Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Cinema Ticket Proposed Price Hike

I used to watch alot of movies at the cinema, mostly with bunch of mates and if its really good, then on my own. I remembered price for a ticket costs MYR3. "First Class" special (means on the 1st level foyer) costs MYR5. Of course that was more than 20 years ago. Mostly in Penang. There's no GSE nor Cineplex, only Rex, Odeon, Federal, Capitol. And it would smelt of funky stale aromas of sweat, BO and ciggerettes (yes, the rule was not enforced and smokers who craved for a stick will light it away in the midst of Rambo mowing down some VCs). Peanut shells, kuacis and sotongs' wrappers would be everywhere on the floor. Hygiene was the furthest thing away from the mind of a cinema operator. I particularly liked the snack where they had steamed bun, like a hot dog bun, sandwiched with either bak kua or chicken floss, then top up with some deliciously tasty gravy. There used to be someone with a tray of snacks and ice-creams moving around the cinema hawking those stuffs as well. Worse was when someone stuck a stale bubblegum or Wrigleys on the seat or threw on the floor whereby after the movie on the way out, you realised that the traction of your MYR250 Reebok Pump (it was in vogue back then) had increased tremendously. If you sat on that thing for nearly 90 minutes, it would take forever to wash it out. And the seat...heh, the self folding seat's spring was so unpredictable, sometimes it could be coiled so tight that it would fold you in to half if you don't positioned yourself properly. Sometimes, it would be so loose, that if you were late to enter, the moment you found your seat in the pitch darkness, it would came down with a deftening thud, which of course ellicted some unsavoury muttering from fellow moviegoers. Another memorable moment was the cinema ushers. They usually held a torchlight to assist moviegoers to find their seat numbers. But more often than not, they would shine those lights directly onto your face, blinding you in the process. Or some funky ones would rotate their lights, turning the hall into some sort of pseudo disco hall. I remembered going with my cousins back in Teluk Intan, the Rex cinema there even had tikus scampering here and there. Also, should bring a can of Morteen to keep the mosquitos away. Posters were painted instead of graphically rendered accurate work of art. But the painters were not bad then. Its art, if you could find one. Pop art I think. And there would always be some discounts during the last leg of the movies' run. It would say "Last Few Days", then "Last Day". That's then.
Now, cinemas are known as cineplex, with at least 10 screening halls under one roof. Special halls come with massaging chairs and reclining seats, with a price of course. Several movies are being offered simultanously, with no warning of when it is going to end its run. The tickets were imprinted with codes instead of hand written marvel on a piece of flimsy paper. No more unsavoury smells (although the person next to you could be heavily covered with the oh so boring CK One, enough to CK-fied the entire row), no more rodents (except human versions ~ usually a) when watching some cult movies like say, Star Wars, the so-called self appointed expert/nerd would furiously give comment to his fellow nerd peers, often loud enough to derail all the excitement of a storyline, b) screaming gfs who just like to outscream the actresses at every turn, c) laughing maniacs, who laughed at the top of their lung at comedies, d) vibrators, pricks who like to shake their legs or kick the back of your seats).
Now, would I pay for the proposed MYR 20 for foreign movies instead of the current MYR 10? Maybe...but that movie better be darn good! And cheaper rate for domestic movies, to boost the box office intake? I think they are missing the point. And the point is, if somehow the domestic movies could be as good, or better, it doesn't matter how you gonna charge the audience to re-coup the costs...

No comments: