For our generation, the Cinema is a series of mixed memories. For myself, it reminds me of various events, from seeing Christmas movies such as The Santa Claus with the family, or being the choice of place for all 1st dates I have been on; the cinema has been there. It reminds of expensive tickets and overpriced beverages, and the feeling of paying such a price for a film you walk out of 2 hours laters, shaking your head muttering “Well that was shit.” We have all been there. (Especially after the latest Terminator….)
But that is why I chose to interview my Nanna for this topic, having grown up in the 1950’s/60’s, experiencing the sight and sounds of some of Hollywood’s finest actors and films. In relation to Torsten Hagerstrand “3 Contraints“, my Nan faced mostly authority constraints. This is mainly due to her young age and therefore parental rules taking priority. It also is due to whether or not her parents could afford to and wanted to attend the cinemas; as the cinemas weren’t open everyday.
Her experiences though were magical, as they were an escape from reality for so many, with an atmosphere of wonder and amusement. One memory she recollects will never be replicated in today’s cinemas-
I also remember going to the movies with my mother once and whilst we were waiting for everyone to be seated there was an organist playing music to entertain us until the movie started.
It is interesting to imagine a cinema paying and allowing an organist to entertain moviegoers, for today we are bombarded with commercials and trailers that go on for so long, you end up forgetting which movie you are there to see. When asking her to recollect on the experience and films she saw,she answered-
I can’t remember the names of the movies we saw but I remember the westerns were about the likes of Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger and according to today’s movies were very basic and probably the same stories. Interval was when you bought lollies and cordial and that in itself was very exciting because I think it was probably the only time you were able to do this in your whole life. There were no canteens at school at this time so buying what you wanted was a real treat.
You must always remember that these were totally unique experiences for us because there wasn’t any tv so to see something on the screen was amazing.
That last quote stood out the most to me, for I was thinking it all along of how wonderful it would of been, but to be reminded that THIS WAS the main form of social entertainment for her generation is totally opposite to the form we experience today. This is where Hagerstands “Capability Constraint” comes into the equation. For my Nan, her cousins and friends, it was only capable to attend the cinemas when money and/or times were convenient, it too relied on the cinemas being open and lastly just the mere capability to experience this form of social entertainment.
To finish this off, here is a collection of classic movie cinemas from the 1950’s and 60’s. Enjoy & Stay Classy UOW. Todd.