A Movie Night at the Warehouse
(as Captured by a Subjective Camera)

1. Confines of the movie world. The stage is set at the newest MIT graduate dormitory, the Warehouse. Tonight, the "Moulin Rouge" is on!
Picture 1. Confines of the movie world.
2. Spectators are gathering. Paradoxically, in the age of personal entertainment the dorm residents rarely use two TVs in small lounges, but rush to gather in a bigger conference room round a projection screen and share the experience of watching a movie with a crowd of neighbours.

3. There is food. Food is a traditional complement of an American movie. Did you ever get to know anybody while standing in a queue for popcorn?

4. Preliminary arrangements. Is this place free? Hold the plate for a moment please... How can I possibly eat all this pizza?

5. Brown movement. People chat, go to and fro, occasionally bump into each other, make friends.

6. The show begins. The soundtrack is augmented by steady chewing. Comments, exclamations, gestures, and flashes of the disturbing photo camera randomly scattered in space and time accomplish the picture.

7. The face of uncertainty. It is hard to see on the picture that the personage on the screen is sticking out his tongue. The spectators are in a better position to observe it. However, they are rarely fully concentrated on the screen, particularly during the first half of the show. There is always somebody replenishing his or her plate, stepping in the room or out of it, etc.

Picture 2. The face of uncertainty.
8. The show is over. The film ends. Immediately, almost everybody is up and heading towards the exit.

9. Exchanging impressions. Now is the time to talk about the experience. What's the name of that beautiful actress? Who is the director? The music is wonderful... Is it?


The collaborative activity that people engage in when they get together to see a movie is multi-layered.

It is simultaneously a theater show (spectators vs. actors, mimesis), a party (food, people coming and going), and an activity involving (quasi) direct observation (sight, hearing) of the movie events and that of other people's reaction (sight, hearing + sometimes touch).

There exists a wide range of scenarios differing in terms of content, delivery, equipment, space, audience, etc., e.g. conventional movie theater, drive-in, home theater, regular TV+VCR, Internet-based broadcasting...

Conjoint viewing by spatially separated spectators: existent prototypes. Stefan and Mike's projects: iCOM, Vision Televison, + Reflection of Presence?

General approach: combine online show and online meeting; if the participants of the activity are not physically collocated, they should be particiapting in it at the same time; if neither the unity of place, nor the unity of time is possible, there can still be a way to transmit emotional reactions of other people to the same events through video/audio(/touch?) recording. Turn exchange (like chess by correspondence)?

Why do people go to movie theaters these days?