Reading your posts about visiting the cinema has been an absolute treat. And on that note, a prevalent theme in your posts was that you are ‘treating’ yourself to a trip to the movies due the expense associated with cinema going.
A non-place, Third Floor Walkway, Fisher Building, Detroit by Király-Seth (source)
Even though you visited various cinemas in different locations in order to consider the constraints, the cost of seeing a movie on the silver screen rather than watching at home was a frequent comparison. Despite the nostalgia, the social outing, the novelty offered, the movie theatre came off second best when it came to cost.
The cost of a ticket and a few snacks took your breath away.
“Firstly, the tickets and the food are both pretty expensive, my local Event cinemas at Westfield Miranda charges $7 for a Pump water bottle… seriously not kidding” noted Blair.
Similar exasperation was expressed by Tracy:
“But over the years it has gotten so expensive that I can’t justify paying almost $20 to watch one movie, and that’s before spending a fortune on a small popcorn and drink combo.”
Julia observed that paying to go to a movie doesn’t sit well with a student lifestyle:
“These days, it’s hard for me to justify paying $12.00 for a movie, when I can watch it for free online a few weeks after it leaves the theatre.”
Claudia acknowledged that it’s regular practice to take matters into your own hands when it comes to cutting costs. Snacks can be smuggled in from the supermarket.
“As someone with a bit of common sense I know not to buy the tiny $12 packet of chips when there is a perfectly good Woolworths next door” commented Beth.
What’s more you found that you were paying extra to have more constraints placed upon you such as allocated or uncomfortable seating and the inability to press pause.
Eddie pointed out:
“Sometimes I like to get up and have a drink or use the bathroom, at which time I can pause the movie and recommence when I am ready. This luxury was relinquished as I sat, coupled with a group of strangers in the cinema.”
“The actual movie experience is not something I attend for. I hate the seats. I hate the fact I can’t pause the movie to pee because I just drank a litre of frozen coke in the first 20 minutes because the popcorn I just ate makes me thirsty. I hate that I can’t cuddle up properly to my significant other when the movie has scary bits, and I hate that I can’t throw things at the person in front of me when they talk too loudly” stated Maddy.
The social interaction and tolerance required was warily anticipated by Aidan:
“Moreover the prospect of sharing a space with a bunch of strangers and then relying on their silence to enjoy something really puts me on edge. You can’t trust people. At worst they talk and at best they do that annoyingly loud mouth breathing. People are the worst.”
Fortunately, some theatre chains are starting to realise that increasing the constraints placed on their patrons is not a good business strategy.
In spite of it all, no one had a bad experience. I found it most interesting that the cinema going experience seemed to leave each of you with a warm, fuzzy afterglow. Rebecca concluded:
“The atmosphere creates a feeling that I just don’t think you can achieve in a bedroom or lounge room. The characters you see and interact with at a cinema, the room itself, with the big screen, vibrations and surround sound, even if you might not sleep well the next few days, it’s an experience you’ll remember.”
Elleni offered the idea that it’s not so much a problem of what the theatres are doing wrong but the ease of the alternatives:
“This cinema experience was successful for me. The cinema is a timeless experience, that we all desire to be a part of…however the convenience of watching movies from home has just depreciated cinema attendance.”