Google Definitions (2015) define ‘Cinemas’ as “a theatre where films are shown for public entertainment”. In exploring this definition we can gain the understanding that these cinemas provide an opportunity for those willing to engage in a shared experience with their friend’s, family and community around them.
For this week’s blog, we were given the task of embarking on an expedition to the cinemas to engage in this shared experience of viewing a movie with those around you. My friends and I were up for this endeavour, booking tickets to the recent release in cinemas across Australia, ‘Straight Outta Compton’.
In social planning, Torsten Hägerstrand identifies that there are three human constraints that could hinder various aspects of an individuals plan. Hägerstrand’s three constraints are as followed:
- Capability Constraints – “those which limit the activities of the individual because of his biological construction and/or the tools he can command” (Shaw, S.L 2010).
- Coupling Constraints – “where, when, and for how long, the individual has to join other individuals, tools, and materials in order to produce, consume, and transact” (Shaw, S.L 2010).
- Authority Constraints – refer to “control areas” or “domains”. A domain is a time-space entity within which things and events are under the control of a given individual or a given group (Shaw, S.L 2010).
On our expedition to the cinemas, we were asked to explore these three constraints involvement in our own social planning.
We firstly analysed our capability constraints, exploring the two questions ‘can we get there, and how would we manage this’? In deciding if we could get there, we chose Hoyts Warrawong cinema only 15minutes driving distance from where we lived. We then planned as a group to convoy to the destination with two cars. This was not a constraint with all members of the group holding full licenses and owning a car.
Secondly we analysed our coupling constraints, asking ourselves ‘when we would attend the movie, and if we could get there for the session time’? As a group we had to identify a day and time that would best suit every member in being able to view the movie. We had to take into consideration University class times, job rosters, homework and movie time slots. With all of us living off a Uni budget, we opted to go for ‘Cheap Tuesdays’ at Hoyts in order to take advantage of the cheaper tickets. This day was perfect for our group as all of us were free from work and Uni commitments from the afternoon onwards. We then had to choose a time slot to view the movie, opting for a later slot so we could get a feed and snacks before hand. In this case, coupling did not prove to be a constraint.
Lastly we analysed our authority constraints, questioning ‘are we able to view the movie’? For this last constraint we explored wether we were able to view the film based on it’s age rating. All of us being above the age of 20, had no problems with this authority constraint.
Cinemas attendance has been notably declining over recent years, being severely impacted by technological innovation. “The incursions of home cinema, piracy and the availability of a multitude of other entertainment options have wreaked havoc on the cinema business” (Quinn, K 2014). We can see this decline in attendance increasing over the next 5 – 10 year, being severely impacted by the ’emergence of competition for product substitutes’ (Silver, J & McDonnell, J 2006) such as piracy and Netflix. The only thing cinemas are able to do is raise prices of tickets to substitute for a lack of attendance.This decline in traditional theatre experiences was made evident to myself upon entering the cinema. We had pre booked tickets to Straight Outta Compton expecting it to be sold out due to it’s recent release. When we got to the cinemas, we were shocked to see that the theatre was barely full.
Shaw, S.L 2010, ‘Time Geography: Its Past, Present, and Future’, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, April 15,
< http://web.utk.edu/~sshaw/Personal%20Homepage/AAG2010-Shaw-Time%20Geography%20Presentation.pdf >
Quinn, K 2014, ‘A cinema ticket in Australia can cost up to $40. Here’s why’, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 10, Article,
< http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/a-cinema-ticket-in-australia-can-cost-up-to-40-heres-why-20140712-3bt9e.html >
Silver, J & McDonnell, J 2006, ‘ARE MOVIE THEATERS DOOMED? DO EXHIBITORS SEE THE BIG PICTURE AS THEATERS LOSE THEIR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?’, School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology,
< http://eprints.qut.edu.au/12880/1/12880.pdf >