Growing up, we had about 4 channels on the TV and if you wanted to see a movie, you had to wait for it. Then, when it was on television, there were ads. It was in 4:3 pan and scan, and wasn’t the same. Going to the cinema back in the day, however, was a big deal. I would usually be going with a bunch of friends, we’d all catch the bus into town. We’d have candy or a hot dog and a bucket-sized cup of soda as a treat.

In my local cinemas, you didn’t have seat allocation, it was first come, first served for the best seats. So we had to get there early, queue up and chat with your friends and everyone else that was going to see the movie. As they let you in, you legged it to the middle of the back row. We’d all be sat there, playing around, eating food. Then, the lights would go down and a hush fell over the auditorium. Back in the day, you had about 10 minutes of adverts that were usually for a local Indian restaurant. Then 5 minutes of trailers, and then the movie would start. Happy days.

Whereas Today…

The cinema experience, for me at least, is simply not the same. You can pre-book your seats, so there’s no need to queue, which means no need to chat with other people about the movie. I’m sure the refreshments at the cinema were expensive back in the day, but nowadays, I seem to have to cash in the equity on my house to afford them. Then we come to the ads and trailers, there are three things that really annoy me about them.

Firstly, I’m paying to go to the cinema, why do I have to see adverts at all? When you pay for Netflix or Prime, you can watch shows advert free, since you are paying for the service. Here in the UK, you have to pay for a TV licence, that pays for the BBC. This means the BBC has no advertising on it. You can watch a show or movie, from start to finish, with no breaks.

Secondly, they used to do ads, then trailers. Nowadays, they mix them together. You see a trailer and think “Great, the movie is about to start”, but no, more ads.

Thirdly, there are just so many of them. I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 3 a little while ago. I had my seat picked out and the movie started at 1pm. I got into the cinema at 1:25, since I didn’t have to cram for a seat and the adverts were still going. I can give myself about 30 minutes before the actual movie begins.

Also, there are other people. I get that there have always been people who talk, make a noise, or can generally ruin your movie-watching experience. One thing people never used to have, though, was cellphones. I HATE it when someone, usually down the front of the cinema turns their phone on and a small, but very bright screen, lights up and takes you right out of the movie for a moment.


Falling Out Of Love With The Cinema

That cinema experience isn’t what it used to be. OK, so I maybe remember it through rose-tinted glasses, but we now live in a different world. The cinema is an expensive trip out now, around £12 a ticket in the UK. The food is just as costly and, let’s be honest, there’s not much that feels like it absolutely must be viewed on the “big screen” these days. Yes, there are some exceptions, I’m looking forward to Dune 2, but for the rest of it, I’m just not bothered.

Dune 2 on the big screen

Dune 2 on the big screen

I’m happy to wait for streaming. I have a decent-sized TV, and a comfy-ass sofa. The food is cheaper and I can pause the movie when I need to pee. In fact, I can watch it in chunks if it’s over 90 minutes long. I don’t usually have to wait that long anything to be released on streaming.

As a kid, I never would have thought I would have fallen out of love with the cinema experience, but here we are. I’m a middle-aged miserable git who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a movie I possibly won’t even like. I can’t be the only one, right? Do you still enjoy the cinema? I know it can depend on the movie, going to see a comedy with a bunch of people is a good laugh, but is it worth the money? Do you prefer the good ol’ days?

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