Why Going to the Theatre Alone Was My Best Movie-Going Experience Ever

Last night, I finally went to see Captain America: Civil War, which was really, really fantastic, by the way, and I went to see it alone. Something that I was really nervous doing at first, but it turned out to be my best movie-going experience ever. And let me tell you why.

First, I’d like to start off by saying that I am a very anxious person. I mean, calling a cab in and of itself gets a good adrenaline rush going. So the mere idea of going to a film alone, especially considering that I hadn’t been to see a movie, period, in a year, was enough to get me feeling nauseated. But, I decided I wanted to do it anyway. Why? Maybe it was because I just desperately wanted to see Civil War. Maybe I had missed just one too many good movies. Maybe it was a combination of the two. But what sparked it was re-watching a little movie called The F Word, or What If, depending on who you talk to.

It stars Daniel Radcliffe, and it came out a couple of years ago. It wasn’t a super big hit or anything, it was a quirky rom-com, and actually something that I really enjoyed, and often turn to when I need a good laugh. But I was re-watching it a few weeks back, and it came to the scene where both Chantry and Wallace go and see a movie alone, The Princess Bride. They end up seeing each other, which is awesome, but that wasn’t the part that caught my eye. It was the idea that one could so casually go and see a film by themselves. They didn’t have to try and make plans, schedule out a probably inconvenient time to go, they could just go whenever they wanted. And that seemed pretty freeing.

I have missed a lot of good movies over the years because I couldn’t find anyone to go with. And I claim to be a fairly independent person, and I see myself that way, but I realized that I haven’t done a lot of independent things. And while some anxieties can’t be overcome simply by doing them, some can. And this happens to be one of those things.

I’m kind of ranting, but it’ll all come together, I promise. Back on track, though, why was seeing a movie alone so much better than seeing it with other people?

1) Like I said above, scheduling. I’ve actually had it take over a week to try and work out a time where I can get together with someone to go to the movies. It’s usually a time that’s super inconvenient for both parties, not to mention figuring out rides and such. When you’re going alone, it’s a lot easier. Sure, if you don’t drive (like myself), you kind of have to work around that, but there’s always public transit. That means you can go whenever you want to. It’s pretty great.

2) Small talk. As in, there is none. You don’t have to try and make awkward conversation, or try and figure out a polite way to tell your friend to shut up during the movie. You paid to see this after all, you want to get your money’s worth. It’s just you, you can sit and enjoy that movie just as if you were at home, if your home had a massive screen.

3) Seating. There’s always that one friend who wants to sit right up at the front (seriously, that stuff messes up your neck for days), or the very back (too far away for me, sorry), or right in the middle (while it’s my sweet spot, maybe you don’t like that kind of thing). You sit where you want to with no complaints or arguments. Talk about heaven.

4) Sharing. No one to share with. You get those maltesers all to yourself.

5) Opinions. So, you know when you come out of the theatre, and your friend starts complaining about a scene that you thought was absolutely brilliant, or vice versa? And you either have to gear up for an argument or prepare to put on a fake smile and agree with them? Or maybe you have the exact same opinions, but you don’t really feel like sharing them. When you go alone, you don’t have to worry about that. There’s no pressure. And if you do want to talk about it? Texting. But again, it’s a choice. You don’t have to do it out of obligation, only because you want to. And that is awesome.

6) It boosts your confidence? I couldn’t tell you why, which is why the question mark is there, but I left feeling pretty fantastic. Maybe it was because I conquered one of my anxieties, or maybe it’s because it seems to be the ultimate f*ck you to the cultural norm of “having” to see a movie with someone else. I was the first in the auditorium, one of the last to leave, and the only person there by themselves, and while that was scary thinking about, it felt awesome when actually doing it. Really awesome.

I think a lot of people overlook things like this, because a lot of people view them as small things. But they aren’t. Not to everyone. Maybe you go see a movie alone all the time, and I think I’ll actually become one of those people. It was ridiculously fun. But don’t think for a second that I didn’t lose sleep stressing out about it. It was scary at first. But now I’m planning my next trip. So, if you’re scared? That’s okay. And that’s valid. Just know that if you push past that fear, chances are you’re going to have a really, really fantastic time.  And even if the movie’s not that good, there’s always the popcorn.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely, Fiction’s Mistress