A buddy of mine and I are both back in our hometown and wanted to catch up and chill a bit, so we went to grab lunch and a movie (yes, it turned out to be a total bro date). He’d invited a couple of friends to join us for the movie and they’d both declined, complaining that the sound sometimes leaks through from the other movies (it’s a small cinema), and that they’d rather just download the movie for free at home.
In a small town with only one sub-par cinema, yes, I do understand that shitty sound can be a little bit annoying. However, I’ve watched enough movies in this particular cinema to know that it’s fine, or at least bearable, most of the time.
But you know what I just don’t get? Downloading it so you can get it for free. Sure, you get it for free, but there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t come with the free download.
You can’t download the giant screen, the awesome sound, or eye popping 3D (if you’re a fan of it). You can’t download the energy you get from being in a room with a bunch of total strangers who are totally absorbed and loving (or hating) the movie as much as you are. You can’t download the overpriced popcorn, coke and slush puppies! Ok, maybe that last one doesn’t count, but aside from noisy children and snoring old people, the Cinema Experience is almost always better than sitting at home alone in front of your computer, or even sitting in front of a big screen TV with a couple of friends.
The main reason I go to the movies is this: if it’s a great experience, it’s a great experience that you’ve shared with lots of other people! As I mentioned earlier, the energy that an audience generates when watching a really great movie is fantastic! The last movie that I watched that really got the audience going was The Avengers, and it was great seeing people walking out while chatting about their favourite parts, all with smiles on their faces. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s on par with a concert, but it’s definitely similar. I remember how people left the Linkin Park concert, and it was the same thing. People sharing in an experience that they’d all enjoyed.
I don’t know, maybe some people just don’t feel the same way I do, but I’m quite happy to pay the prices we (South Africans) pay to enjoy all the benefits of the Cinema Experience.
Now if we could only get local distributors to speed up how long it takes for some movies to get here, or to keep movies on circuit for longer. If there was any understandable reason to download a movie, it would be those two.