Let me entertain you (2)
Following a recent successful trip to the local cinema with an older man in his 80s, who has no children, this got me thinking about what entertainment is available to older men, and what are the barriers to them accessing that entertainment?
The Great Escape, Del Boy & Madness
When we were at the Cinema the trailers came on and I thought ‘well don’t think anything for older men will be suitable, this maybe is quite unique (Stan & Ollie film)’, however I was pleasantly surprised to see that coming up were a couple of films that I believe would appeal to older men. One that stood out was a Gala Screening of the Great Escape 75th year anniversary with a special showing of the film with historian Dan Snow. Also, I have noticed that ‘Del Boy’ has come to theatre, through Only Fools & Horses the Musical, again I believe appealing to older men. There is a ‘Madness’ concert in June that I am interested in going to myself. If you were in your 20s when they were formed you would be in your 60s now.
Barriers – Digital, Bus & (fear of) Crime
Great I thought, but then the barriers start. Firstly, as the man I took to watch Stan & Ollie said to me, the listings (for the Cinema) are no longer in the newspaper, and in fact in many areas the local newspaper has disappeared so other than already being at the Cinema the main other way of finding out is ‘digital’ – stats show that 4.8 m older people are not online, so how do they find out & book tickets? Secondly, transport maybe an issue, some of the showings that I could see were later pm on a Sunday, which given many older people use a bus to get around we all know fewer, and in some cases no buses run on a Sunday. The local Madness concert is on a Fri night and again my local research shows that Fri eve for older people is not their favourite night to go out, as a fear of crime stops them. Finally, what about the confidence for an older man who hasn’t been to the Cinema/concert for many yrs, and doesn’t have anybody to go with? As many of these Cinemas are multi complex this may be daunting for them to start with as their memories maybe of smaller ‘theatres’.
Open the curtains and let the show begin
I believe through Community Men2Men Buddying we have shown we can help to overcome many of these barriers, however as a society we can do more to ensure these barriers are minimised. If you want to know more how CM2M can support an older man ‘open the curtains’ and get to the Cinema, Theatre or any other entertainment then get in contact, cm2m.co.uk.