I have to begin with saying that watching a movie in a cinema is far better experience than watching one at home. It will win over it million times no matter how much we deny it, there is something about being in there with full darkness dynamic and enjoying a film with your partner in crime (I mean life partner, family or friends) and with a group of strangers in the cinema hall, due to this we are presented with magical experience that is why it takes us few minutes to bring ourselves back to reality once we are out of the hall.
Nowadays, anything which brings anyone a sense of enjoyment or happiness of any sort comes with a huge price tag. So before I decide to go for watching a movie, there are always few things that I take into consideration before I can go. Luckily I am a student, so there’s student discount, however watching a movie every other day becomes costly. It isn’t a wow feeling, it takes time for planning if it’s one of my priority or not.
If we are comparing the frequency in which 18-24 age of people are visiting cinema, then according to the Theatrical Market Statistics (2016), it has steadily declined from 2012-2016. I have also realised that there’s increase to the ticket prices in the past few years, price also depends on which cinema you choose to go and if there’s any special discount such as student discount, and what time the movie is going to start. I want to say that my cinema trips have come to a less affordable situation and more of a “you deserve this because you have accomplished something” kind of deal.
There are significant factors that are challenging the success of cinema industry, especially if the operators of cinema are able to encourage more audiences. One of the factor that is affecting is how the technology has been improving day by day and it’s been a gift to naughty people where there’s increase in online steaming and they are able to illegally download movies. We don’t really have to leave our homes anymore to watch the latest films (Di Rosso, 2015).
This week we read a reading written by Torsten Hagerstrand, a Swedish geographer and urban planner. We can apply his conceptual framework to understand more as to why cinema attendance has been declining.
In 1960s, he analyzed with the framework of time geography that there’s individual movement in both time and space. Hagerstrand argued that time and distance define the ways in which we interact with each other and the people of the world, not that we lead unrestricted lives. He also identified 3 main constraints that limit us in our activities everyday: Capability, Coupling and Authority.
Capability constraint: Limitation because of Biological/Physical factors/
Coupling constraint: Allocation of time because of coordinating around something or someone.
Authority constraint: Limiting on what is allowed and isn’t allowed in a place, decided by external factors.
These socio-temporal constraints can be applied on my recent cinema trip.
Money not being a constraint is a rare thing. I was just paid as it’s the end of the month, I had some money that I could spoil myself with, so on 26th May 2018 I decided to go to see the sequel of Deadpool, called Deadpool 2 directed by David Leitch. There’s a typical authority constraint of movie ratings, it’s rated R for graphic violence, graphic language, graphic nudity, graphic sexual references and graphic sex and taking little kids who wants to see this R-rated marvel movie wouldn’t have been a nice thing.
I needed to figure out how, when and where I was going to watch the movie. I met both coupling and capability constraints, when I had to make my way from my home (Tai Wai) to the cinema in Whompoa without a car. I had a little adventure to walk a bit and take a train to get there. I had to be aware of time, but I was still excited.
I encountered a coupling constraint in having to leave my home with 30 mins to spare, so that I could have lunch at the same mall over there. Arriving early, I tapped on with my Octopus card and it made my trip easy, the authority constraint was my least concern.
My main worry was another coupling constraint, that was my friend changed her mind to not bring the car, as her mum needed it. I had to let my friend know what time I would come under my home at Lung Hang Estate, so that she could pick me up and we could go by her car. I was relying on her to get me under my home so we could go to the movie together. Later we had to go on a train to Whompoa.
When we arrive we bought our tickets, an authority constraint needed to be able to actually watch the film. Having a cinema to ourselves, the usual informal authority constraints such as no talking, turning off your mobile or stretching your feet up became a less of a concern and more a factor of having a mutual respect for one anothe
With Torsten Hagerstand’s constraints and my trip to the movie in mind, have made me so much aware of the things that make me reconsider and the factors that makes me form decision. If I had my own car, it would have saved so much time and made my journey smoother with fewer steps to take to reach the cinema. But if I had a car, I would have missed out all the adventure that I had on that day because I would have left home, gone straight to the cinema and met my friends there.
So in a way when I reflect back on my trip, I am glad that I didn’t have a car.
Khan Sultana Nazish
Theatrical Market Statistics (2016). Theatrical Market Statistics 2016. [online] Mpaa.org. Available at: https://www.mpaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MPAA-Theatrical-Market-Statistics-2016_Final-1.pdf
Shaw, S. (2010). Time Geography: Its Past, Present, and Future. [online] Available at: https://web.utk.edu/~sshaw/Personal%20Homepage/AAG2010-Shaw-Time%20Geography%20Presentation.pdf