I’ve always loved going to the cinema and seeing movies. As a movie fan there is no better feeling than when the lights dim down and the film begins. Everyone is quiet and going through a similar and very unique experience. One of the greatest sites you can see is by looking up at a crowd of people in the dark only illuminated by the movie. I love going to the movies. It’s one of the best things about being a movie fan. Of course there are ways to enhance that experience and ways you can ruin it for yourselves and others. Here are my thoughts of why I love going to the movies.
The most obvious reason that I love the movies and cinema is seeing them on a big screen. Movies just look better on a big screen, it’s no secret. Not that every movie has to be seen on the big screen. One of my favorites, My Dinner With Andre, is just as powerful on a home video screen. Of course, something like Avatar or The Avengers benefits greatly from a larger screen and better sound to accompany it.
Not only are you watching a film covering a wall, you are also in a room with other people watching the same thing you are. We all have different experiences in a movie even when we’re sitting right next to each other. It really is incredible how transfixed even the casual movie goer becomes when sitting in that seat. It takes you on a two hour journey and sparks your imagination, living vicariously through the on screen performances.
Not everyone sees this as sacred place either. It’s sadly a common phenomena now to be distracted by someone in the theater with you. Cell phones are all too prominent now and even though I live in my phone, I respect the environment I’m in and silence my phone. Sure all the announcements get annoying but if one person decides to listen to them, I say have them. Some say that they will kick you out if your phone is out and I chuckle a little. IF there is actually someone there, they’re only present for a couple minutes and no one’s going to ask you to leave unless the phone’s brightness is at its max or is continually making noise.
But it’s not hard to keep your phone in your pocket for the duration of the movie. If you honestly do need to, dim the lights or excuse yourself, seriously. I don’t want to sound harsh, but it really does bother me when someone is distracting so obliviously. The only time I can remember using my phone was when I was the only one seeing Exodus: Gods and Kings. I only did it too because that was a long movie. I enjoyed it, especially the last 30 minutes and the plagues, but I did have to check the time.
I generally don’t go for the concession stands. I’m not a big fan of popcorn and only get drinks if I’m thirsty. Biggest reason for that is that they’re expensive! I have been known to sneak in candy too, but who hasn’t? Another problem with refreshments for me is that I drink incredibly fast. I usually finish a large soda before the movie begins and end up having to go to the restroom which I hate. I don’t mind other people doing it. I just think: “You’re missing the movie!” I went to see Birdman with some friends and we found four seats in the middle of a row and had to go through an old couple. First time they make a comment about us being rowdy and we reply by saying we’re not going to distract them. But of course, three out of the four of us had to use the bathroom before. They didn’t all go at the same time though. One went, then thirty seconds later another went, and then another. And of course they come back at separate times too. So I felt kind of bad about that. But it’s part of the experience.
I enjoy seeing movies by myself. Especially if it’s one I’m seeing for the first time. I don’t need to talk to anyone during a movie. I do like discussing it after though. But I don’t mind it at all. If I’m seeing a comedy though, I love being in a theater full of people. One of my favorite experiences at a movie was a packed screening of This Is The End. That room was loud and I loved every second of the uproarious laughter.
One more thing that has always bothered me and been awkward at times is applause or lack of it at a movie. I always hear about movies at festivals getting long applause but not when I go. Maybe the audience is different. At a place like Sundance, I assume everyone there does something in the movie world, while here in Colorado with the general audience, you get people looking for stuff to do and not going purely to see the movie. I’ve always wondered about that. I’ve been to a lot of movies, and only three times has the audience applauded. Once in the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, an early screening of This Is The End, and Selma. The latter was only a day after it had been released and the applause came when Brad Pitt’s name came up as a producer. I’m still not sure if that was coincidence or not. When I saw American Sniper on a Friday night in a packed theater, the movie ended and everyone just started shuffling out. What made it so awkward though was that the credits were shown without any music so we had to leave over the sound of everybody leaving. Someday I want to start applauding and see if anyone joins in.
I’ve mentioned some already, but here are the best movie experiences I’ve had at the cinema: The Dark Knight Rises, This Is The End, Avatar, and Birdman (Or the unexpected virtue of ignorance). What are yours?
If you want to see a movie that captures the magic of movies, watch the 1988 Italian film ‘Cinema Paradiso’. Great film.