I’ve been asked in several occasions why I still got out to the movies when I could sign-up for a movie streamlining service. To which I answer that I actually have a subscription. And that yes I watch a lot of films at home too. But for me, there’s nothing quite like heading to the movie theater and spending a few hours there. I wouldn’t replace the experiences I have from watching every film for anything in the world. It’s one of the things that I’d probably be doing even when I get into my old age.
If I think about the reasons why I think going out for a movie is still a thing, at least for me, they would be these:
1. Shared experience. This may sound like a cliché but as an introvert I prefer spending more time alone. The movies are probably the last place you’d imagine I’d want to be when I can watch anything I want alone in room. But I like how the cinema is one of those few places where anyone gets to enjoy a shared experience with people without the burden of having to get into conversation with them. I get to enjoy films in peace while still being around likeminded individuals who’re watching the same movies I like.
2. The movie screen. Many home entertainment systems nowadays come with huge TV screens. But unless you have your own movie theater at home, you probably won’t be able to watch films on screens as big as the ones they have in cinemas out there. It’s the big screen that’s one of the biggest draws for me.
3. Not worrying about the volume. Have you ever watched a movie with the volume turned up only to be told off by a family member or neighbor to keep the noise down? I find this frustrating at times, especially when it gets in the way of my enjoying the movie to the fullest. In cinemas, I can watch any film I want to see without worrying about disturbing the people around me with the “noise”.
4. The snacks. Eating popcorn is part of the movie-watching experience for me. It’s an indulgence that I look forward to almost as much as the prospect of finally seeing the film I’ve been looking forward to. Preparing popcorn is not rocket science. I could do it quickly at home if I want to. So why would I want to go out for a movie and eat popcorn at the cinema? It’s because I like movie theater popcorns more not to mention the anticipation of watching a movie’s story unfold on the big screen in front of me.
5. Moviegoers’ reactions (or non-reactions). I may not know the people sitting next to me or around me. But the feeling of kinship’s there, especially when I notice how their reactions mirror mine. I feel a special affinity with people who are moved to tears or laughter the same way I do. Other people’s presence also makes me less afraid of horror movies that could scare me out of my wits if I’m watching it alone.