I’m a true blue introvert. While I genuinely enjoy people, I regain my energy by being away from them. It’s never once bothered me to do things alone that most people would otherwise do in a group. I like to eat at nice restaurants by myself. Wander new cities by myself. Go to the movies by myself. Going to the movies alone is one of my favorite things to do. Up until college, I had never experienced do anything as a party of one. It was during college that I finally gained a sense of independence, and began to do things alone. I started out my college career at an out of state university. I had no friends starting out, so it was either sit in my dorm room and be miserable, or go out and do something. I didn’t want to let the fact that I had no one to join me deter me from enjoying something amazing. The first activity I did on my own was going to the theater. At first I just went to the casual university theater, then decided to venture out in town to see new releases. Going to the movies is a way for me to wind down and relax.
Reasons to go to the movies alone at least once:
1. It’s liberating– I realized that no one is paying attention if you are alone. I’ve never once received any weird looks or questions, but I don’t really care anyway. I just waltz in, get my ticket stub, and head on my merry way. I’ve always been greeted warmly. Going to the movies is something I love to take time out for. In my mind, it’s a TREAT YO SELF day. Prior to showtime, I usually indulge myself with some good food, and when money allows- some good drink too. I’ll window shop. I’ll stroll around with my headphones, listening to music while I wait. It’s amazing to walk into a theater and smell all the fresh pop corn, see all the bright lights from the movie signs, and hear all the exciting noises- such as the low rumble of the surround sound and the games from the arcade.
2. You’re free to process what you see without peer pressure or distraction– There’s always that one person who seems to hate every movie they see, and makes sure everyone knows it. They make you uncomfortable about your opinion- so either you agree or say nothing. When you’re alone, you can enjoy or not enjoy the movie as you please. Then there’s the person who asks five thousand questions while the movie is going on. They want you to explain, and you’re so busy explaining, you don’t get to experience the movie. During the movie and after the credits role, you don’t have to say anything. You’re free to lose yourself in your thoughts.
3. You can see whatever you want– When I am with my family I have to cater to the whims of my parents and my younger siblings. They love superhero and video game films. I don’t always like them, and of course no one wants to see the latest indie flick and it’s not family friendly to see a raunchy comedy. Or whenever I’m with a group of friends, it’s a majority rule. When I’m solo, I can see whatever it is that interests me and not have to worry about anyone else’s opinion.
4. It provides an escape for a while– You’re in a dark room, observing someone else’s life for a while. When you’re in a theater you can be transported to New York, some galaxy far far away, or inside someone’s brain. As a personal preference, I like to go to matinees, and even see films that I know a lot of people won’t be going to because there’s not as many people, and in some cases- no people at all, which is a magical experience. In those settings, you can kick your feet up, and really take in what you are seeing- which leads me to my next point.
5. Instead of watching a movie, you’re experiencing it– For decades, movie-going has been conditioned as a social activity. It’s a place for first dates, family gatherings on holidays, and a haven for bored teenagers in the summer. When you’re with people, are you really focusing on what you’re seeing? For instance on a date, you’re usually busy contemplating the next move and what to say. The film is secondary. In the case of a truly great film, you’re not viewing it, but experiencing it. There are some movies I would have loved to see when they came out initially, such as Titanic, Moulin Rouge, and Memoirs of a Geisha. Sure you can watch Netflix in your dark living room, but nothing beats the theater atmosphere. If you ever get the pleasure of having a whole theater to yourself, trust me, you’ll understand.