How do Screens and Venues Feature in People’s Film Viewing?

What is distinctive about venues in the ways people develop relationships with film and with audience experiences?

Some of the key aspects that were important to people about venues were technical, such as the quality of picture and sound, and the size of the screen, while other important factors that influenced people’s relationship with a venue were associated with its programming, the choice and range of films on show and the location of the cinema relative to people’s homes.

Do people develop preferences for particular venues?  If so, how is loyalty built up and sustained?

Some people developed an affection and affinity with their local cinema and were very loyal audience members. In the case of independent cinemas, this was often related to the different kinds of programmes that these types of cinemas showed, or a venue’s history and how that venue was rooted in a place or community. The experience the cinema offered to the audience was central to this loyalty, including practical things like the comfort of the seats, but also cultural elements like the role the cinema played in promoting and developing film culture more generally, by hosting festivals or director Q&As, for example.

How does home viewing feature in people’s film viewing and type of audience experience?

Almost everyone watched films at home, predominantly through broadcast television, but increasingly through online streaming platforms. DVDs and illegal streaming also featured in people’s film watching at home to a lesser degree. Audience experiences at home were often group audience experiences, where people watched films collectively with their partner, friends or family.

In what ways do mobile phones and tablets feature in people’s film viewing?

Mobile phones and tablets enabled people to watch films in different locations at home, such as in bed, but also while on the move, such as on a bus or train journey.  But the experience of watching on a mobile phone was often questioned because the small size of the screen might make film viewing less enjoyable.