When I was younger and the school holidays would come around they would always consist of a few different scenarios. I would spend a couple of days at my Nonnas (eating as much as I possibly could), a few days kickin’ about with my friends and then there would be that three day block when it would just rain and rain and rain and rain and rain (and rain). By the third day my Mum (or whoever else was looking after me) would have exhausted all their efforts to keep me entertained, give up and take me to the movies.
(Source: The Stir)
Going to the cinema was one of the most exciting parts of my childhood, the smell of buttery popcorn, the thrill of the curtains rolling back and the lights dimming were all part of this magical room where you could kick-back, put your feet up (if there was no one in front of you) and enjoy a movie. Once I was old enough I was allowed to go by myself with my friends, my Mum would give me $20 and I would be on my way. Then I learnt to drive, it became a social thing to do with my friends (except Mum wouldn’t give me money anymore…) and then came the age old classic: the cinema date.
Perhaps I’m biased because going to the movies was such an integral part of my childhood so writing a post on a recent cinema experience is bound to be a positive one.
Last week I went to see Suicide Squad with my boyfriend at Chatswood Hoyts, we opted for the slightly more expensive ‘Lux’ version, and boy oh boy – was it luxe.
Admittedly, we paid $39 to watch a movie however in the age of Netflix, piracy and cable tv going to the movies is ironically not really about the movie at all. Walking into the cinema at Hoyts Lux we were given our own candy bar that served alcohol, pizzas, churros and unlimited popcorn. We enjoyed the movie laying on a reclining sofa chair with at least a metre of leg room. Ordering pizza and drinks we instructed the waitress at which part of the movie we would like each part of our order. If that’s not luxe, I don’t know what is.
(Source: Tumblr Gif Search)
Looking at my recount of the time I went to the cinema you’ll notice I merely mention the movie once, most of my memory is about the experience I had and I believe that is how movie theatres have overcome their fated doom in the rise of piracy. This concept has actually been widely researched, Deakin University Academic Deb Verhoeven believes that cinema’s are “…not about selling a ticket to a movie, it’s about selling the popcorn” (Veroheven 2015). Of course Veroheven is not literally refering to popcorn, she is using it as a metaphor to describe the overall experience. The candy bar, the new seating, the food and the service.
Jason De Rosso, journalist for ABC’s Radio National discusses in his piece ‘A new golden age: how cinemas are surviving in the age of netflix’ how chains such as Hoyts and Greater Union are shifting from a simple film on a big screen to bringing “…the romance and charm of going to the movies back” (Di Rosso 2015). In 2015 online streaming service Netflix launched in Australia, minus some of their biggest titles the site brought the emerging streaming culture to our shores and had us all glued to our laptop screens with their never-ending original series. What most do not realise is the posing threat Netflix has to the cinema industry, just last year Netflix’ chief content officer Ted Sarandos explained he believes “…that we’re witnessing a generational shift” in the way we consumer content and that “…his company is not opposed to theatrical releases for films, but says they are becoming less important for audiences culturally” hoping to move to films being premiered on their streaming service rather than the big screen. We are already seeing this happen with Ricky Gervais film Special Correspondents—a comedy starring Eric Bana about a fake war correspondent making its debut on Netflix this year.
Media resourse ‘Cinema Blend’ classing themselves ‘the go-to source for todays plugged-in generation’ bottles down the cinema dilema to four key reasons; it’s too expensive, the movie selection is poor, streaming services and that there is better quality television (Cowden 2015). When looking at all of these reasons you see one common trend… they could all be solved by Netflix.
So what side of the fight are you on? Have you had a amazing cinema experience lately? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
Cowden, C 2015, 4 Big Reasons Why People Aren’t Going to the Movies Anymore, Cinemablend, weblog post, unknown, viewed 27 August 2016, <http://www.cinemablend.com/new/4-Big-Reasons-People-Aren-t-Going-Movies-Anymore-68955.html?story_page=2>.
Di Rosso J, 2015, A new golden age: how cinemas are surviving in the age of Netflix, ABC Radio National, weblog post, 9 April, viewed 27 August 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/finalcut/are-cinemas-dying/6377650>.
Lee J, 2015, Cimena is dying: how movie theatres can ensure their survival, make use of, weblog post, 16 April, viewed 27 August 2016, <http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/cinema-dying-movie-theaters-ensure-survival/>.