When I was growing up in the small, country town of Dunedoo in Central-West New South Wales, there wasn’t much to do. We could ride our bikes, play outside, run around in the backyard; that was pretty much the extent of ‘entertainment’ for me growing up. Part of this reason would be the isolation of the town. There were other small towns around Dunedoo, but the big hubs of Dubbo and Mudgee were both approximately an hours drive away. We had to leave Dunedoo if we wanted to buy clothes, electronics, shoes (although, it was possible to buy a tractor in Dunedoo, so that’s something).
One thing there was no hope of doing in Dunedoo, was going to the cinema to see the latest release blockbuster. Yes, for that we would have to travel the hour to Dubbo or Mudgee, after buying underwear of course!
Most of the time we went to Dubbo, we’d go as a family. We’d all need new clothes and other things – it would be a massive day of shopping! I loved the days we’d be treated with going to the movies though! We’d go to the cinema as soon as we arrived in Dubbo, get a session time sheet and organise our shopping day around the movie we wanted to see and when it was airing. It was easy to go with friends, because we’d always be travelling together from Dunedoo and we wouldn’t know what was on and at what times until we got there.
You can imagine how my life has changed since moving to Wollongong almost three years ago.
Going to the movies is so much easier to do in a metropolitan area, and in 2014 – rather than a small country town in 2004. The last time I went to the cinema was with my roommate and his boyfriend at the time. Yes, I was a third wheel. But it was THE LEGO MOVIE so I didn’t care. All I did was look up the session times on the website (we chose the cinema in Wollongong because it’s the closest), sent a quick message in the Facebook group chat that my friends and I have, and meet people at the cinema. It was so last minute and it happened so quickly, but it was still so structured and organised!
Of course, the movie was packed with children mostly aged between 4 and 10, and you could tell the parents of these children weren’t impressed when a group of young adults, some quite tall, sat smack bang in the centre of the cinema (they are the best seats after all). A couple of people seated behind us even got up and moved! But it was THE LEGO MOVIE so it didn’t phase me too much.
Later on, I was talking to a friend about the movie, and they informed me they had just torrented the movie so they didn’t have to watch it in a cinema surrounded by a bunch of loud children. Smart move I think. I even know of parents who torrent movies to show their kids so they don’t have to trek it into the cinema with them!
Is this the future of cinema watching? People won’t even go to the cinema to watch? It seems it’s already starting to happen. I know very few young adults who don’t have at least a couple of torrented movies or shows on their computers or a hard drive. Whether they downloaded it themselves or got it off a friend. In my opinion, the future of cinema isn’t even in the cinema!
I suppose we’ll just have to sit back, legs on the seat in front eating popcorn, and wait to see what the future holds.