Cinema Spaces

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Heading to the cinema in contemporary society is fast becoming a past-time in need of promotion or a new idea to rekindle the audiences to ensure its survival. On Thursday 25th August I headed to the cinema for the second time in a week, and saw “War Dogs”  drama/ comedy based on a true story set in the early 2000s.

However the movie quality and content wasn’t the main focus this time, but more the physical parameters of the building, and the mechanics in organising this experience with a friend that is what I’m going to focus on. To gain a greater understanding of the implications that contribute to cinema attendance and perhaps trends in recent years we turn to Torsten Hagerstand’s three constraints for which I’d like to include my own experience to Warrawong Hoyts in relation to the scholarly meanings, these include:

Capability: ” limitations on human movement due to physical or biological factors. Thus, for example, a person cannot be in two places at one time. A person also cannot travel instantaneously from one location to another, which means that a certain trade off must be made between space and time.”(Hagerstrand 1970, Schonfelder and Azhausen 2010, p.38)

So we question, Can we get there?

Personally, I teamed up with a friend as we decided to carpool to the venue. This saved us taking two cars and using more fuel than was necessary. It was also a social factor as we had company on the way there, but more importantly to discuss what we thought of the film after it finished. This allowed me to attend the film comfortably.

Coupling:  “the need to be in one particular place for a given length of time, often in interaction with other people. This coincidence of space-time paths is described (in an electrician’s jargon) as “bundled” paths in a station’s tube. In other words, your space-time path must temporarily link up with those of certain other people to accomplish a particular task.”(Hagerstrand 1970, Schonfelder and Azhausen 2010, p.38)

Can I get there at the right time with those involved?

This was something that was planned in advanced by the ability to look up session times and plan when the best time for both of us was. By leaving the house by 8:40pm we were able to allow time for food purcahses before heading in, to buy the tickets at the kiosk and also the 15min (approx) travel time it took to get there.

Authority: ” an area that is controlled by certain people or institutions that set limits on its access to particular individuals or groups.” (Hagerstrand 1970, Schonfelder and Azhausen 2010, p.39)

Am I allowed there?

The only factor involved with this constraint was the parking in which we had to determine whether the spots allocated were available to the public and also had an acceptable time period so we could watch the film and leave in time. This was achieved but all went into the decision process and planning of watching a film at the particular space opposed to at home.

Once we arrived at the cinema, the idea of the ‘Non-Places’ crept into my thinking, in particular the kiosk and waiting area before the cinema. These places refre to

“spaces of transition, designed to be overlooked on the way into somewhere” (s, Maloney 2016)

This was something i subconsciously accepted and expect each time i come to the space, which was interesting to notice the actual layout this visit.

Going to the cinema has quirky habits it evokes onto me, including trying to sit as central as possible while estimating enough rows back that I can view the movie without straining my neck upwards, but not too far back that it seems a distant blur. I also avoid the movies if the movie showing has a risk I might not like it, or simply it’s not a sequel or spin off of a film I’m already familiar with. Thursday’s successful cinema organisation was the first time I’d sat down to a movie I had no prior knowledge about which was exciting. Overall the space offers a distraction free environment and on this occasion a quiet space (as there was only 4 other people occupying the crowd) that allowed me to practice my own preferences whilst watching a film.

Schonfelder, S & Axhausen KW 2010, ‘Time, Space and Travel Analysis: An Overview’, in S Schonfelder & KW Axhausen (eds), Urban Rhythms and Travel Behaviour: Spatial and Temporal Phenomena of Daily Travel, Ashgate Publishing Company, Surrey, p.29-48.


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