Cinemas are a common sight nowadays. They are found in every town. The existence of so many cinemas reflects their popularity. They have indeed become the most popular places of entertainment. The cinema attracts large numbers of people every day. It is the magnet of the town. It sometimes attracts even those who do not wish to see a film. The influence that the cinema exerts on the minds of those who visit it is at once beneficial and harmful.
As it is so popular, the cinema exerts a profound influence on the minds of many people, young and old. The influence is sometimes good, and sometimes it is bad. Films showing criminal activities and the sensual desires of man have caused much harm to the youth. Some young people have become criminals themselves through almost every film shows how the good always triumphs over the evil. The cinema has also caused many people to waste money. Such people have become so addicted to visiting the cinema that they see almost every film, good or bad. In this way, money is wasted not only on purchasing tickets for admittance to the cinema but also on traveling and many other things. Today, there is a cinema in almost every town. The cinema provides so much entertainment that few people fail to visit it. One of the reasons for the popularity of the cinema is that it entertains all types of people, young and old, literate and illiterate. Because it is so popular, it must exercise some influence on those whom it attracts.
The films shown in the cinema are often very instructive and informative. Almost every film shows something about the activities and customs of the people in other lands. By seeing such films, one learns a lot about human activities. One also gains a better understanding of people of the world.
Further, some films show the battles that were fought in the past. They also sometimes show very vividly how man has struggled through the centuries to remove discomfort from his life. In this way, some films have given many people an insight into the past. Even illiterate people have benefited from such films. What they cannot acquire from books owing to their inability to read, they can acquire from films. School students, too, often benefit from a visit to the cinema. What they see and hear in the cinema makes a better impression on their minds that only the spoken words of their teachers. For example, a teacher of history can hardly describe a battle scene to his students as vividly as a film does.
For all these reasons, the cinema is often regarded as an important means of spreading knowledge. Often, however, the cinema helps to spread knowledge.
There are many films which show the activities of the various races of people living in the remote regions of the earth. Some films show how man has struggled through the centuries to make the world a better place to live in. There are also films which show the events that led to some of the important battles in the past. They are shown with so much realism that one remembers them for a long time. Such films are indeed invaluable, especially to those who are illiterate. In this respect, the cinema could be regarded as a school. Even the dullest student learns many things if he sees an educational film in the cinema though he may learn nothing from his teacher or his books. Such is the effect of the film, and in many countries, educational authorities are trying to make the best use of the cinema to spread knowledge and information.
It must be admitted, however, that some films have exerted an evil influence on many people. Films which show the activities of criminals have encouraged many youths to commit acts of crime. Other films, too, such as those dealing with sex and other natural weaknesses of man, have corrupted the morals of many people. As a result, the governments of many countries have been compelled to interfere in the display and production of certain films. Yet, the cinema continues to retain its popularity.
It is therefore clear that the cinema has many advantages as well as disadvantages. Often the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Those who visit the cinema with the purpose of learning something good are sure to benefit from almost every visit to the cinema.