I don’t think it’s specifically streaming channels that are the cause, the output quality of HBO and others since 2000 is the real cause. The reality is that technology vs budget vs quality has reached a point on TV where there is little reason to go to watch a movie, now even on streaming services (5 years ago there wasn’t really necessarily the budget or quality on there but recent stuff both in syndication and original programming is putting that to rest)
Technology is getting cheaper, specifically with regards to CGI, budgets are clearly increasing for the right programming, and a culmination of all this and more is pulling top quality actors from the B list (though also in some cases A list, and in many cases showcasing more acting talent that COULD be A list) to take part. All of this culminates in an experience that now means that at least 6 hours, if not 8, of quality show is available for a fraction of the price of a single movie ticket.
For more of a view on this, @Matthew wrote this and is pretty spot on
I can foresee that in the future independent cinema will more likely be found on streaming services, and that the cinema experience in general will be reserved for the kinds of experiences that only sitting in a movie theatre can provide. However I think cinemas will find it hard for this model of participation to be financially viable and without greater support from movie studios it’s entirely possible we could see the death of the movie theatre.
But this doesn’t mean Hollywood would be dead, it just means that they’d be accepting that their product would be going into a different environment for initial consumption for many (though not nearly for all, plenty of people only engage with a film at first when it comes to TV or via Blu-ray). This may mean lower budgets, or it could mean altogether different revenues for streaming/subscription services that allow for the funding of those ventures in a new way.
I think 3D is going to be the key at first, and then VR. 3D is a proposition that is largely unique as a benefit of going to the cinema (though some will argue it’s just a gimmick that adds nothing, and others have understandable accessibility and comfort concerns), but if VR was something that became cheaper then I could see films being more viable in the comfort of your own home taking in a greater view of the world the movie is taking place in. This kind of content simply wouldn’t be viable in a cinema environment. Personally I think 3D is well rooted now, and helping to turn movie theatres into a place you only really go for blockbuster cinema, and I’m dubious that VR would work well enough to make it past any initial mainstream forays.
Is it a good or bad thing? I don’t think it’s necessarily either. Or it’s both, I don’t know. I am thankful that great quality content is accessible in the home for cheaper, and content that is much more experimental and independent than you’ll find in a normal movie schedule. But the experience of cinema, taking for example Gravity, is something that is simply impossible to replicate on the “small screen” in many instances. I watched The Revenant in the theatre and it just completely swept me away in a manner that it simply wouldn’t do on my TV. I don’t want to see that disappear, but it’s down to how much other people care for that experience too, or for the “day out” socialising aspect.