There is nothing better than going to the cinema to see a movie you have been so hyped about seeing on the big screen for more than a year. It was safe to say that Avengers: Endgame was that movie for me (enough so I decided seeing it more than once was necessary). After the traumatising end of Avengers: Infinity War, I was ready for a resolution and my heart to be unbroken; however, the encounter was one of the worst I have had in a cinema ever.
The first mistake was going to the Greater Union Cinema in Wollongong. If anyone knows anything about this cinema, you know it is cramped, old and decked with some of the most uncomfortable seats you could imagine. The cinema was packed, and after a rushed attempt to get to the movie on time, a friend and I were able to grab two seats in the middle section of the cinema. The disaster began there, as our seats were placed right in front of some very inquisitive kids that didn’t quite comprehend the ability not to ask questions every two seconds before the movie even began. We became frustrated very quickly and within minutes of the film officially starting, we managed to manoeuvre our way to another two seats a few rows ahead to the left, leaving the noise behind us. A moment of bliss was all I had before realising, the before mentions awful seats, were even worse as mine was no longer screwed in correctly and would shift every time I moved. Worst of all, due to the rush to get to the cinema, the rite of passage of enjoying a box of popcorn and overly watered-down soft drink was stolen from me. Overall the experience wasn’t good regardless of how incredible the film was.
Due to the low standard of the first experience, I was eager to rectify it by seeing the movie again. This time I was able to see the film at Hoyts Warrawong on a date, and as a preface, there wasn’t another. It is essential to notice that although the seating considerably improved with the recliner seats, the company and the position of the seats made the experience, again, not one I would choose to relive. Being in the first row of the cinema is not a place you want to be, craning your neck to watch a movie that is three hours long is undeniably not comfortable. Not only being physically uncomfortable but being uncomfortable with the company is no better. Although this watch through was much better, again I was let down and left with a feeling of unmet expectations.
I was, however, given the chance to give the cinematic experience another shot to get it right. Third times a charm, right? Right, it was. Seeing the movie in Reading Cinemas Rouse Hill in gold class, things were already looking up. I had my Mum by my side, good bougie gold class food, popcorn, drink, recliner seats (in a good position near the back), and an indisputably fantastic film. It was familiar, and it was perfect in every way affording me the opportunity to genuinely enjoy the overall experience.
One thought on “Cinematic Experience”
Oh my – I so identify with all those frustrations about awful cinema going experiences – but at least you got it right in the end. Now imagine if you were asked the question ‘Why is cinema going on the decline?’. You would be able to explain drawing on your own ethnographic study of three cinema going experiences!
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