Americans are obsessed with size. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, not like that. The size of homes, SUVs, home entertainment systems, appliances, property, fast food, popcorn, movie theatre seating, roller coasters, and malls. We are also obsessed with size in the other direction, like in computer equipment and various music and communication devices. For example, I am writing this on a laptop, on the LIRR, while listening to my entire record collection on an iPod Nano. My third Nano, to be clear, because I washed the first two. They were SO tiny I didn't notice them in my pockets. One day my Cellular phone, will literally be on a single cell level, and implanted into my brain. And I will keep losing that, too. Not my brain but my tiny single celled cell phone.
You think I am kidding? I ain't. Not about losing my single celled cell phone, but about the technology itself. One day, nanotechnology will be so developed that various small nano-bots will be able to be injected into our bloodstreams that will constantly repair us, and maybe even receive phone calls! Look it up. (Google Kurtzweil's "Moment of Singularity")
Until then, let's talk about giant TV's, which are on the other end of the spectrum. It used to be that the movie theater experience was something so special, so unique, that the viewing of a film on television was a mere memory or souvenir of the first time you saw that movie on a big screen. Now televisions are so big and intimate at the same time, that the hassle of driving to the theatre, paying, dealing with the clunky, giant (and overpriced) snacks, is not worth it. And can we talk about HD? Where TV personalities once yelled "makeup!" they now need to yell "spackle!" My neighbor's TV is so big that I can look out my window and just watch his TV. I hope he doesn't read The Patch. I can't see his computer. But next year there will be internet TV's!
However, movie theaters in many parts of the country are still offering a competetive experience to the home theatre. Last Spring I saw "Thor" at a theatre in the midwest. The four seats my friends and I occupied in the theatre took up the same space as my first apartment in Brooklyn. Including the bathroom. When I went to see Thor AGAIN (yes I am a nerd) at a small theatre back in Long Island, the theatre was only slightly bigger than my Mini-Van.
My Mini-Van, with a tiny screen in the back where my kids watch movies on road trips sitting in big captain chairs. They even watch movies on our way to the movie theater. What a big small world.