Why am I not at the movies?

Well that was a busy couple of weekends. Unfortunately I was unable to go to the cinema recently. (Partly why this blog is being finished so late).

But firstly, going to the cinemas is one of my least favourite activities. From the pricey ticket and concession prices to the sometimes 30 minute previews, and the fact that I can’t sit still for 2 hours, going to the cinema gives me no joy at all. But I am sometimes willing to go, depending on the occasion and the movie that’s planned to see.

I have to work over the weekend, and that coupled with a 21st birthday party in Newcastle and numerous assignments means I haven’t had a good opportunity to see a movie at the cinema. My excuse links with the theory of Swedish geography, Torsten Hägerstrand who describes three classes of constraints;

  • Capability constraints – The physical limitations to a certain location, including biological and physical barriers (can I physically get to the cinema?)
  • Coupling restraints – The presence of other people and physical objects required to undertake a particular activity (the notion of not going to the cinema alone)
  • Authority restraints – Whether or not the activity can be completed outside of your control (does the cinema have appropriate session times)

There were numerous reasons why I haven’t attended the cinemas recently, which primarily fit in the first two categories. Most of the reasons fit under the capability constraints heading, as, for example, I was at party in Newcastle, working at a restaurant, completing university work, and undertaking other commitments. My excuse was that I didn’t have the free time to spend a couple of hours seeing a movie.

With most of my friends working full time, and my girlfriend having the same commitments as I previously listed, there simply wasn’t enough time to see a movie with them. These are examples of coupling restraints as the notion of going to the cinema alone is obscure. (Although I have heard of people doing this with success, so maybe I should give it a go).

Now what will happen to cinema attendance over the next decade? That is a tough question, but at this rate I think attendance will definitely drop. I think that cinemas will have to change drastically in order to compete with ‘new’ ways to watch movies such as Netflix. Being a lot cheaper and the ability to watch in the comfort of your own home shows Netflix like companies to be the way of the future when it comes to watching movies.

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