Taylor Swift sings and plays piano in front of a large audience during one of her Eras Tour shows Caption by Freddy Gruber

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Concert Film Breathes New Life into the Movie Theater Experience

On Friday, October 13, 2023, Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated The Eras Tour Concert Film hit theaters – giving fans a timeless look into, what many considered, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The two-hour and 45-minute feature captured performances from Los Angeles’ So-Fi Stadium, the final destination of the first US leg of the tour.

As reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer, singer and songwriter Taylor Swift performed for three consecutive sold-out shows, May 12 to May 14, to a total of 200,000 people at Lincoln Financial Field. However, due to high ticket prices and limited availability, not every fan could see her live. Some 20,000 people, who were unable to secure tickets, crowded in the parking lot outside the stadium for Philly’s second night show to hear her play.

Therefore, when Taylor Swift announced that the concert would come to the movie screens, fans were ecstatic. In under 24 hours, the film earned 26 million dollars, breaking AMC’s record for highest single-day ticket sales. Later, the film made $96 million domestically and an additional $32 million internationally in its opening weekend, according to Entertainment Online. The lingering question is, how does the film compare to the live concert?

Immediately upon entering the theater, I noticed many Swifties dressed in themed outfits, like Junior Jewels t-shirts, concert merch, and the famed friendship bracelets. Popcorn wafts in the air as the screen displays the countdown clock that played before the opening of every show. The energy and excitement in the room, while slightly subdued from the live concert, is still very palpable. A row of young girls stand dancing at the front as Fearless plays and phone flashlights wave synchronously during Marjorie. Aside from the bracelet exchange, one staple of the Eras Concert tour was the small inside jokes/sayings during specific songs. At the theater, the crowd came prepared, clapping at the right time and eagerly exclaiming the lyrics. The surprise songs, however, were the fan’s favorites with almost the entire theater singing along compared to the few, committed fans who danced during all the performances.

While events are bound to differ from theater to theater, it would be remiss for a Taylor Swift fan not to take advantage of this opportunity to either witness the performance for the first time or relive a memorable night. Though songs such as The Archer, no body, no crime, ‘tis the damn season, Long Live, cardigan, Wildest Dreams, and Seven were cut, one advantage of the film version is seeing the stage up close and from various angles. The artistic visuals and talented dancers can be better observed and appreciated than from feet away in the stands. As of right now, there are no official plans to release the film on streaming services, making the $19.89 tickets a small price to pay for an enchanting experience.