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Topic: The Death Of The Cinema?

My lifelong love affair with the cinema began, my parents told me, in 1961, when aged 5, I was taken to see Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. I remember nothing of that experience, but we went every Friday night to the cinema and I do remember, vaguely, seeing Dr. No in 1962. Throughout the 60’s, Friday nights couldn’t come quick enough and those weekly trips hold fond memories, the Bond movies of course, Fu Manchu and all those 60’s spy rip-offs, Planet Of The Apes, Where Eagles Dare and scores more. In those days, two movies were shown in one performance, and a short movie labelled Look At Life or Pathe News, depending on the cinema, was shown during the intermission, where we would queue up for a rock hard vanilla ice cream in a tub or a Kia-Ora orange drink from the usherette. I collected the movie posters and stuck some of them on my bedroom walls. I took my first girlfriend to see Half A Sixpence on a Saturday afternoon matinee.

Into the next decade and those lovely cinemas with the stalls (downstairs) and circle (upstairs) were converted into twin cinemas, enabling more films to be shown and for the popular ones to have extended runs. By the mid70’s I had left home and had my own flat but Friday night at the cinema was usually on the agenda, going with some mates or the current girlfriend. Roger Moore was the new Bond, and I liked the exploitation films of that era like Race With The Devil and also the “disaster” films and Clint Eastwood. I also went to a couple of all-night showings where 5 horror movies were shown although I dozed off several times during the night.

During the 80’s and 90’s I chose my films more selectively rather than just seeing anything but was still a big fan of the cinema even though I saw a lot of movies on VHS from the local video store.

By the new century cinemas were now multiplexes with some only holding a small number of people. My attendance to the cinema became less and less as the films on offer became less attractive to me, I suppose only a dozen or so films a year would make me want to pay an entrance fee. Some of this reluctance would be to escape from the constant chatter and munching of the patrons who didn’t seem that interested in the movie in the first place. Also, cinemas were no longer pitch black during the screenings which affected the enjoyment for me.

The last film I took my dad to was Casino Royale in 2006, it was only after a few years had gone by that I realised that the first movie I could remember was Dr.No and the last movie I saw with my dad was Casino Royale, it was kind of warming to think that Bond had connected us during the years.

When I moved to the Philippines in 2013, after I took early retirement, I have continued to see a few films in the cinema but to be honest very little is of interest to me now, I am tired of superhero movies and the constant woke lecturing of the acting community have put me off most other movies. And with COVID making cinema going a very uncomfortable experience I feel the cinema is dead.

Will I see NTTD in the cinema? The only reason would be to keep my record of seeing every Bond movie in the cinema upon release. It’s been delayed for so long, and the length between Bond releases are huge anyway, I really don’t care if I see it at all at the moment. Before the COVID situation I had begun to build a home cinema in the upstairs living room, when things are back to normal I will complete it. I think my future movie watching will be at home.

I feel the popularity of on-demand screenings on TV will make the cinema unviable and I foresee the cinema being dead before the end of the 20’s.

My love affair with the cinema is, I think, over, with the only possibility of me seeing future Bond’s. But like all love affairs the memories will last forever.

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

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Re: The Death Of The Cinema?

Very true CHB, I too come from the generation that I'd go to the cinema every week, but
with Covid and the brilliant streaming services. Not to mention the amount of big stars
who now are happy to do a box set series. As they know how successful they can be.
   We've also seen how home tech has improved, with fantastic surround sound systems,
massive television screen size and of course 4 and even 8k quality.
   I don't think Cinema will totally die out, but there will be far, far fewer of them. I too
hope to see NTTD in the cinema, but have no problem with it being released on a streaming
site. As like many I have a big screen 4k, HDR telly with a great sound bar etc.

"I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."

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Re: The Death Of The Cinema?

While I still love cinema, I share many of your sentiments.

Streaming services etc, do not provide a defined experience. Will I be asking pals around to mine to watch a recent Netflix release? I doubt it. If a movie is bad or not to my taste, will I watch it to a conclusion and have my opinion confirmed or altered? Possibly not. A night out with my partner, becomes a night in like any other and with all the distractions. Will I lose the joy of a huge picture filling my vision and carrying me to other places - the opening shots of Star Wars, the sinking Titanic, the deserts if Lawrence of Arabia - yes, probably...

Unfortunately, I think current times are effecting us socially in ways we haven't even foreseen. Cinemas closing (as well as pubs, restaurants, clubs, etc) and the publics ability to choose a 'safe' environment of entertainment is a reflection of these times and we may never get it back even if the collective will exists.

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Re: The Death Of The Cinema?

Sadly, most of my cinema-going experiences over the past few years were average at best. It doesn't help that all that I had access to in my area were the large, 20 screen cineplexes which, quite frankly, were a far cry from the more intimate and older screens. They had all the appeal of a gaudy shopping mall and were more concerned with making money on concessions.

The audiences were usually more interested in playing with their cellphones, loudly munching down popcorn, noisily sipping their soda, carrying conversations and generally doing anything other than actually watching the movie being projected on the screen. When you have a room that is designed to hold over 100 people chances are good there will be a few bad apples in the bunch and that's all it takes to ruin the experience.

So for me, watching movies at home has long been preferable. I've put the money in to getting a good TV of adequate size, a decent sound system and more recently high-speed internet functionality for streaming (though I prefer to watch my movies on BluRay whenever possible). When I turn down the lights, lose the edges of the screen and sit close enough that most of my peripheral view is covered, I'm as happy as a clam. And I don't have to worry about some stranger sneezing on me ... or worse.

Last edited by TonyDP (1st Jan 2021 18:21)