A few weeks ago, I went to see a movie on a Friday afternoon. I won’t tell you which movie it is; most of my friends know, because they knew I was in two minds. But I managed to get tickets to the earliest screening. There was a strangely long line to buy tickets, but I had gotten mine ahead of time and showed it off on my phone. Then I went and sat in the plush seats. The previews were okay, all things considered.
Normally I go to see movies at night with my older brother. He buys the tickets, and I insist on paying for concessions. At least, I have more recently. We tend to hit the Marvel films. At night, the theaters tend to be packed. We agree that Into the Spiderverse was phenomenal and worth it.
Despite the readiness of Netflix, DVDs, and home theaters, some cinemas still retain their magic. The red carpet and smell of popcorn remind you that you’re entering another world. And that’s why I watch movies in theater. To dive into another world and forget the real one.
The last time I saw a movie midday, it was either El Mismo Luna or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, whichever came out first. I had to see the former for Spanish class, and the latter I saw because it was Harry Potter before the films became disappointing and really hard to follow unless you were a die-hard fan.
My brother thinks that nighttime is more fun, and that during the day you and do things like work, walking out in the sun, or reading. To me the time doesn’t really matter until you’re rushing to the theater, and wanting to watch the previews or laugh at them. What matters is getting the seats on time,
There certainly are differences. When you’re in a semi-empty theater in the middle of the day, laughter doesn’t echo. When you giggle at the screen, you laugh alone. People’s claps and cheers aren’t there. And so you feel how large the seats are, when no one’s in them.
When you watch a movie alone, it weighs in how alone you are, whether you are seeking solitude or companionship. This was a movie I debated on seeing with a friend, but decided that if we disagreed, then we wouldn’t like the experience even if one of us liked the film. I’m glad i saw this film alone, though I’m sad no one in the theater wanted to bond over our love of the franchise.
The next film I see will be at night, with my brother. We’re already making plans. When I do a midday film next, I’ll make sure to get a clearer mind, and the best seat in the house.