Going to the Movies Alone

Have you ever gone to the movies alone? If you haven’t, would you ever consider it? Would you find it weird if someone told you they enjoyed going to movies alone? These are the questions I’d like you to think about before delving into this article.

I go to the movies alone more often than I go with other people by a significant margin. It’s something that I’ve gotten pretty mixed reactions about from people when I mention it to them. For the most part, people are surprised that I go alone.

It shouldn’t really come as a shock that that’s the general reaction to someone going to the movies alone. For the vast majority of people, movie-going has always been a group activity. It’s something reserved for date nights, family outings, or something to do with your friends. The idea of going to the movies alone is, in fact, a foreign concept to them.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Sharing the experience of seeing a movie on the big screen with your significant other, your family, or your friends can be a great way to bond with these people. I certainly enjoy going to movies with other people. The only difference is I get the same enjoyment out of the experience when I go alone.

Here’s why.

I love movies and I love the movie theater experience. The big screen, the dark room, the loud sound, I love it all. To me, there’s no better way to experience a movie than on the big screen at the theater. Short of having a talkative movie guest, there’s really not much of a tangible difference in the actual movie-going experience once the lights dim and the film begins. It’s just you and the movie.

The only major difference is having someone there to talk to during the pre-show or to talk about the movie with once its over. I miss out on those moments when going alone, but depending on the movie I’m seeing, sometimes just sitting with the film and what I just experienced is all I want to do after I come out of the theater. As for the pre-show, well, I’ve gotten really good at Cineplex’s game, Timeplay.

Another reason I go alone just comes down to the sheer volume of movies I want to see. Finding someone to go with to every movie I want to see is generally not easy as more often than not, they’ve not even heard of the movie I want to see. I remember a time where I went to the theater a few years ago on a Friday night and ran into a couple friends from university who’d just been there to see The Martian. We stopped to talk for a few minutes and I mentioned I was there to see Sicario instead and neither of them had even heard of the movie.

To be fair, as time went on, I didn’t even really consider asking other people if they wanted to go most of the time because often times, I’d decide maybe an hour before the showtime that I was going to go to the theater. Being at the theater watching movies was my favourite thing to do by this point, so I’d just go.

So, why do I think this is an important topic to discuss?

Ultimately, it comes down to this. I remember a tweet from last year from filmmaker James Gunn about how he started going to the movies alone when he was 12 years old and how he was ashamed and scared that other kids would find out and judge him for it.

That’s why the normalization of solo movie-going is important to me. It’s for the young kid who’s like me or James Gunn and is beyond fond of going to the movies. I don’t believe anyone, let alone a kid, should be scared of doing the thing they love most, nor should they be made to feel like an outcast for doing it.

That’s all for this piece. Until next time...