Home or Cinema?

The Westgarth Cinema, former home of the Valha...After some lacklustre efforts over the Summer that didn’t really justify the expense, we’re getting to that time of year when Festive releases deserve attention. Will it justify the expense of going to the cinema when a new film comes out, or can I wait until it comes out on Blu-ray or DVD?

Seriously, who can justify the £8 – £10 to get a seat at the cinema, along with the extra costs associated with popcorn, drinks, snacks and even 3D spectacles?

When it costs that much for one viewing, yet you could buy it for about the same on release. You can watch it in your own home, at a time of your choosing without the worries of parking or people muttering behind you in the next row but one. You don’t have to worry about being dazzled halfway through the film my someone needlessly consulting their mobile, or suffer the queries and questions of a bemused child.

At home you also don’t have to worry about smuggling in your own snacks to offset the mark-up imposed by the cinema. I want to support the film industry – but the cinema business isn’t really making it easy for me. When I get there and find my film is showing on Screen 8, which doesn’t have such a great screen, second rate audio, and less comfortable seating arrangement.

I don’t like the fact that the 2D presentation of a film gets a second-rate presentation because the cinema throw all their efforts on the 3D version.

Maybe I’m just getting old.

I begin to lose feeling in my legs when I’m watching the 3 hour long blockbuster at the cinema, so it makes more sense to watch at home where I can pause and have a walk. I can also go to the toilet without missing 5 minutes of the film.

On the other hand, when a film is really good and the presentation is exemplary, it can make all the difference. The experience of the cinema can be breath-taking and worth all the effort. However, it can be all a gamble – and an expensive one. A chance the film isn’t that good, or the audio isn’t that well delivered, or you luck out and get a gang of idiots behind you muttering throughout half the film.

I plan to see The Hunger Games and The Hobbit. Maybe I’ll see something else, too. Even then, I’m loathe to throw myself into the lottery of maybes around whether it’ll be a great experience or not. Will it be worth the money, or could I have waited…?






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