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The Hidden, Scary Story of This Summer’s Movies: Will You Go?

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Stories are a fundamental need of the human species – the desire to tell them, see them, hear them, read them. Prehistoric scratchings on cave walls tell stories, as does the Bible, later medieval bards and minstrels and Moms and Dads at the dinner table and bedtime.

Beginning in the late 1800s, the optical magic of moving pictures brought stories to life, even before the sounds of radio teased listeners’ imaginations. Through the newer magic of special effects and magic, film put moviegoers into ridiculously dangerous and exciting places, safely.

Movies also created a global industry of fame where a select few who looked good, talked good, emoted well could earn fantastically vast fortunes leading glamorous lives on-screen before retreating to their too often tawdry existence offstage enabled by all that money.

But always, movies have been a risky business, ever since the very first flick in 1888, a 2.11-second moving-picture thriller by a French inventor with the priceless theatrical name of Louis Le Prince.

Over the decades movies, like books, took billion of viewers into places, predicaments, stories, and lives around the world and even beyond to galaxies far, far away.

Until, that is, last year when a microscopic contagion turned our ordinary lives into a catastrophic global drama of its own that belittled even the most special special-effects.

Lockdowns and fear of the invisible unknown brought movies and indeed entire economies and lives to a dead halt. As the apocryphal Hollywood producer is said to have said after his new movie bombed, “If people don’t want to come, you can’t stop them.”

But now the normal life we knew and took for granted is struggling slowly back to a new normal. Airplanes are loading. Restaurants are serving meals – indoors. And – oh, look! – movies are reopening.

The future of movies was once deemed endangered back in the late forties-early fifties when this TV thing first came out. Movies not only survived, they adapted and thrived with air conditioning, 3D, amazing sound systems, comfy seats, even waitered meals and other improvements that heightened the communal experience of

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