Exclusivity in Cinema

I like to complain – you know that. There are a lot of things to complain about in the world: poverty, discrimination, the fact that both geography and my bank balance prevent me from watching Hamilton live in the Richard Rodgers Theatre… In a world of minor inconveniences and major injustices the cinema is a refuge, a place to escape reality.

For the longest time cinema has been the widely preferred alternative to the theatre. As much as I love to see live performances, the theatre is expensive and often poses a barrier in the form of location for many people. I may have never seen Hairspray or Grease performed on stage but thanks to cinema, I have been able to experience those stories.

Image result for hairspray movie


However, when I began university last year I moved 200 miles away from my home to a much smaller town and I discovered that a lot of the films that I wanted to watch simply did not show here.

In the last year I distinctly remember my excitement at the lead-up to the releases of The Edge of Seventeen and Everybody Wants Some!! only to find that they would not be shown in this town. It was then that I started to realise that cinema isn’t as accessible to everybody as I had once believed it to be.

No matter how wrong it is, there is a stereotype that exists in which the sort of people that go to the theatre are typically wealthy, middle-class liberals. Similarly, when you hear that somebody loves independent cinema, an idea of who that person is forms in your mind. Cinemas aren’t going to pay to screen a movie if they don’t think that they’ll make money back from it and so, smaller niche films are reserved for bigger cities and specific types of cinemas.

Image result for snowden movie

The little town where I live for the majority of the year is a great place, full of students from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of interests but that variety isn’t reflected in the cinema listings. Of course, I can watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or Moana but if I want to watch Snowden or The Birth of a Nation I have to travel for two hours.

I understand that the film industry is an industry: there are big businesses involved and ultimately they’re trying to make a profit but it doesn’t seem right.

Do you think that films should be more widely distributed? Or that there’s no need to do so? Let me know in the comments.


Is The Price Of Cinema Tickets Fair?

As any regular cinema-goer will be able to tell you, the price of cinema tickets seems to be constantly rising. From 2006 to 2015, the average price of a UK cinema ticket rose from £4.87 to £7.17 (with that average including children’s tickets and special offers which results in a lowered price).

Clearly in the last decade there has been significant development in the technology used in the film industry and films like Avengers: Age of Ultron would not have been possible without huge budgets. The more expensive it is to make films, the more expensive it is going to be to watch them but when is enough, enough?

Ticket Prices
Source: The Independent

The cinema was once considered to be the cheapest form of entertainment but we now live in age where invites to watch a movie are rejected because it simply is not affordable. People keep saying that we are now living in the golden age of television but maybe it just feels that way because nobody can afford to go to the cinema.

Studios, and indeed films, have always competed against each other for views and to make more money at the box office but the situation has never been as acute as it is now. Sure, the studios aren’t launching hate campaigns against each other (yet) but should they dare schedule movie releases for the same week, magazines begin betting on which will come out on top and which will flop.

The sad thing is, that’s exactly what happens. I remember when I was younger I could go to the cinema with my mum and we’d see two films in a row but now I have to gripe about whether I can afford to watch just one. With a student discount.

As somebody who reviews films just because they love it, doing that is becoming a lot harder. Summer is blockbuster season and in July alone there are nearly ten separate films that I am incredibly excited about but I’ll be lucky if I get to see three.

Out of respect for all of the people that spend months at a time working on a film I refuse to pirate them when they’re in the cinema, but I can understand why other people would want to. The largest reason that people I know stream new films online is that they can’t afford to go to the cinema. Of course it’s sometimes laziness or plain old cheapness but largely, it’s the price.

So, is the price of cinema tickets fair? If we take an adult ticket at £10 and assume a 2 hour film, you’re paying £5 for every hour of entertainment. That’s definitely more expensive than a lot of other forms of entertainment – it’s the combined monthly price of my Netflix and Amazon Prime Video subscriptions but I still go.

When you go to the cinema, you’re not just paying for the film: you pay for the experience. The trailers, the calm dark room, the air-conditioning, the atmosphere.

I don’t think that the prices are fair but I’m not going to stop paying them. Let’s just hope that they stop rising.

What do you think of cinema prices? Do you prefer to watch films at home or do you like the cinema experience? Let me know in the comments.