Future of film: Making going to the movies fun again
Today Hoyts Cinemas in Australia announced they were entering the movie streaming business with Hoyts Stream, a new pay-as-you-go, multi-device video-streaming service.
Granted, streaming movies is not a new thing, even for us peeps Down Under. But the national chain gets more than 18 million cinema admissions each year, and Australia has a population of almost 23 million. Not bad, right? So why the shift?
The short answer: Hey, why not. Could make more money, and Netflix is eyeing us off.
The long answer: Because the old model of getting bums on seats and charging $20 for a Choc Top just might not work that much longer.
Now, don’t get me wrong, no form of mass media has ever died – print, cinema, radio, television, internet, mobile – and it never will. But radio had to go from entertainment based programs, to music and talk back in order to stay relevant, and TV has recently had to combat the online invasion. We have seen many attempts to make it social, and I have to say the Academy Awards gets a whole lot more interesting to watch when you have the #oscars tweet stream in front of you. Just ask @AngiesRightLeg.
The internet is accessible, interactive, faster, our TVs bigger and skinnier, and our people lazier. Okay scratch that. Movie tickets are just getting damn expensive.
We’re heading into theatre versus Video On Demand territory, but since studies frequently show that experiences make us happier than possessions, instead I want to take a look at five companies making the effort to bring your movie going experience to the next level:
Hot Tub Cinema: The name really says it all. What’s better than watching a movie on a rooftop with a beer in your hand? That’s right, watching a movie on a rooftop with a beer in your hand while sitting in a hot tub. Did you think I was going to say something else?
Secret Cinema: They really are doing well in London, they get two. Pioneers of the ‘Live Cinema’ movement, Secret Cinema hit the big time when 25,000 people turned out to a London Warehouse for a premiere screening of ‘Prometheus” earlier this year. What’s better than watching a highly anticipated film with hundreds of people? Watching it in a hot tub. Did you think I was going to say something else?
Cinespia: In the oHlHollywood Forever Cemetary, why not keep your adrenaline up by watching the classics surrounded by dead people? I could make a joke about cinema dying, but you know. I don’t want it to. I’m also pretending that the reason I know about this cinema experience isn’t from the movie “Valentine’s Day”. Can something be awesome AND in “Valentine’s Day?” This is getting way too existential.
Underground Cinema Film Festival: entering its third year this week, the Underground Cinema Film Festival is all about celebrating independent Irish cinema, and will be screening over 100 films, 50 Festival Premieres and three World Premieres. Ireland must have A LOT of room underground.
Underground Cinema: Across Melbourne and Sydney throughout the year, Underground Cinema will have you saying to you friends “Hey you want to go a see a movie with me? Except I don’t know what it is. And I don’t know where it is. And we have to dress like foreigners.” Then you meet at an abandoned train station, are herded onto a bus, marched single file into a caged room, have a bag placed on your head while being shouted at, then handed notes from a gypsy about the uprising. Sounds fun, right? It totally is! Did you guess the movie? Have a look at the video below.
One of Moviehole's longest-serving contributors, Mandy has worked her way up the ladder from contributor to Australian co-editor.
A self-confessed geek, Mandy loves everything "Star Wars", "Harry Potter", "Veronica Mars" and Tim Riggins.