With that petty/uninspired remark out of the way, I thought I would talk about my ‘failed’ cinema experience. To describe this unmitigated tragedy in perhaps a more sensible fashion, I’ll apply Torsten Hägerstrand’s three key constraints on our daily activities to frame and illustrate both the plight experienced by cinema owners and my moving going experience as a patron.
Having put my hand up look-up movie times and conduct a poll on Twitter with the choice, one clear winner emerged:
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t particularly like these kinds of movies. The spelling of ‘Moms’ soured me from the get go. Perhaps there is already an argument for the realization of Hägerstrand’s first constraint: This trailer exceeded my biological or physical limits and I would simply be unable to overcome my repulsion. That might be laying it on a bit thick, but you get the idea. Hägerstrand identified, and we can relate to, the inability to participate in something due to ‘factors such as the need to sleep or to eat’, or the necessity of monetary funds or resources. In the case of my class mates who failed to attend, this was a common
As a cinema, there are numerous ways that the restraints on capability for patrons can be a problem. There are, however, some solutions. In order to facilitate people with physical debilitation, many cinemas account for ‘reasonable adjustments‘. This might mean the inclusion of ramp access, allowing carers to be present, and construction of lifts to multi-level complexes. At others, such as the Event Cinema chain, visually impaired individuals are accommodated for with earpieces and headsets that have an additional spoken commentary. Despite having never seen them myself, probably as I’ve never attended with someone needing the device, Event has solutions for the hearing impaired in the form of a ‘personal device, with a high contrast display and privacy screen’ in addition to the infrared and closed loop technologies. These ensure that patrons falling within Hägerstrand’s ‘capability’ clause are accounted for.
Others fell into the category of Hägerstrand’s second constraint; ‘coupling’.
These individuals have a fundamental conflict with the dimension of time. Either through a misinterpretation of it, or scheduling conflicts realized too late. Thankfully, cinemas are able to avoid the second of Hägerstrand’s concerns with multiple screenings, spread across different days and times (matinee, baby friendly sessions) often for weeks if the content is popular enough. Furthermore, there’s a definite cultural understanding that you don’t have to be at the cinema at the allotted time; the box office in the foyer will be glad to sell you tickets even after the scheduled time has passed.This might be fortuitous if you wish to avoid the advertisements (such as the above), which is an aspect of many people’s movie going habits.
The third Hägerstrand-hassle, would be the authoritative constriction. This can take many forms for the average movie goer. The age certificate the film carriers, for example, prohibits audiences under a certain age from viewing the content. By my own sensibilities I wish that film had been R19+ so as to assure my non-attendance. Online, the savvy teenager can ogle at whatever French art-house shower scene they want, albeit illegally, but there’s no practical way of enforcing this.
That reminds me; cinemas must also make concessions to satisfy the majority of attendees. Most groups, especially the government, wouldn’t appreciate somebody leisurely smoking during the film. Others like to be able to check their phones, perhaps even live-tweet their experience like I did that fateful night. These are practices which many find unsavory but can be indulged in the comfort of their own homes. Do you have any too-annoying-for-cinemas habit? Leave a comment!
My cinema visit impeached upon Hägerstrand three constraints; my cars fuel and phones battery restricted me in a ‘capability’ capacity. My last-minute realization that the agreed time was that night posed a ‘coupling’ threat that clashed with my prior arrangements, and my desire to Tweet away my pain while viewing the film was scorned by my co-watcher in an authoritative capacity. It’s easy to understand dwindling cinema attendance with such constrictions, and my experience was pretty frustrating as a result.
Witheridge, G 2015, ‘HAGERSTRAND NOT THE IRRATIONAL MAN: AN ANALYSIS OF WHY TUMBLEWEEDS HAVE REPLACED JAFFAS ROLLING DOWN CINEMA AISLES’, Giverny Witheridge, 30th August 2015, viewed 24/8/16,
Hoste, J 2012, ‘Constraints’, Human Geography Knowledge Base, 10th October 2012, viewed 24/8/16, <http://geography.ruhosting.nl/geography/index.php?title=Constraints>
Groves, D 2015, ‘Cinemas raise prices while attendances shrink’, IF Intermedia, 28th July 2015, viewed 24/8/16, <http://if.com.au/2015/07/28/article/Cinemas-raise-prices-while-attendances-shrink/PKAYUTGTET.html>
UK Cinema Association 2010, ‘Disability and access’, UK Cinema Association, viewed 24/8/16, <http://www.cinemauk.org.uk/key-issues/disability-and-access/cea-card/>
Cinema Nova 2014, ‘FAQ’, Cinema Nova, viewed 24/8/16, <http://www.cinemanova.com.au/news.php>
Event Cinemas 2016, ‘Accessibility’, Event Cinemas, viewed 24/8/16, <https://www.eventcinemas.com.au/promotions/accessibility>
Village Cinemas, ‘Baby Friendly Sessions’, Village Cinams, viewed 24/8/16, <http://villagecinemas.com.au/offers/baby-friendly-sessions>