Whenever you head to the cinema these days, there’s always an advert asking audiences to be vigilant against video pirates: making sure anyone with a camcorder can’t buckle their swash.The one thread that runs between them all is an emphasis on the value of the ‘cinematic experience’. Pirates, we’re told, are a threat to that experience. Well certainly those big hats must be blocking somebody’s view. But however much we cinema-goers care, or don’t, about internet piracy, we do all care about having a good Saturday night at the movies, whatever picture we see. But how connected, really, are those two things? Is internet piracy really the biggest threat to our cinematic experience, and if not, what else is?
According to figures released today from the UK Film Council, 2009 had the highest cinema attendance in the last six years, with over 170 million people visiting their local theatre. This means that contrary to popular prediction, the film business is alive and booming.