Going to the cinema should free and accessible for everyone


Quézia Arruda Cunha, Reporter

Going to the cinema is an event, one that is akin to a ceremony.

The unique smell of buttered popcorn. The stifled laughter from a group of high schoolers. The applause at the end of an epic scene. All of these are elements that make up the ritual of going to the movies. 

For a few hours, we cross the portal to a parallel world, where we are no longer the protagonists of the story.

I’m about to finish my freshman year in the United States, and I still haven’t set foot in a movie theater here.

The main reason for this, besides a lack of time, is the financial demand that accompanies a trip to the movies.

Twelve dollars, the common price of a movie ticket here in Lexington, is not always manageable for students. However, some theaters offer student discounts, where tickets are as low as $10. 

I still don’t consider it a fair value.

For much of my childhood, going to the movies was an elite activity. 

Prices were absurdly expensive, and whether you are a student or not, there were no discounts. Everything was overpriced and watching “High School Musical 3” on the big screen was only for the rich private school crowd.

However, during high school, with my academic involvement in one of the public colleges in my state (Rio de Janeiro), I discovered a world that for me seemed to be utopian: going to the movies without having to pay for a  ticket.

The group of students from the College of Film began showing the Oscar-nominated films 2019  for free in the open air. 

What was supposed to be a temporary project became the institution’s official cinema, which in addition to being free for students, offered a discount for other customers.

When I arrived on American soil, with my mind still stuck in the ideal world of clichés I saw in the movies, I thought I would explore the same experience of a typical American teenager going with my friends to the movies on a Friday night.

But today I realize that this is not the case. 

My life in the U.S. is a dream, but one without the clichés of the movies.

Having free access to the ceremonial experience of going to the cinema should be one of the most basic rights of any human being. And although UK’s Worsham Cinema provides films for students, free access to the cinema should be for everyone.

Smelling the unforgettable scent of popcorn and hearing grating teenage laughter from the back row should be everyone’s privilege.

I understand that, despite its beauty and artistry, cinema is an industry and therefore needs to generate profit.

However, I also believe that stipulating prices that keep people from exploring the parallel and unforgettable world of this art should be considered a violation of the rights of any citizen.

Experiencing the world of cinema is like experiencing a safe home. And that shouldn’t be taken away from anyone, regardless of financial conditions.

Going to the movies is an event, and this one should be on everyone’s agenda, without exception.