Saturday, July 22, 2006

“Saturday night at the movies / Who cares what picture you see”, part 1

Today, the BBC has reported, ad nauseam (you'd think it was a slow news day), that cinema attendance in the UK is better than in most other Western countries.

These are the figures: one in four of us UK types go to the flicks at least once a month, and 75 per cent of us have been to watch something on the silver screen in the past 12 months.

Well, colour me hard to please, but it ain't that fucking impressive, is it? When Wife and I lived in north London, we used to go to the Odeon in Camden Town every Sunday. That's four times more often than is being raved about in the press. As Big Brother's Imogen might declare, "What the fuck, beb?" Were we singlehandedly keeping the UK cinema industry in business?!

I must say, though, that even before leaving London, our cinema-going had dipped. The main reason for this was the unexpected and frankly shocking closure of the wonderful George & Nikki's cafe, almost right next door to the cinema mentioned above. To use a phrase that appears only once on Google, and that will lead you back here, too: Cunt me with a cunting stick, their all-day breakfasts were to die for. Even the veggie version was phenomenal. But that's probably a post of its own.

So, getting back to the pictures...

The inimitable Candy Minx recently said, in a comment at Mister Anchovy's blog, that the cinema is "the chapel of image and community experience in imagination". Essentially I do agree with that. I believe that the movie theatre is the only place to see a film as its director intended. In practice, though, things start to get a bit rotten in the state of Denmark.

To be continued...



Blogger Suze said...

I would go more often if you watch without interruption. Every time I have been of late the film has been interrupted by people talking, rustling packets or having a head the size of fucking Yorkshire.

Oohps! got a bit carried away there.

22 July, 2006 19:09  
Blogger The_'Real'_Batman said...

In metropolitan London (and indeed up here in Edinburgh) we have brilliant cinemas. However, in other places I have been to (Staffordshire in general) the picture is terrible, there is often nearly an hour of advertisements beforehand, people talk and the tickets can cost up to £9 for a kid.

Also when all you have in some places is sequel after sequel you can understand why Blockbuster is so popular

22 July, 2006 20:50  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

if yorkshire was a head, where would barnsley be?

22 July, 2006 22:07  
Blogger Jezebelle said...

I would go to the movies more if it wasn't cheaper to wait and buy the damn DVD. I prefer seeing movies in a theatre. But with the prices and people yammering it ain't worth it no more.

22 July, 2006 23:11  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

Cheap DVDs are killing the rep theatres around here. One closed just a couple months ago, and the community are trying to raise money to get it reopened in the fall. I think Candy is right on this one, but the world is changing around us these days, and I'm not sure what the future will hold.

23 July, 2006 05:51  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

we have two really small theatres here in barnsley the lamproom and the academy. both are run by ametuer groups, but well worth the visit.
we took our son to the panto the year before last and it was amazing(ly amatuer) good fun. everything a panto should be, without the distraction of any "stars"
get out there people. as they used to sing during our summer holidays
"why don't you just switch off your television set and go out and do something lees boring instead?"

23 July, 2006 12:35  
Blogger Suze said...

cappuccino, I think that Barnsley would be the mouth. LOL

23 July, 2006 19:48  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

It is expensive to go to the movies isn't it...but then if you eat first and not get snacks its a little easier to manage. I love renting and buying dvds too...but I have to say that nothing beats the feeling of when it gets dark and the movie starts and you find yourself ina different world.

the screen talkers in american theatres are's unbelieable and really almost an alternate universe than in Canada. I've seen three movies in the last three weeks and the place was very very quiet except for laughing at humour in the movie. Yet when we have gone to movies in chicago...people talk through the entire thing! Very weird.

We have a lot of previews that remind audiences to keep voices down and to turn off cell phones etc. I am not sure they help. But if someone gets too loud in a theatre in Canada we will tell them to be quiet please and shh them.

In chicago, I was too shy to say anything...who knows who is packing ha ah thats actually not funny...erp!

23 July, 2006 20:42  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Oh...I also find that when i go out for beer it is WAY more money than a I feel always when its a good movie it feels so exciting to have seen it in, how great is it to go for a cake or tea or drink and talk about a really exciting movie afterwards...I find that doesn't happen the same when you rent at home as much...anybody else feel that? or do you hang and talk about movie afterwards even at home?

23 July, 2006 20:45  
Blogger Gentleman-hobbs said...

Or are they asking people who are to embarrassed to admit that the film they saw came from a car boot media emporium. Can't beat the cinema, but I just wish they could open up the closed shop a bit and allow in some new ideas. The distribution process doesn't help the Brits or thwe indies much either.

23 July, 2006 22:26  
Blogger Pie said...

I used to love the cinema. It was the big thing for kids to go during holidays or (when we were a bit older) in the evening. Now I hate people I can't stand to be stuck in a room with several hundred of them who conspire to disturb my viewing pleasure. There's still good films every now and then which I'd like to watch but I just wait for them to come out on DVD - not the same experience though.

24 July, 2006 08:42  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

haven't been in yonks. The seats make my bum numb. Not as spectacular on my little tv screen but I can move around and drink beer.

24 July, 2006 11:51  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

All these comments are exactly the sort of things I was going to address in part two, and I did so, too.

The only thing I didn't write about was bootleg or pirate movies. That post will come soon...

Candy: You are right, though: you never know who you're bitchin' at, or what they might do!

24 July, 2006 19:41  

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