On the Big Screen

My sister, Merrick, prefers to watch movies at home. She and her husband have a fairly large TV, which sits right in front of their comfy squishy couches. In her living room which is adjacent to her kitchen, which has a fridge full of food. Just behind the living room is a bathroom, and it is easy to pause the movie should you need to take a visit to the bathroom or the kitchen. So I can understand why she prefers home.

And yet, I would always prefer to go to the movie theater. I love watching the previews. I love sitting in the dark, with strangers all around me. I love seeing the show on a huge screen with terrific sound. I love hearing the crowd laugh or gasp at the screen. I love having the drive home to talk about the movie – what was awesome or what was so mind-bogglingly stupid.

Watching a movie at home on a Friday night seems kind of sad. Going to a movie on a Friday night feels awesome. Watching a movie alone during the afternoon seems like wasted time. Going out to a matinee feels like an adventure.

Going to the theater reminds me of seeing Beauty and the Beast – the first movie I remember seeing in a real theater. It reminds me of going to see Sweet Home Alabama with my mom and sister, where we came in about 10 minutes late, stayed through the whole credits and re-watched the first few minutes we’d missed. It reminds me of the many many movies I saw at the dollar theater my freshman year in college on dates or with my roommates or even the time a group of us WALKED from the dorms to the movie theater in November, a round trip of four miles. In the cold. It reminds me of the movies my mom and I saw together in the theater when I was home for the summer after freshman year. It reminds me of the dozens and dozens of movies Bart and I have gone to see in our local dollar theater since moving here three years ago. It reminds me of going at midnight on opening night for the first Harry Potter films.

I know it won’t always be as easy for us to go to the movie theater. When we have kids, it will probably make a lot more sense to get a movie from Redbox and stay home to watch it, instead of paying a babysitter. But I think I’ll always prefer going to the movie theater, settling back into a small seat, and hoping I don’t have to go to the bathroom during the show.

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  • Reply smalldog May 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I love going to movie theatres too. J. and I make bets as to how many previews there are going to be, loser buys ice cream!

  • Reply Kristy May 18, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    There’s nothing like the theater: the popcorn smell, the sticky floor, the community feeling. I’m with you there.

  • Reply lacie tidwell May 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I love both- we have a massive big screen and a sweet surround sound system so it’s fun at home- but sometimes it’s nice getting out of the house- and for now, we can even get away with taking our baby to the theatre- we know we won’t be able to do this forever…but she usually sleeps or sits on my lap or her dads lap and watches the entire movie with an entrancedlook on her face- and she doesn’t make a sound- woohoo! she espcially loved Fast and the Furious…and good news- someday when you do have kids- get a babysitting co-op together and you’ll never have to pay for a sitter…it’s awesome… we still have seen all the movies that have come out:)yea for movie theatres and the overly priced popcorn- yea!

  • Reply J and J Acres May 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I agree… I love watching movies in the movie theatre. Nothing beats a big ‘ole coke watching previews for new movies!

  • Reply Kelly J. May 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I’m not a big movie person, but I prefer the theatre, too. In college, I had access to the coolest theatre ever: one screen that played a movie hand selected by the management and preceded by a raffle for free popcorn, free soda, free candy, or a free showing of another film. Not to mention the incredible $4 ticket price. 🙂

  • Reply RA May 18, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Is your movie theater bereft of rude people? Because that is what kills it for me. Besides, any preview that is remotely suspenseful (not to mention scary) terrifies me, and I usually get startled out of my seat by the sound.

    I figure that we have surround sound at home, where I can cower into a pillow without the risk of wanting to slap someone for being completely obnoxious.

  • Reply Packrat May 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I used to love going to the movie theater. Now it is too loud.

    RA – I don’t like suspense things that scare me, either.

    My daughter and I did go to a matinee showing of Mama Mia. We were the only two in the whole theater! Loved every second of the big screen and wonderful sound.

  • Reply Angiegirl May 18, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    My thoughts exactly. I adore going to the movies. Not even the endless previews bother me. It’s all part of the experience I’ve loves since I was a little girl. Managed to snag babysitters tonight and DH and I are off to see Star Trek. So excited!!

  • Reply Science Teacher Mommy May 18, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Beauty and the Beast? I am SOOOO old. My first remembered movie theatre experience was The Empire Strikes back. Yes, that’s right. The FIRST time. I was scared out of my mind. I miss the drive in–a lot of my favorite movie memories come from there. The old drive in theatre is now a subdivision. *sigh*

    We always see the action-adventure types on the big screen. Some movies are better in the theatre, some movies I’m happy to watch either place. Of course, by the time we pay 17 dollars, make a five mile round trip for the sitter, stress about her putting the kids to bed and then pay her another 15 . . . the movie had better be AWESOME.

  • Reply emandtrev May 18, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I think we are kindred spirits! I love going to movies in the theater, love the previews, love matinees, love talking about it on the way home, etc. After having kids, this goes to a whole new level. I still enjoy movies at home, but it’s usually on a Saturday night–after the kids are in bed, after the news, and after we’ve made microwave popcorn. Not quite the same as going out to watch something, but still fun in a different way.

  • Reply Miriam May 18, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I like em both, but don’t go out much because it’s so much cheaper to do the home thing. If we had a dollar theatre here that would probably be different!

  • Reply Angela Noelle May 19, 2009 at 12:41 am

    I could discuss the merits of both for HOURS. I mean it.

    One thing, I discovered in Star Trek recently, is that the movie theatre also provides the added bonus of blushing when you jump in fear in response to something on the screen. Awesome.

  • Reply Lisa May 19, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    You are never gonna visit my blog again after I admit this, but I’m just not a huge movie watcher. When I do get convinced to go I enjoy it, but in general I would rather spend my time doing other things. (The exception to this is the Harry Potter movies, I anticipate them for months.) I don’t often watch movies at home either, which is why it’s shocking that I checked three out of the library today.

  • Reply Douglas Carl May 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I totally agree. For me, it’s also about focus. At home I’m too tempted to look at an incoming text or email, throw the dog the ball or get up and grab a snack. Also, I don’t have the patience to wait to see Star Trek when it’s finally on video and all of the hype is long since over.

  • Reply megan May 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I am way behind in reading posts… I totally agree. Theater for me. I love going to movies. Since Roger doesn’t, I do matinees by myself or with a friend a lot, and that is just fine with me. It’s not pathetic, it is just what I want to do. And when he is willing, it’s not the problem for me to pay a babysitter, it’s finding a babysitter to pay 🙂

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