Last Sunday, myself and four others went to the cinema to see the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who. Despite the fact that the screening was expensive, did not allow the use of discounted or free tickets, and had in fact been on free-to-air television in the morning and was screening for free again that night, the cinema was packed. This is probably more of a reflection of Doctor Who fans or “Whovians” than an accurate representation of cinema attendance though. There is something special about going into a packed cinema and experiencing a show or movie that everyone in the cinema has a shared love for. The audience was very vocal without being rude and making it hard to hear what was happening and my friends and I left on a massive high because hey, Doctor Who fans are amazing.
According to Torsten Hagerstrand there exist three constraints to cinema attendance:
- Capability: Can I get there?
- Coupling: Can I get there at the right time?
- Authority: Am I allowed to be there?
I was able to navigate these constraints very easily. This is because my friends and I had already been planning it for a couple of weeks, and living in Sydney means that getting to the cinema is very easy. I also feel very comfortable at the cinema as I go so often. The hardest part was probably actually resisting the urge to watch the new episode before going to see it at the cinema. I felt very comfortable in the screening because I myself am a Whovian and felt like I could relate to and understand my fellow audience members. This is different to the experience I had this time last year when I went with my best friend to see The Day of the Doctor at the movies. She was and is a massive Whovian but I had never seen an episode in my life. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on and I couldn’t relate to the other people in the cinema because they were laughing at jokes I didn’t understand and becoming emotional over revelations I had no emotional connection to. It is for this reason I know that if someone in the cinema last week wasn’t a Doctor Who fan they may not have felt very comfortable or allowed to be there.
Overall this experience was a very positive one. And going to the cinema is still one of my favourite things ever.