Let’s All Go To The Cinema

This week I was tasked to going to the movies. I know, right? How easy. Well… Not really. For some people going to the cinema has its rituals and depending on how you like watching movies, cinemas might not be your cup of tea. Personally, I’m generally cynical towards going to the cinema for reasons I’ll go into later, this time I was pleasantly surprised.

The Three Constraints

Torsten Hagerstrand is a pioneer in human behavior in temporal and spatial terms. He proposed three constraints that affect human behavior, capability, coupling and authority. Capability refers to the limitations on physical movement, coupling refers to  the relation between space and time. Being somewhere at the right time. Authority refers to the limitations of being allowed in a space. these three in conjunction  can be used to analyze how people go to cinemas and why we may be reluctant to go.

A few days ago I went to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” with my partner. We went online to decide a time to see the movie, fearing that we may not be able to see it at all if it didn’t coincide with our time off but we were lucky. This was the first example of a capability constraint I noticed. Personal timetables can be a serious limitation on whether people go to the cinema or not. In order to get there we had to catch a bus into town, fortunately there’s one every twenty minutes between where  was going and home. This was the first coupling limitation we faced, catching the right bus to be there at the right time. When we got to the cinema we purchased our tickets (I forgot I was a student and subsequently spent more than I should have on full price adult tickets), once the tickets were bought and paid for we were ushered into the cinema and were given the freedom to sit wherever we wanted, at this point I was thinking about how lucky we were to be given free choice of the seats, especially as there was no one else in the cinema at the time. The ticket and where we could sit serve as a neat example of authority limitations. We where allowed in the cinema because we had tickets and we could sit anywhere because no one told us we couldn’t.

No One Goes To The Cinema Now Anyway

statistics show that, while cinema attendance is in decline, its only a minimal amount. Going to the cinema to watch a movie is still a very popular past time in Families and young adults. Even though advancements in technology have brought about home movie systems and the ease of downloading films encourages binging sessions, I believe that going to the cinema will maintain popularity of the experience. In the same way that we may like to play our favourite song on nice speakers out loud some people like to experience films in the overwhelming atmosphere that a good cinema can bring. It’s no longer about the movie itself it’s now more about all the smaller things a cinema brings.



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