Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Cinema Reviews (?)

I graduated from the University of Nottingham back in 2012. A year on and I’ve not really matured from the laid-back student of those good old times. My current and temporary job, until next year when I’ll be flying off to Japan, is that I’m a “Sales Assistant” for a fairly well-known High Street store in the UK. My job focusses on this idea of “Consumer Satisfaction” and we’re essentially brainwashed into seeing everything through the eyes of the customer. Over the numerous months I’ve been working there, I’ve come to view the retail world in a rather more critical/cynical manner. From crappy service at Tesco, to awesome discussions at Jumbo Records, I arguably now take this rather too seriously. You may be thinking “Jack even more critical? That’s not possible” and “What has this got to do with films and stuff?”. 

Well, with ticket prices going through the roof I feel that cinemas need to up their game on the “cinema experience”. I’m not talking about IMAX or 3D, but rather the atmosphere, staff, film diversity and general quality. With the film industry struggling to attract a consistent base of customers, I’ve unfortunately seen numerous cinemas close down. My earliest memories of films in general came from childhood birthday parties and Friday evenings. After a meal at Pizza Hut, we’d simply go to our local cinema and watch everything from Batman and Robin to Toy Story. I’m still an strong advocate for going to the cinema and spending the £6 to see Jaws even when its on ITV4 every-week. The giant screen, the loud sound system, a pint in one hand (in selected theatres) and a bag of popcorn in the other, there’s something quintessentially satisfying when watching The Avengers or Hot Fuzz in a packed audience. 

But after the collapse of common courtesy and general manners in regards to both members of staff and as a customer, it’s increasingly become a frustrating affair which distracts from the actual film. Even if I’ve seen the greatest film ever made, I still have this nagging sensation in the back of my head that remembers the uncomfortable seats or the irritating smugness of staff.  I’ve been to the UK’s smallest cinema to the barrage of multiplexes that occupy our ring roads and retail parks. All range in prices, size and more importantly quality.  Lousy service at ticket desks, or amazing Q&A sessions with directors and actors, leave strong and lasting impressions on that particular cinema. I’ve come to expect a lot more now from cinemas and so too do many others. 

Over the next “few” blog posts I intend to share my thoughts on the cinemas I’ve visited from York to Japan. A “Review of Cinemas”, you could say. This may sound like a rather mundane and questionable excuse to post actually content on this blog, but with my wallet increasingly questioning VALUE and some lousy cinema experiences, I’d thought it might be interesting to put fingers to keyboard. 

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