When you view an advertisement for example a new cinema and they want to convey their cinema experience, you often will be subjected to a stock image of a generalized audience often of a family smiling at the screen all neat and tidy very well lit. Obviously this is a false image, I know from personal experience I am not smiling throughout 90% of the movie (10% left for my laugh factor), I also have an issue with movie cinema chairs and every 20 minutes I am shuffling around due to the uncomfortable chair. Therefore, if you were to take an image of me in a movie cinema you generally find a straight faced individual looking attentive but obviously uncomfortable. Why does these images therefore represent a cinema experience? ZDRIL 1996 states that stock images are merely “superficial and shallow” and are merely to make an individual feel a little better about themselves.
Stock image photo which is shown when searching cinema in Getty images
I decided to interview my Nan (aka Sharon) regarding her experiences at the movies, to grasp if the movie experience has changed since her childhood.
With my set of question I sent my nan back to the 1950’s where she vaguely remembered her father taking her to the movies to see The Living Desert , however, her first cinema experience that she can remember was when her father took and her and her siblings in England to see Kid Galahad she can only recall this experience due to her fond memory of her father only wanting to see the film due to Elvis Presley being punched in the face.
My Great Grandfather was rather fond of technology and enjoyed his cinema experiences, however, my Nan only took herself to the movies when she was 15years old and in her later years has hardly gone back.
She does not feel the need due to the expense and notes that “these films will eventually come to free tv”. My nan has not attended the movies since we saw Valentines Day where she recalls a unpleasant experience of uncomfortable seating and a hot cinema. Therefore, I thought to inform her about the current infra red technology placed in cinemas to view the audience as they watch the movie, she was surprised but stated this did not worry her as “not like I would be picking my nose in the cinema”.
My Nan is part of the particular audience, the true audience. She does not sit there and smile constantly at the screen she rather endures the uncomfortable chair and tries to enjoy her movie due to the rarity of her ever attending a movie. The media present an audience which is un -realistic but has become a generalized audience compared to the story I have just presented.
So how do you really look when sitting in the movie theater?
Sharon 2013, Interview notes, conducted on the 15th August 2013
ZDRIL, J., 1996, May 26. Stock images. Edmonton Journal, 0.