I’ve been to the movies quite a number of times during my lifetime. The first movie I actually remember watching was the Incredibles that came out in 2004. I remember going to this movie because my pop had taken me, and we had a great laugh at the animations that played before the actual movie (seriously they were so good). When I was that age, the movies were seen as a big event, and it usually didn’t happen very often because as I know now they are quite expensive.
Fast-forward to today, going to the movies is still seen as a thing people do to socialise (which is actually pretty funny considering you don’t actually talk during the movie and all attention is put to the screen) and it’s quite acceptable to go and see a movie with your friend and family.
However due to the nature of streaming and illegal downloading its become quite simple to download the newly released movie and watch it in the privacy and comfort of your own home. So really, who would pay $30+ for you and a friend to go see a movie when you could just as easily watch it for free?
I recently went to a late night movie session with my dad to see suicide squad. Let me tell you it was an experience. I don’t usually have bad experiences with going to the movies only because I choose later times where there would be fewer people attending (and no children!). However, sometimes you get that one person who can’t help but talk through the whole movie and sing along to the songs – and that’s exactly what happened. Mind you, this person was on a date, and it seemed as if he was trying to impress the poor girl he was with. Trust me, dude, you didn’t impress her – or anyone in that cinema. The problem with going out to the movies is that it can sometimes be a complete luck of the draw. Sometimes you won’t have anyone who thinks that it’s okay to talk or be on their phone during a movie and other times you do. Why would you leave it up to luck when you could watch the same thing at home – where the only annoying person you have to worry about is your parents or sibling (which you’re allowed to yell at to be quiet).
As well as this there are also other constraints that are put on people who attend the movies. Hagerstrand identifies at least three of these, which are still relevant in today’s day and age.
The first one is ‘Capability Constraints’ which is the limitation of human movement during these films. An example of this would include the inability for people to got to the bathroom when they need to during a movie because it can’t be paused or stopped.
The second is ‘Coupling Constraints’ which are restrictions during the allocated time needed to coordinate the interactions with other individuals. An example of this would be the time that the movie would need to be watched. When using my example of going to see suicide squad with my dad, we had to pick a time that would be suitable – E.g. When dads finished work and we have also had dinner – which limits us to the later screenings.
The third would be ‘Authority Constraints’ which include limitations on what activities can or cannot take place, or where they must or must not be located or imposed by external parties. An example of this would be the constraints that are put into place during the movie, like to talking and distracting others which the movie is playing. Other limitations would include the age limit put on the movie – The movie suicide squad had a rating of PG-13 which would restrict me from inviting my sister who is nine or anyone under the age bracket.
The limitations Hagerstrand identified could be the main reasons why people are deciding that going to the cinema isn’t what they want to do. Again, why would you want to go to the movies when you can watch it in the comfort of your own home?
- Witheridge, G. (2015) Hagerstrand not the irrational man: An analysis of why tumbleweeds have replaced jaffas rolling down cinema aisles. Available at: https://givernywitheridge.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/hagerstrand-not-the-irrational-man-an-analysis-of-why-tumbleweeds-have-replaced-jaffas-rolling-down-cinema-aisles/ (Accessed: 21st August 2016).