This post is looking at the impact of the multiplex cinema on cinema going in Britain. The overriding illusion of choice is a interesting theory that the journal by Justin Smith has opened my eyes too.
“Yet in the British multiplex arena, whilst multiple screens present the illusion of choice, the latest blockbuster is often likely to occupy three or four screens. This myth of choice is nevertheless persuasive, many people expressing this aspect as a positive feature of the multiplex experience.”
He is right in saying that the main blockbuster of the month is likely to take up around 3 or 4 screens. Now more than ever there are at least two blockbusters rivalling each other each month. This does not scream choice to me. Also the independent films that do not appeal to wider audience are often only shown at Multiplex’s for around a week. I know this from trying to find suitable show times for films I have recently tried to watch for example ‘Her’ by Spike Jonze was a film that I really struggled to find readily available at any of my local multiplexes.
Smith, J. (2005) Cinema for sale: the impact of the multiplex on cinema-going in Britain, 1985-2000. Journal of British Cinema and Television. 2 (2), pp. 247.
In conclusion the article draws on a valid reason of why the multiplex came to fruition. Explaining that cinema going was and still is a dying art, and the inclusion of multiplexes in retail parks and shopping centres has gone someway to saving the industry. They have reinvented the idea of cinema going, in some eyes for the better but for some true cinema lovers this isn’t the case. Over pricing the whole experience and making it less personal.
“Multiplexes represent a new self-consciousness on the part of the cinematic exhibition sector which has sought to reinvent the cinema experience for the consumer in the context of a range of competing retail and leisure experiences.”
Smith, J. (2005) Cinema for sale: the impact of the multiplex on cinema-going in Britain, 1985-2000. Journal of British Cinema and Television. 2 (2), pp. 251.