I didn’t go to the movies for this task. Why? Simple: uni, work and uni work. Between working 40 something hour weeks, being at uni for 2 full days a week, assignments, exams and class tasks, I’ve barely had time to sleep! Although I didn’t have time to go to the movies, I am in fact a fan of the movie experience. I love the excitement of seeing a great film with friends and having a cute meal before or after. However I do have a few pet peeves, including seat kicking, talking and worst of all, 12 year olds sitting in the front row cuddling each other and taking photos with a visible flash.
I had an interesting experience a few months ago when a plan to see a movie became an epic fail. While on a walk at Cronulla, a few of my friends agreed that we should see “Inside Out” the next evening. Only 4/6 of us could make it, and another pulled out last minute. I finished work at 6:15, so the remaining 3 of us planned to have a quick dinner and see the 7pm session. We spent a while deciding on where we were going to go for dinner that had good food and quick service. By the time we decided and our food arrived, it was 6:45. As we started scoffing our food down, one friend said “why don’t we take a rain check on the movie? There’s no point in rushing our food to see it, we may as well just enjoy dinner and see the movie another time.” So we enjoyed our meal and dessert, but never ended up seeing the movie. Why didn’t we see it you ask?
Swedish geographer Torsten Hagerstrand identified 3 constraints that changed the way social planning works: capability, coupling and authority. Capability refers to one’s availability ability to travel to the social event. In this instance, the 3 of us were all available and capable of travelling to the cinema- especially me since I was already working in the same shopping center. Coupling is simply having company when attending a social event. I was lucky to have great company. Finally, authority regarding the cinema refers to the cinema stuff and other cinema goers- do I have the right to be there? Back to the point- why didn’t we ever see “Inside Out”? After this gathering, capability and coupling prohibited us from ever seeing the film together. We simply could not find the time to see the film as a group- everyone worked different hours so there was no one time where the majority of us could make it.
It is possible that factors such as these will continue to prevent many from attending cinemas in the next 10 years. Additionally, the increasing popularity of Netflix and the ability to download movies online will likely result in a decrease of cinema goers. Streaming and downloading services allow viewers to enjoy a movie in the comfort of their own home, with no additional costs for parking, tickets and food. When watching a movie at home, there are less constraints, and thus this is far more appealing than visiting the cinema. Perhaps if film makers make an amazing film that is associated with a positive experience, the industry will remain steady. If movie theatres were more like this, I’d go everyday!