The cinema is one of the most popular pastimes around the world with millions of people visiting their local screenings each week in search of something to entertain, astound, make them cry with laughter, scare them senseless or to complete the perfect date night.
It’s a great activity that the whole family can get involved in with parents regularly opting for a couple of hours of silence watching animated characters rather than putting up with the screaming and mess that are associated with parenthood. At the same time, it proves to be the perfect opportunity to indulge in a ‘guilty pleasure’, where nobody can see that despite your ‘hard man’ persona, you do in fact like to partake in the odd romcom here and there, (of course, if you are spotted it was all your wife or girlfriend’s idea… yeah right)
It isn’t all about going along for something to do other than sitting around in front of the television or to make a change from restaurants or bars. The cinema can be a highly entertaining way to unwind, giving you the opportunity to slip away from reality for an hour or so and immerse yourself in the proceedings playing out in front of you. While many go along with the intention of seeing something specific, many arrive at the cinema and opt to watch something completely at random in order to get away from their comfort zone and see something they might not normally watch, whether it’s a romcom, sci-fi thriller or the latest installment of a book to film adaptation.
The developments in technology have completely changed how we watch films, with the traditional 2D options still providing plenty of entertainment for the viewing public; while the increasingly available 3D movies are letting cinema lovers feel as though they’re right in the middle of the action. It can be almost as fun to sit and watch the people you’re with looking like jumping out of their seats every time something explodes right in front of their 3D lens-covered eyes as it is to actually watch the film!
Over the years, the cinema has gone through a transformation from your typical way of spending an evening – buying your tickets, spending a crazy amount of money on a huge bucket of popcorn and a seemingly bottomless fizzy drink that will have you taking half-hourly toilet breaks, and then waiting for what seems like an age while the trailers for up and coming films delay the start of the film you actually want to see. Now, people are able to release their inner cinema geek and take advantage of what the Internet and technology in general have to offer.
I’ve already covered the ways that 3D movies have transformed the viewing experience, making the whole film seem much more realistic, (even though the chances of an alien being shot in the apocalyptic streets in front of us remains pretty unlikely); but online streaming has now made film viewing much more accessible and opened doors to the kind of movies we might otherwise have never laid our eyes on.
Super-fast Internet connections coupled with high quality laptops, computers and television connections now mean that we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want. You can be on the train back from a weekend away or from a business meeting and partake in a movie you’ve been dying to watch for ages, or you could watch Bollywood movies from your home in the UK that wouldn’t have made it to the big screen in your cinema because they don’t show the more niche films, instead preferring to show films you’ve never heard of.
There is also the tag given to regular movie watchers of being a bit of a geek. Whether you spend hours watching science fiction franchises such as Star Wars or you’re more of a Star Trek fan, it doesn’t matter, you’re instantly labelled as someone you would expect to see alongside Sheldon, Leonard and co in The Big Bang Theory than in a cool bar on a Friday night. There’s no reason for this, however. It’s not as though the same kind of tag is given to people who watch nothing but action thrillers or the Harry Potter series. You only have to see how popular the James Bond films have been over the years to appreciate that there is nothing negatively ‘geeky’ about enjoying a good movie.
In fact, a lot of the modern films have been inspired by movies of ‘the past’, and while being a Bond fan with all of his amazing gadgets, supercars and beautiful women might make someone seem like a bit of a geek, it’s no different to being obsessed with football or a particular popstar is it?
The geeky side of cinema is not a bad thing – it’s an amazing thing! Without people working on CGI and 3D movies, we would still be in the relative dark ages of the 1990s (heaven forbid!) The way that cinema has evolved thanks to these ‘geeky’ inventions and developments has changed it for the good forever and now you have people all around the world going so often that the likes of Hollywood and Bollywood are struggling to keep up with the demand. Without the cinema, we would still be stuck at home watching soaps or having to talk to each other – and nobody wants that!