Yes, I go to movies alone and I’m proud of it
I have always thought of the act of going to the movies to be a social experience. Whether the film is exciting, therapeutic or engaging, going with a group of friends was always my preferred and only option. Although we initially went to the movies to stare at a big screen, it felt more comforting to share my cinematic experiences with friends than to not have anyone with me at all. But after a turn of events that left me alone for the first time, I started to reconsider my thoughts on going to the movies with a group of friends.
An infamous act amongst many, going to the movies by yourself can in fact be a much more exciting experience. Once you get over the idea of looking like a loner, you will realize that you can gain a lot more by going by yourself than making it a social experience.
This does not mean that you should abandon your friends and only see movies by yourself for the rest of your life, but to see it as an opportunity to give yourself approximately two hours of just sitting back and enjoying what is on the screen.
To test out this new and exciting experience (and give myself more excuses to sit in the theater alone), I saw three films, each in a different genre, to see if my reaction stayed the same. Based on my events from seeing The Tree of Life, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Contagion, I came up with these results:
If you go to the movies by yourself, you get first priority over seating. Choosing a seat is crucial and picking the wrong seat can alter your experience. Some people like sitting in the back row, others like to be dead centre.
Instead of wasting time arguing over where to sit, you have the option of sitting wherever you like. Sitting alone also gives you the advantage of being able to move quickly if someone pulls a cinema faux-pas and decides to sit close to you.
Another perk, which tends to be my favourite one, is that you do not have to justify your reactions towards a film to your friends. It does not matter if you have the goofiest smile on your face as Ryan Gosling takes his shirt off onscreen or your eyes are about to pop out of their sockets because the movie is having you on the edge of your seat. You can laugh, cry, smirk, roll your eyes and even stick your tongue out without having to worry about your friends shooting glances at you.
All those years I have had to endure the embarrassment of crying next to my guy friends in the theatres; now being alone, I can cry and laugh at the same time without being self-conscious.
If you too engage in this behaviour and someone is sitting near you, your worries of them thinking you are crazy will only last two hours and once the lights go on, all you have to do is simply walk out of the theatre and never see their face again.
If those two arguments do not have you eager to put down my article and immediately go see Drive by yourself, hear me out on this final point.
If you go by yourself, you have less of a chance of being distracted by your friends’ cell phones.
Usually one assumes that when you go to the movies, all your focus and attention will be on the big screen, not the little screens.
However, there are people who feel the need to text, tweet and even answer their phones during a movie and it is even worse when your friend engages in this sort of behaviour.
Since you already have first priority of seating, hopefully your chances of being distracted are slim and you are spared from having to angrily whisper to your friend, “Put your phone away!” Going to the movie by yourself is not necessarily the right choice but instead, a nice alternative to making it a huge social gathering.
Regardless what film genre or theatre you go to, you still get the same feeling of excitement.
Pick a film that you are interested in seeing, grab your favourite snack and choose the best spot in the theatre.
After that, all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the experience that awaits you.