If you ask me which I prefer, I'd definitely say the theatre. No matter how often I go to the cinema, a visit to the theatre is still something special. Seeing a play is something quite different from popping into the local cinema for a couple of hours. It's a matter of direct communication between the audience and the actors.
Most cinemas nowadays surpass a theatre in luxury. Even in small villages, cinemas are spacious, well-lit and well-ventilated places where one can sit in comfort. The lights are dimmed slowly to give the audience time to prepare themselves for the film they are to see. Talk drops to a whisper and then fades out altogether. However much the cinema tries to simulate the conditions in a theatre - and it does it very well - it's never the same effect! Nothing can really equal the awe and sense of hushed expectation which is felt by a theatre audience as the curtain is slowly raised.
A poor film is often far better than a bad play. The actors on the screen are always celluloid, remote and a bit unreal.. In a theatre, however, the actors have direct contact with their audience. Each performance they give is unique and it is this that, in the final count,, makes the theatre so superior to the cinema.
Have you seen an interesting play, recently?