Last time I went to a theater was in August. I went to see Matthias & Maxime (which is not a particularly known film) two months after the release, so I was expecting to find the theater almost empty. Surprisingly, there was actually a decent amount of people. Not many, but yeah.
My experience, however, was pretty good. In fact, it was even better than in pre-covid times. I don't know if it's just my luck, but many times I'm sitting close to someone that is not interested in the film at all and only keeps talking with their friends or eating noisily. Or I'm sitting close to someone who is soooo interested in the film that they can't wait for it to finish before they start discussing every single detail that draws their attention.
When any of those situations (or similar) happens, I don't get to fully enjoy the film, because I'm sensitive to noise and I end up being distracted a lot. And that's something that really annoys me, because, if I spend my money, I want to be able to enjoy the experience, which I can't do if I get constantly out of the film.
Thus, being in a theater with just a few people around, all of them perfectly quiet and not making absurd noises, just watching and enjoying the film, was like being in some kind of paradise for me, to be honest. So, in my personal experience, I didn't feel any kind of sadness, but just the calm and the enjoyment of the movie. It was almost a deluxe experience.
That said, I understand this is not good or sustainable for the industry, and I wouldn't want theaters to go away anytime soon, despite my complaints.
Besides, my experience happened a couple of months after the big, first lockdown, when the anti-covid restrictions were loosened in my country. But there's a softer lockdown right now in an ever-growing number of places here, so I don't know what the theaters looks like at this moment. The situation is surely a lot worse, because, even if it's possible to go out and watch a movie, it is by no means easy or safe. Much less than when I went, at least.
Please, feel free to correct my English.