Favourite Film Viewing 

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Everybody has their favourites. What is your favourite film as seen on the big screen?

Digging deep into my childhood memories (and yes I did have to dig really deep), I can remember that the location where I grew up, and had my early cinematic experiences, had five cinemas.  These were the Odeon, Palace, Country, Palladium (sometimes referred unkindly to as "The Bug Hut" and the Picturedrome.  I am not to sure about the name of the last cinema but then it was a long time ago.  The last I heard, this number of cinemas had reduced to a single offering.

I was reminded of this reduction of cinematic viewing options by a television advert that covered how our visual entertainment habits had changed over the years.  The rate of change had been re-enforced by the Pandemic as companies, such as Netflix, have become the perceived norm rather than an outside visit to the local "fleapit" with a possible chatting audience and other types of disruption to distract you.  But how will you react now that cinemas in the UK have been given permission to reopen their doors and provide an all-encompassing visual experience that film makers feel we can not live without.

Maybe you are of the opinion that the best days of the cinematic experience is of the past but then more than 34% of those questioned, during a recent survey conducted by OnBuy, were of the opinion that a visit to the cinema was the top leisure activity they missed the most during the period of lockdown.  Conducted by OnBuy, "the world's fastest-growing online marketplace", this survey polled 1513 of the company's customers regarding their cinematic memories of their favourite films and the genre they covered.  These memories focused on films viewed on the massive screens and all-round audio experience delivered to the audience.

Top of the list of favourite big screen experiences was the Spielberg movie that was first released in December 1975.  I have to admit that this particular film would not have qualified to be anywhere near the top of my favourite films but 93% voted for Jaws.  I would probably have gone for the second place offering as my first choice.  This was the original Star Wars trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983) with a 91% rating.  I queued in the rain to see the first of this trilogy.  While in confessional mode, I have to admit that I have never seen the film that came third in the list.  This was Stanley Kubrick's The Shining released in 1980 and scoring 83%.  Notice that the top three films were all from a couple of generations ago.

The top 20 films as voted for by this survey are:

  1. Jaws - 93%
  2. Star Wars (original trilogy) - 91%
  3. The Shining - 83%
  4. The Lord of the Rings trilogy - 82%
  5. The Princess Bride - 80%
  6. Alien - 78%
  7. Raiders of the Lost Ark - 74%
  8. Saving Private Ryan - 69%
  9. Jurassic Park - 67%
  10. The Exorcist - 63%
  11. The Godfather - 62%
  12. Scream - 60%
  13. Gladiator - 44%
  14. The Matrix trilogy - 43%
  15. Back to the Future - 42%
  16. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - 41%
  17. Titanic - 38%
  18. E.T. - 36%
  19. Ghostbusters (1984) - 33%
  20. Forrest Gump - 30%

I do not recall seeing The Princess Bride but I have varying memories of all the other entries.

Other results of the survey show that Sci-fi/Fantasy was the most popular genre for big screen viewing with 53% with 32% voting for Horror and rom-coms only recording 6%.  With several films having their released dates postponed, the three top title in this category were James Bond in No Time To Die, Black Widow and Wonder Woman 1984.

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