Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Is the Magic Really Gone?

Yesterday, as part of my boyfriend's birthday celebrations, me and a few of my friends all went to the cinema. We were especially excited because we went for the new DBOX seats for a second viewing of "The Hobbit".

These are seats that move with the film, like a simulator at a theme park. 

Awesome, I know.

The film was great, and the seats didn't even make me want to hurl like rollercoasters so often do. What really bothered me though, was the company of the public sitting around me.

Here I was, sitting with my bottle of Dr. Pepper and bag of Werther's Originals (if I buy chewy sweets or chocolate, they don't last through the trailers), hunkering down to enjoy Bilbo's adventures when the couple behind me starting having a conversation. A loud conversation. As if they were standing in the middle of Buchanan Street.

So I went with it for a little while because, you know, it was the very beginning of the movie and sometimes it takes a while to get into the swing of the cinema.

But then it carried on. And on. And on.

In the parts of the film where there's thoughtful silences or long panning shots of New Zealand's lovely landscape, they sat laughing and sniggering to themselves. When something remotely cool happened that could never occur in real life, the man would be all "What the $*%&! was that!".

Dead gangster.

I tried to follow the unspoken cinema-goers etiquette. You ignore it for a little while. Then you get mad. Then you tell the person you're sitting next to that you're really mad. Then you give the absolute turd sitting behind you a dirty look over your shoulder.

It was after this dirty look that I saw how much bigger than me the man actually was, so my reign of fury ended there.

To make things even worse than all that, a woman sitting down in front of us, who had also paid the extra bit of money for the DBOX seats WAS SITTING ON HER PHONE FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE MOVIE!


It took a great deal to contain my rage at that one. Sorry but I don't want to be kept up to date on your Facebook status or Twitter followers when I have paid good money to come and see a movie! 

So it got me thinking. What happened to the thrill of cinema? Going to the cinema for me was always a treat, as we lived in quite a rural area and couldn't get there all the time. It involved an hour drive, so getting to see a movie was a big deal for me. I don't know if people living in cities felt the same awe at the big screen, but for the sake of my argument, let's say that they did.

You go to the cinema for the magic of the cinema. There's something exciting about having your popcorn on your lap, your fizzy drink in the cup holder in your chair and the lights going down around you so you can watch the trailers, which only get you excited for coming to the cinema again.

But now that I'm older, I'm getting the feeling that most people have just stopped caring about the cinema experience. Maybe tickets are cheaper now than they used to be, so going to the cinema isn't so much of a day out anymore? Or maybe because so many movies are coming out every week, a new movie is no big deal because the next blockbuster hit is out tomorrow?

No matter what the general consensus is, I still love cinema. Maybe if everyone reading this would join me in a NO TOLERANCE policy on movie-wreckers, we might save the magic?

I do believe in cinema, I do, I do!