Upcoming website on moviegoing experience
The significant drop in movie attendance has focused a lot of attention on patrons' dissatisfaction with the moviegoing experience. Bad manners, careless presentation, lackluster theaters, commercials, cell phones and high prices have all been cited as reasons why people are choosing to avoid cinemas and watch movies at home.
Currently under development is a new website for moviegoers to find and post reviews of specific cinemas, which will be rated like restaurants – on their presentation, service, ambience, showmanship, etc. A public forum for feedback can inform fellow moviegoers and give exhibitors more incentive to improve their overall quality.
In addition to reviewing and rating cinemas, CinemaSightlines will focus on many facets of the moviegoing experience, including novelty formats, special events, panel discussions, etc, plus Home Theatre (with more critical than usual DVD reviews and tips on enhancing home movie nights) as well as Private Cinemas (a look at dedicated high-end movie theatres built into private homes).
CinemaSightlines is seeking volunteers familiar with Dreamweaver for Macintosh to help build the basic structure of the site. Anyone interested can contact the Webmaster at .
The site already has a long developed article on movie manners: www.CinemaSightlines.com
Although presentation, service,and ambience ARE important, the main reason I believe people are not satisfied with the moviegoing experience is something audiences cannot do much about…content! I long for the days when there were many moviehouses to choose from, and a family could virtually walk into any one of them, without having to do extensive research on the content of the movie, which age group it is suitable for, etc. And we didn’t have to flinch at line after line of offensive dialogue and expletives. If the moviemakers were to concentrate on being creative in telling a story rather than cover up for lack of creativity by pottymouth dialogue and mediocre scripting, I believe there would be no dearth of audiences above the age of teens. There is very little good material to attract audiences who just want to be entertained, today. Even the most obscure B-movie on DVD or Video seems to have more entertainment value, and, in most cases, an entire family can sit down and watch them unashamed. I am not saying that there is not an audience for some scripts which require mature content and presentation, but there seems to be a true pattern emerging in most films at the cinemas nowadays: Stay away from any kind of heroic, male image who is moral in his character and thinking, do not ever speak in terms of good and evil, as there are only shades of grey, interject as much filthy expletives and use of God’s name as a swear word as possible, and sacrifice storytelling art for flashy camera techniques and special effects. A good craftsman does not have to fit this formula to make an outstanding picture. Look at “Citizen Kane”. Orson Welles was able to use restraint in his language and still present a timeless tale with innovative camera techniques and topnotch acting. The same can be said of most of the “classics” of the cinema.
While content is always going to be an issue, the fact is, a good or bad movie can be appreciated anywhere for what it is or isn’t. However, being that we are on a site dedicated to THEATRES, what we are focused on here is the fact that the venue can be a very significant factor in the enjoyment of a film. I have enjoyed many less than great films more than I would have elsewhere because I saw them in nicer theatres. The main issue with the moviegoing experience is exactly that – The Experience.