In today’s modern age everyone wants everything at their fingertips, and they want it when they want it, not when some corporate entity tells them when they can have it. Take the rise of the streaming services Netflix and Spotify; two companies that have revolutionised the way in which we consume film, television and music. Right now, I can listen to pretty much any track by any artist on the computer in which I type this, or the mobile phone that is resting on the desk next to it. I can switch on my television set, and binge-watch an entire season of my favourite TV show, or watch a variety of fairly recent movies. It’s amazing. I can also use the TV to catch up on the latest soap, or watch a chat show that was broadcast last Friday evening when I was down the pub with my mates? Smashing.
But what about actually going to the cinema? Is the pleasure of going to the cinema about to become a thing of the past, just like taking the journey to your local video store to select your evening’s entertainment? Say it isn’t so…
There is still something quite wonderful about physically going to see a film with an audience. Something about planning a trip to the local multiplex with a friend or loved one; choosing a movie and where you’d like to sit, and even paying through the nose for the over-priced popcorn and beverage. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really a great thing to have on-demand services like Sky Box-Office, Curzon On-Demand, BFI Player etc. available whenever you want in the comfort of your own home, but there’s still something truly magical about the going to the cinema.
Well, one company is revolutionising how we visit the cinema. The company is Our Screen and I first came across them back in the summer when I was trying to find a local screening of the cricket documentary Death Of A Gentleman, a five-star rated film here on The Hollywood News. Death Of A Gentleman, while a superb documentary and one of the best of the year, only had a few screenings pop up in the centre of London at the time, which, from me, is over 40 minutes away which would have added around $14 to my evening out. There were literally no screenings of the film in my local area, but on my Google search for the film came a pop-up for an on-demand screening about 15 minutes away. Unaware of such a thing, I clicked on this ‘Our Screen’ website, who were offering up the film, and true enough, so long as enough people bought a ticket to the same screening, I could take my friends, to whom I’d recommended this film, to a screening just down the road.
It works like this – I will use a hyperthetical example. Let’s say I live in Portsmouth, on the south coast of the UK. I fancy treating my wife to a piece of classic cinema sometime in December for her birthday. She loves The Lobster, which just came out, so I fancy something quite similar. I browse/ search the Our Screen website and I come across Dogtooth from Yorgos Lanthimos – the same director. I want to see it sometime in December and fairly near to my house, so I find a screening opportunity listed on their site (one of many) for the 6th December (a Sunday), at 2pm. Perfect.
I can then choose if I’d like it to be just for a group of my friends, or for the general public. It’s just the wife and me, and I’m not bothered who is with us, so I choose public. The site then flashes up that it will cost me £8 per ticket with the screening going ahead at 2pm on Sunday 6th December, as long 39 people also buy a ticket… I’ve literally just created my own screening which is now listed on the Our Screen website. On demand. When I want it.
I’ve used a fairly obscure film there, but just browsing the website now, I can see opportunities for films like Back To The Future, The Evil Dead and Kill Bill Vol. 1, as well as other classics such as The Shining, Brazil and even Alien.
This may be starting to come across as a sponsored post or an advertorial, but I assure it isn’t. This is something that shows hope for the future of cinema, which while of course nowhere near dead yet, it’s something quite revolutionary to really get quite excited about. We’ve posted the video that explains things a little bit clearer than I have below, so please tak a look.
We’re off to book The Hollywood News’ Christmas Party screening of Dirty Dancing at the Brixton Ritzy. If you fancy joining us, you know where to click…