What I have noticed that each of the different cinema chains have a different style and focus. They each seem to be aiming for a specific part of the market. This helps with making the decision as to which cinema to go to for the desired experience.
I bet that my idea of a great cinema experience may be different to yours. But I bet that my idea of a great car, day out or meal is probably also different. And furthermore, I bet that the definition of all of those things will also depend on how you are feeling on any day, who you are with and why. In this modern 21st century world we are fortunate to have an enormous choice when it comes to many aspects of our lives and especially in the area of leisure.
If you ask me for my preferred choice of cinema visit, I would tell you that it is in an independent cinema that has history and character, probably an Everyman or Curzon or maybe The Picturehouse at Uckfield. Something that has atmosphere and history and is not just a black box. I want an ‘old world’ experience, although with the best possible picture and sound that can be achieved. I want somewhere that has masking and tabs, maybe even footlights too – in other words somewhere where there might be a bit of showmanship around the presentation that I am paying my money to see. A comfortable chair and a selection of food and beverages that is more than just a bucket of popcorn and a cup of coke. An entrance foyer that is pleasant to wait in until the auditorium is available to sit in, playing unobtrusive music.
But, I also love technology and new ideas, whether it works or not. Everything from products that were not successful such as Philips Lightvibes or Barco Escape to successful ones like 4DX and ScreenX they are all aiming to make the experience better. There are times when I want to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster film with the latest technology.
The first time I experienced 4DX I watched Wolverine and was not that impressed. You can read my views on it in a previous edition of Cinema Technology Magazine. However, I went back tried it again for the recent Mission Impossible film and enjoyed it. There will still times when I was pulled out of the film than I would have liked and I would select my films carefully, just as I would when going to an Imax experience.
I appreciate that living in London I have plenty of choices and opportunity to experience the widest possible variety of cinema in all of its different definitions – everything from a small community cinema in a village hall, through outdoor popup screenings, to multiplex, historic and fully immersive cinema experiences, but equally more and more wherever we live their varieties of cinema available for us to experience, no matter what our requirements are. This is what makes cinema such an exciting place to be. There is almost certainly a requirement to continue to make the experience more diverse.
But in general, we are lucky that we do now have such a variety of different cinema types for each of us so we can continue to have a shared experience that we all enjoy. I think that’s pretty cool and exciting. Here’s to the variety of the cinema experience.