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On the Big Screen

A few weeks ago, some friends of mine and I went out for the evening. Bart decided to spend this unexpected alone time at the movie theater, watching “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (a movie he knew I had absolutely zero interest in watching, despite the inclusion of Ioan Gruffudd – when a movie includes Ioan Gruffudd and I still don’t want to see it, you know the movie is likely to be bad).

When I mentioned this to one of my friends, she seemed surprised and asked if Bart frequently went to movies alone. I said that while he rarely did so, both he and I on occasion do see movies alone. “I’ve never heard of someone going to see a movie alone,” she told me.

My mom loves to go see movies by herself and always has, so it doesn’t seem like strange behavior to me. One of my college roommates also enjoyed seeing a movie on her own from time to time. I know Bart and I aren’t the only people who go to the movie theater alone. We don’t do it often (mostly because we have very compatible movie taste: I like action movies and he enjoys chick flicks, so practically any movie one of us wants to see is agreeable to the other).

I went to see a movie by myself the day after my last on-campus finals in April 2006. It was the middle of the day, and the movie theater was almost deserted; it was blissful to just sit and bask in the mindlessness of watching a movie, after studying for final exams and writing papers for the last few weeks (even though the movie itself was rather abominable (Failure to Launch, in case you were wondering)).

Do you think it’s strange behavior? Do you ever go see a movie alone? And why is this different from watching a movie alone at home on your own screen?

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24 Comments

  • Reply baby's got blue eyes October 17, 2007 at 1:38 am

    My uncle sees movies by himself and encourages my aunt to do so as well because they have different tastes in movies. I’ve only gone alone to the movies I had to see for my Media Arts class, but I’m not a person who likes to do much by myself. It took me a long time to get used to shopping by myself (but now I love it!) I thought it was a little weird when I first heard about it but I’m more used to the idea now. But I doubt I’d do it myself!

  • Reply Katherine October 17, 2007 at 1:40 am

    I don’t think it’s strange at all (unusual, though). A few years ago I started going to International Cinema by myself and loved it. Now on occasion, when I want to enjoy solitary mindlessness or am interested in a movie no one else wants to see, I go on my own–ideally late on a weekday night when I have half the theater to myself.

  • Reply heidikins October 17, 2007 at 1:53 am

    Hm, I go to movies by myself all the time. Granted, I usually skip out of the solo-movie excursion on Friday or Saturday nights, but weeknights? Sure. Matinees? Absolutely. I usually invite someone to come with, but if they can’t – I go anyway. I’m a little fiestily independent that way. ;o)

    xox

  • Reply David Grover October 17, 2007 at 2:49 am

    Yeah, International Cinema alone is great. That way you don’t feel stupid when everyone else walks out crying and you’re just sitting there thinking, “Wait-that dude was a girl? How can you tell in Japanese cartoons?”

  • Reply Kristi October 17, 2007 at 2:53 am

    I wouldn’t mind doing it, but I never have. Blaine, on the other hand, loves movies with or without company. One time when Gwen was getting a little too old to sit quietly in her carseat at the movie theater, Blaine begged me to go see a movie with him. I warned him that Gwen wouldn’t be good for it. He wanted to go anyway, so I sent he and Gwen to a movie by themselves. He came home about 40 minutes later. . . he doesn’t like to talk about it 😉

  • Reply Ralphie October 17, 2007 at 2:58 am

    Okay. I’m retarded. I know it’s not weird. I was just shocked because you’re both so social. But a good balance is always needed in life. Perhaps someday I too will be able to go to the movies alone. It sounds rather nice. Step one: going to the bathroom alone.

  • Reply Gretchen October 17, 2007 at 3:05 am

    I have never gone to see a movie in the theater by myself, but this is probably horribly skewed by the fact that I almost NEVER see movies in the theater (not counting dollar movies in college…) Sometimes, you just have to, but most of the time, it’s expensive, the treat supply is pricey and limited, and you can’t stop to pee, go back and figure out what someone said, stop to discuss cinematography, explore themes part way through, etc etc. Dollar movies in college were different, the whole point was the social aspect. They were so old you could already practically rent them anyway and you certainly weren’t there for the wicked sound system.

  • Reply smarteze October 17, 2007 at 3:28 am

    Tim and I don’t see movies alone, but I definitely encourage him to go see “boy movies” with his friends. I certainly don’t want to pay $8 to watch a movie I have no interest in seeing!

  • Reply Noelle October 17, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    I totally agree with Smarteze. If someone couldn’t go see a girl movie with me I would wait until another time when I could have a companion. If Phil wanted to see a movie I didn’t want to watch, I’d tell him to go with his guy friends. I think half the enjoyment of going to the movies is sharing/observing reactions throughout (yes, I am a bit of a movie talker….but I’m quiet!) and afterward. I would consider going alone if it were cheaper than 8 bucks (dollar movie)and a weekday or matinee like Heidi said. I would rather do that than go out to a fancy restaurant alone. 🙁

  • Reply Gina October 17, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    So, was Bart’s movie any good?

  • Reply Jennifer Lee October 17, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    The first time I went I remember that I felt like the biggest loser. But then I adjusted, and have loved going to movies by myself–I appreciate that I don’t have to worry at all about how much someone else is enjoying the movie.

  • Reply ambrosia ananas October 17, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    I think I’ve gone by myself maybe once. If there were something I really wanted to see that Bawb wouldn’t watch with me, I might go again. I don’t like going to the theater by myself, though. If I’m going to be by myself, I’d rather stay home where I’m not surrounded by people and the popcorn isn’t $10 a bag.

  • Reply One Smart Cookie October 17, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    I don’t think it’s weird that other people do, but I probably wouldn’t. I don’t really know WHY I wouldn’t, though. Maybe because one of my favorite parts of going to the movies is discussing the movie afterwards with the person you went with.

    On a related note, when I used to travel for work a lot, I was always terrifed of the thought of eating alone in a restaurant. I know lots of people do it when they travel for business, but I always seemed to end up heading for the nearest drive through and then eating alone in the comfort of my hotel room. Would you eat alone in a restaurant?

  • Reply Melanie October 17, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I went to a movie alone once just for the experience, and it was fine. These days, with movie prices so high, I rarely go to the theater, and when I do it’s mainly for the social experience. When I watch movies at home I am almost annoyed if there is anyone else around; I like it pitch black and silent.

  • Reply TheMoncurs October 17, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I used to go to movies alone all the time in high school and got mocked endlessly for it.

    My reasoning was this: there’s a specific movie I want to see at a specific time. If I call someone, they may or may not be able to make that time slot. And, actually, they’d prefer to see this other movie instead. Next thing you know, you’re seeing another movie at another time and you’re wondering how you got there. So I stopped inviting people.

    I’d do it now too if I had the disposable income I used to!

    Oh, and one time while seeing a move by myself (Count of Monte Cristo) there was a guy a few rows behind me who started threatening to kill us all and I ran out cause, hi, scary, and then they evacuated theater. I think they may have actually been the last time I went alone.

  • Reply alana October 17, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    I’ve never gone to see a movie by myself, but Matt does it every now and then. It still strikes me as a little strange (I think because I’d never even really considered that people would go to the movies alone), but he has no problem with it and it prevents us from arguing over the fact he has terrible taste in movies. Sometimes I join him anyway to prevent him from feeling lonely, but I think that has way more to do with the fact that I would personally feel lonely if I went alone than it does with him having a problem with it.

  • Reply Stacy October 17, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    While I have neer gone to the movies alone, I see absolutely nothing wonrg with it. Hmmm…maybe I’ll have to try it one day while the kiddos are in school!

  • Reply Bart Bradshaw October 17, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Don’t worry about the cost. We have a dollar theater (actually $1.50) just a few miles from our place, which is where I saw said movie.

    We almost never go to regular theaters due to unacceptable ticket prices (anything over about $3.00 for a movie ticket pretty much breaks the monthly entertainment budget anyway).

  • Reply chloe elizabeth October 18, 2007 at 6:48 am

    So, while I have only ever seen one by myself, it was great. And I would do it again. The thing is, it was a movie that I wanted to see. No one I knew wanted to go with me (either they had already seen it or had no desire to do so). It was seriously an empowering experience, not to mention that I didn’t have to drag anyone along. The only problem, when I had to use the restroom (44 oz. of DC was a bad idea), I had no one to fill me in on what I’d missed.

    My aunt loves to see movies by herself (and she’s married with three kids). It’s one of her favorite “alone time” activities.

  • Reply -R- October 18, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    My husband sees movies by himself every other month or so. I never have, but I don’t see anything weird about it. I have eaten dinner by myself in a restaurant before though.

  • Reply Alicia October 19, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    When I discovered that my father-in-law goes to movies alone, I said, “Who DOES that?!” Then I thought about it and realized that I had reacted in haste, and decided that I actually kind of liked the idea. I’ve never gone to the theater alone, but I used to celebrate the end of finals by watching Anne of Green Gables. Once my roommate came in and did a double-take–she had never seen me in front of the TV before! Anyway, I do enjoy movies alone, but I usually watch them at home while doing some sort of project to justify the time to myself. And thanks for your post, by the way :). And congrats on your acceptance to grad school, by the WAY!

  • Reply Zillah October 19, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    first time i went to a movie by myself was in 9th grade–a rerelease of casablanca. yes, i was the only single person in the theater. my 14-year-old self almost died.

    since that time, i’ve made it a habit to go to movies alone on a regular basis. when ic had showings earlier in the day, i would usually stop in maybe 3 times a week between classes. i actually prefer to go to movies by myself, to be honest. i never have to worry if the other person likes it, or if i’m ruining the other person’s night by walking out.

  • Reply Ginger October 21, 2007 at 1:36 am

    I go to the movies alone. My mom lives out of state and I don’t really have a good girlfriend. And sometimes I just need a good Chick Flick Fix. I love to be the only one in the theater so I can bawl my eyes out. It’s jusually during the day because I have a some weekdays off.

  • Reply meridia diet October 26, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    actually, that’s brilliant. Thank you. I’m going to pass that on to a couple of people.

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