We at Barking Mad About Films love the cinema but the best time for us to go is during the day, we are sure though we can not be the only ones who prefer daytime viewing so we wonder if the multiplex should be more flexible.
We are of course aware that during the day is not ideal for everyone, especially those with 9-5 jobs, but working from home we get this time to watch as an option.
Now we love Shark films and on our must see list was 47 Metres Down but when the times were released it only had evening performances as an option, this was due to:
- School holidays
- 6 of the 8 screens being dominated by regular showing of films such as Cars and Despicable Me third outings and Dunkirk
However, could cinemas do more to appeal to all its customers?
For as long as I can recall, when going to the cinema, the times are released. You then choose your film and wait to the following Friday for them to chance to new films and times.
It has always been that rigid, yet the rise of streaming services means at home our time to watch works around us, not a new idea, of course, owners of a video can pop on a cassette and watch when they like.
From my understanding, films are more or less programmed in, rather than having to change film reels so does the time table have to be so rigid?
Could cinemas accommodate more customers by even just one day a week, the usual later showing Horror flick get a daytime screening, promote it as a Monster Monday for example?
They could also move times around on the multiple screened blockbusters one day a week to give the smaller films a chance that the cinema feels could not maintain the cost to show for a week.
As an example, being a fan of The Mighty Boosh TV show, I would have loved to see Julian Barrett’s film Mindhorn, yet my cinema chose to not show it. Had they put it on for just one day, I am sure I would have seen it.
They can also do this by showing a classic film as well, I loved the re-releases of films such as Jaws; Alien and The Thing over the years and I’m sure you have other classic films you would love to see on the big screen?
Often I read articles entitled ‘Can Cinema Survive?’ I would love to think it can, but sometimes when I attend a day screening with around 5 other people in the audience I do wonder. Again though with those reduced attendances, it asks the question is there a need for a film to be shown every hour?
There are surely small things cinemas can do to win audiences, yet rising costs of tickets, astronomical prices of food and drink, additional costs to see in 3-D (surely it doesn’t cost more to show the film, isn’t charging for the glasses enough?) and more recently I have seen audiences hit by losing the 2 for 1 film promotion with a phone company to an Insurance provider so fewer sales I guess. and also damage done by the introduction of allocated seating.
Also, some damage was done by the introduction of allocated seating. It makes me chuckle that even screenings where I have been the ONLY ONE in the audience I am sitting in an allocated seat.
When I first started going to the cinema, they used to have 10 am screenings, now they start after lunch or later!
This can cause other issues, which are not helped by the now long running film times, the first screening at say 2:40 PM would start at 3:10 Pm and with a 2 hour film, if you start work at 5 or need to leave work for 5 to get to a job for 6, you will miss out.
Some ideas that cinema has done is introduced the bringing in of free posters for screenings which are a nice touch (although we much prefer the idea of art cards to a poster, that VUE cinemas did for The Great Wall, ideal as a souvenir or keepsake should you buy the film on DVD)
We also suggested that studios could help by sending out the animated film characters out to do meet and greets at screening, rather than just the premieres!
Thanks to ideas such as the Unlimited card at Cineworld, trips to the cinema for frequent users can be value for money and we would love them to survive, we just think they need to get more modern.
We really would hate for them to go the way of the video store as whilst I love watching a film at home, going with friends to a cinema see a Star Wars, or watching a horror/comedy film with an audience to be surrounded by screams/laughs can make the viewing experience even more memorable.
What do you think Cinemas could do to win more audiences? Do you think Flexible screening times could work? We would love to hear from you!