billion, according to This devastation shows how brutal COVID has been for entertainment businesses. 

Teenage years should be filled with precious memories of going to see a new movie with your friends or going to a trampoline park. However, COVID took away these memories that teens never had the chance to experience. Teens should be out being social, making memories instead of being at home connected to a streaming service. COVID has made us change our routines, but is it for the better?

This story is part of the Junior Chief Advocate series, which publishes articles written by eighth-grade students from Adam Brutting’s English classes at Woodbury Middle School. More stories from the Junior Chief Advocate can be found here.