Thought Projections: The Dying Art of Moviegoing
by Don Jaucian
There are certain pleasures in seeing a movie projected to an enormous blank screen in a cavernous movie theater. Amid the rows of seats, the sticky floor, the dredges of food wrappings and popcorn, and the cold clutch of the air conditioning, the tattered souls of moviegoers come alive once the reel starts to unspool, signaling a beginning of an experience that these people will go through.
It is a pleasure depicted in numerous films, acting as offsprings of filmmakers who have dedicated their life to cinema. Whether it’s the cinema as a means to destroy in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, cinema as a communal reflection in Tsai Ming-Liang’s Goodbye, Dragon Inn, or cinema as a carnal act in Brillante Mendoza’s Serbis, moviegoing has shifted from a form of aggrandizing juggernaut to a second option.
There are many factors to blame for the slow demise of moviegoing: the proliferation of pirated DVDs, the increasing accessibility of films online, portable multimedia devices, dwindling attention spans, economic difficulties, and even the censor board’s shameless butchering. The promise of the advancements of the digital age has us returning to golden age science fiction roots, ambling towards a more comfortable and practical form of entertainment, more personalized and intimate.
Despite ticket costs, Filipinos still flock to movie theaters, coming out in droves to catch the latest, most hyped-about films. Last year’s top grossing film in the Philippines, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, grossed $6,317,882, with Iron Man 2 close behind with $6,252,102. Eight of the top ten films are standard Hollywood films, reflecting our culture’s penchant for escapist blockbuster fare. The other two Filipino films in the top ten, My Amnesia Girl and Miss You Like Crazy are products of a studio known for releasing formulaic romances.
But if there’s one thing Pinoys love the most, it’s getting free stuff. Tapping into that characteristic plus our love for entertainment, Smart recently tied up with SM Cinemas to reward Smart users (both for Smart Mobile and Smart Broadband). Via Smart Rewards, accumulated points can be redeemed as movie tickets in SM Cinemas.
Users may simply key in ‘POINTS’ to 9800. The user will receive a barcode (BCODE) which can be scanned using an innovative BCODE technology in SM Cinemas, where they can get their movie tickets, eliminating the need to queue in crazy, long-ass lines. As for Smart Broadband users, they can check their accumulated points online where they can print the barcode for scanning.
Points may also be used for buying food and beverage from the cinema snack bar. So if you have enough accumulated points, you may just get a complete movie experience absolutely free.
This tie-up also checks in at the right time, being the blockbuster season. With high profile films such as X-Men: First Class, Super 8, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Captain America: The First Avenger, Smart users can enjoy movies while staying connected with their loved ones at the same time.
Start accumulating points by texting ‘REDEEM’ to 9800 or ‘INQUIRY’ to 9800 for a list of codes. Visit Smart Rewards for more information.