A couple of months ago I discovered that the Gold Class voucher I had been gifted was close to expiry. I really did not want it going to waste so I decided to watch the unthinkable… The Conjuring 2.
I booked it online before letting my partner know what I had got ourselves in to. I knew that he wouldn’t be impressed. But, in my typical poor uni student fashion, if something was free, I am not letting it go to waste. Picking a time that I knew we would both be free was slightly difficult. Capability constraints often prevent us from going to the movies as we normally don’t have time… nor the money to bust $32 on a ticket. My situation is a prime example for Torsten Hagerstrand’s notion that there are a certain set of limitations preventing people from going to the cinemas. Capability and coupling constraints to be exact.
I broke the news to Jake and it took a lot of convincing and reassurance that the movie would not be that scary (I knew I was straight up lying to him). As we turned up to the cinema we felt a sense of superiority walking through the ‘Gold Class Gates’ (AKA a separate pathway to the cinemas rather than the usual. We felt rich and powerful. And so you should when you’re paying (well in this case, someone else) a significantly higher amount per ticket than every one else. Our philosophy upon arrival: If you’re going to go Gold Class, go full out or go home.
We hit up that bar and ordered the goods! Sliders, nachos, three types of chips, alcoholic beverages and sweets. We soon realised that the $82 voucher really didn’t stretch that far. In fact, it was only enough to purchase two tickets. Wow.
Moments later, there we were, adjusting our reclining seats and reminiscing on the last few nights of peaceful sleep, full knowing that there weren’t going to be many ahead of us after watching this. The lights were dimmed, our food and drinks were served and the movie commenced. Our food was served really early on, which I was not expecting. I was also expecting a lot more from a $29 dollar assortment of hot chips too. But hey, being here for the experience, if you’re going to go Gold Class, go full out or go home. That is the only thing making me feel better about the disappointing food at a price you’ll need a mortgage for.
In regards to the film itself, it was good! My immunity to scary movies must have kicked in and I did not find it as scary as it was hyped up to be. Although not everyone could agree with this. Nothing like seeing fear in the eyes of a 20 year old man next to you. What a golden moment. If you’re going to watch a scary movie, just do it in Gold Class, where you can crap your pants in luxury.
To be honest, aside from the film, Gold Class at Event Cinemas Macarthur Square was an underwhelming experience. We were pretty much ushered out almost immediately after the movie, assumedly so other customers could just get in and out ASAP. Pretty let down about that if I’m honest! We would have enjoyed lapping it up at the lounges afterwards but it seems that the workers prioritised authoritative constraints.
Reflecting on this experience just made me realise why I no longer go to the cinemas often anymore. Hagerstrand’s three constraints correlate with my reasoning’s behind this as I mentioned throughout this post. According to the Business Insider Australia,
“Roughly 1.26 billion consumers purchased cinema tickets between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. That’s the lowest number since 1.21 billion in 1995 and not that far ahead of 1994 (1.24 billion). The last time admissions fell below the 1.3 billion mark was in 2011, when only 1.28 billion people when to the movies”.
That is a staggering figure. But no wonder why – with streaming services making it much more easier, time and cost effective to view films at the comfort of home, rather than costing a fortune at a cinema and being pushed around, these figures make sense. With streaming being a convenient option and financially friendly, as well as underperforming films at the box office, I do inevitably see a plummet in movie attendance.
Corbett, J 2001, Torsten Hӓgerstrand, Time Geography, CSISS Classics, viewed 24 August 2016, < https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/690394/mod_resource/content/2/Hagerstrands%20time%20geography%20%28Corbett%29.pdf > .
Kouzof, O 2016, Theatre, image, viewed 27 August 2016, < http://www.raindance.org/from-theatre-to-film-harder-that-it-sounds/ >
Tweedie, S 2015, Theatre Attendance Plummets To The Lowest It’s Been In 19 Years, Business Insider Australia, viewed 24 August 2016, < http://www.businessinsider.com.au/theater-attendance-down-to-19-year-low-2015-1 > .