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.