Who can say that they’ve been taken to the cinema as one of their first dates?
The cinema is not only a traditional location to catch the latest award winning film, or a place to hang out for a movie marathon. The cinema is a traditional location for relaxation, blooming first love and of course the place to stuff your face with buttery goodness.
It is said that the movie theatre, similar to cable television is gradually dying as a result of the infamous World Wide Web. “Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos says that we’re witnessing a generational shift“. Attitudes are changing as cinema ticket prices are climbing, ‘laziness’ is increasing and the thrill of adventuring to the movies is dying, why pay up to $40 for a ticket, popcorn and drink when we can google a torrent for the desired movie and wait for it to be instantly downloaded? No charge, no rules and the comfort of your own home right?
Well, according to Torsten Hagerstrand and his theory of individual time geography, he devised three main constraints that hinder individual daily activity: capability constraints, coupling constraints and authority constraints. Together these three categories reflects how “human spatial activity is often governed by limitations and not by independent decisions by spatially or temporally autonomous individuals“.
Reflecting on my own recent cinema experiences, I have discovered that my two greatest limitations are: capability constraints and coupling constraints.
The most recent cinema experience was courtesy of my boyfriend, who surprised me with tickets to Suicide Squad to kick off my birthday celebrations. Over the past 3.5-years we have developed a routine when going to the movies. When picking the movie it is vital that we pre-book tickets no earlier than 7.30pm and ensure we have two middle seats towards the back of the cinema, as well as ensuring that no one has chosen to be next to us (unless it is a sold out movie). Upon arrival he will buy a large popcorn and coke, and I will have a small coke and packet of star burst.
To begin the night our first constraint was a coupling constraint. He booked the tickets online, however failed to notice that he had not selected the correct day. Although luckily the staff at Event Cinemas were understanding of the situation and changed our tickets, free of hassle. Shortly after we encountered a capability constraint, prior to the movie we decided to indulge in our dinner and continued to indulge in popcorn and sweets. As the movie was drawing to a close I began to hear someone snore, he had fallen asleep.
While this movie trip does not high lightly the full effect of Hagerstrand’s constraints, it can prove that these constraints appear naturally.
Time, place and cost are the three biggest issues an average person consider when attending the cinema. With the increased reliance on internet and technology, many ar
e preferring to stream or download movies rather than actually go. Having instant and free access eliminates Hagerstrand’s constraints, and the ever growing web will prove to beat the purpose of a cinema.
Although how can we abolish the old and replace it with the new, when there are so many individuals in society that value tradition? It is evident that through the introduction of the Gold Class experience, VMAX, 3D and 4D experiences cinemas are already trying to enhance our viewing.
So yes cinema is losing to online streaming, but for those who love their traditional cinema routines will find that it will be the environment to change not the practice.