The future of cinemas, is it that bright?

Some of my fondest childhoods memories are trips to the local cinema with my friends, the smell of popcorn and the freezing air con that was always turned up too high was always a treat. From memory the first movie I ever saw in a cinema was “Shrek” which would’ve been when I was in year 1 and it was a part of my best friend’s birthday party. What a novelty it was going to the movies out night only to fill up on red frogs and Malteesers before dinner at Mc Donald’s. During high-school, going to the movies became more of a social outing in the Southern Highlands; it was one of the few “cool” activities left to do and that’s if you were even invited out (awkward). I remember being outraged when they moved the ticket prices up from $9 to $10 for a concession ticket at the local Empire Cinema in Bowral. Oh the horror!

Taking these aspects into account, and the fact that I’m a complete stinge when it comes to spending money on anything that isn’t food I was faced with many a challenge when it came to organizing a movie date with my boyfriend. So in relation to Torsten Hagerstrand’s social constraint theory, here’s how my movie date organisation panned out:

  • Capability: Firstly, both my boyfriend and I work during the week and weekend, so actually planning a “Day” was impossible, so we had to settle for a night during the week. Planning this around Uni assignment’s and my horse riding lessons we settled on a Wednesday night (I had a riding competition early Saturday morning.) This was a night that suited both of us and it was agreed upon. The only session times for Wednesday night to see (much to my dismay) The Expendables 3, were 12pm and 6:55pm so we settled on the later time as I suited us both.
  • Coupling: Since my boyfriend lives in Bowral and live 15 minutes away in Berrima he decided that in order for me to get there on time that he would come early and pick me up and drive us both there. Timing wasn’t a real issue in the organization process as Thursday night was free and the cinema is only 15 minutes away.
  • Authority: As both of our schedules were open for that night, we didn’t have anywhere else to be that took priority so it’s safe to say we were more than entitled to be there.

As for during the movie itself, the cinema wasn’t exactly packed to the brim, there were around 15-20 people there. The audience was made up predominately male viewers (shock) and they were mostly around the 20-30 year old mark from what I observed. During the movie (which I may have fallen asleep in for about 20 minutes, woops) the audience was mostly quiet and respectful, occasionally someone would converse with their friends which was a bit annoying during the quieter parts of the movie. There was a lot of packet crunching and drink slurping, which is to be expected in a cinema full of men (sorry guys). We ended up sitting in middle section of the smallish cinema as I’m a little short sighted and so is my boyfriend and this made it easier on our eyes. On the whole, the movie was… alright, I’m not that into action movies with a lot of violence and guns and what not but it had it’s funny moments and my boyfriend enjoyed it a lot!

With the ever popular rise of online movie streaming, its debatable what will eventuate in the popularity of going to the cinema to see the latest box office releases. Coupled with new technologies like Apple TV and Foxtel box office, there are less excuses to leave the comfort of your own lounge room to pay around $40 for two people to see a movie in a cold, public space. The social aspect of going to the movies will forever stand, in my opinion, it’s always going to be a novelty for couples, groups of friends, young families and the elderly to go to their local cinema and see the latest movies as a means of and excuse to leave the house. But without this support from local residents, I feel that local cinemas will suffer and face becoming redundant in the next 5-10 years, but I certainly hope this isn’t the case.

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