I for one love having a movie date at the cinemas, I am even going to admit that I have gone to the effort to see a film.. on my own 😮 Yes sounds super lame but don’t lie to yourself and say you have never wanted to try it, I’m telling you it’s bliss. And although according to statistics sourced from an ABC article, there has been a 14% decline in attendance to the cinemas in Australia in the past 10 years, I think the cinemas still got appeal. I will apply Torsten Hagerstand’s “time geography” to a cinema experience of mine to analyse it’s level of convenience. Hagerstand identified three constraints that limit an individuals’ level of capability, and I will be referring to these as I analyse my time at the movies.
Capability constraints are the limits in which a human can travel from place to place based on “physical or biological” factors. Coupling constraints involve the restrictions placed on one due to a need to conform to a time schedule. Authority constraints regulate what activities can and cannot take place.
If I’m going to recall an experience of mine to the movie theatre, it would have to be a couple of week ago when my friend and I saw the highly anticipated comedy, Sausage Party. This isn’t a movie review but without giving too much away, this film is shockingly inappropriate, and for that highly entertaining. When you are laughing you question whether you should be because the jokes are just so wrong. Brownie points to Seth Rogan for his crazy and original approach.
So firstly the capability constraints weren’t a problem as I had a car that could get us to the Warrawong cinema in a prompt manner, allowing enough time to make a quick pistop at Coles for the much cheaper and very necessary movie snacks. Money wasn’t an issue as we both had our wallets, Hayley was lucky enough to score a free movie ticket on her Hoyts member card. Once we arrived at the cinema we ran into a coupling constraint. Although we gave ourselves 10 minutes spare to buy tickets before the movie was scheduled to begin, there was a substantial amount of people just as eager to see Sausage Party so by the time we got to the counter the movie had already begun. Because of this, authority constraints were met as seats are now allocated to you, so by the time we got into the cinema and found G19 and G20, they were occupied by other audience members, forcing us to awkwardly advise that they were sitting in “our” seats. Once this ordeal was over (too dramatic?) we had only missed the trailers (dam!) so we were still getting our moneys worth.
On the whole, the movie date went smoothly but I think when people go to the cinema you cannot be too shocked when faced with not so ideal circumstances.. you’re placing yourself in a public space where you can’t control every situation like you can do at home. Yes there is a chance that if you choose the prime time showing of 630 to the new Harry Potter film, that there will be a line for tickets, and you will possibly be sitting next to a complete stranger (hopefully B/O free) that cannot seem to put down their phone. But there is also a reason why people go back regardless, you’re paying for an experience that offers an atmosphere where you are sharing a range of emotions in a room filled of people, eating addictive movie popcorn that just doesn’t taste the same homemade, all topped off with a classic choctop – there is something very special about it all. The convenience of Netflix in the comfort of your own bed is for sure a lovely thing, but the cinema has a nostalgic exciting affect that I think you just can’t get at home.
The magic of film isn’t just because of the big screen, or the acoustics, but the ineffable shared experience of going to the movies. – Fernando Perez