I Still Love Going to the Movies

My wife and I went on an increasingly rare movie date this past weekend.  With a daughter who's almost two, it's tough to find the time and the liberty for both of us to go out alone. (Big thank you to my sister and brother-in-law for babysitting!). So when we do have the chance, we appreciate every moment of it.  We went to see The Source Code -- a spoiler-filled review will be forthcoming.  In the meantime, I'd like to sing the praises of watching cinema in a bonafide theater. 

People complain about the moviegoing experience (folks talking during the film, too many commercials before the flick begins, overpriced tickets and concessions, crappy features, and so on), but overall it's still something I thoroughly enjoy. 

Some argue that with more advanced and affordable home entertainment systems, why would anyone choose to leave the comfort of their own homes for their entertainment fix, besides the key teenage demographic of younger film fans who continue to flock to theaters in an effort to get out of the house?  I still think the big-screen movie experience is unsurpassed.

As mobile, wireless technology becomes more pervasive, portable screens are becoming smaller, and even though TV flat screens have become huge at a fraction of what enormous projection televisions used to cost, no monitor compares to the wide, larger than life silver screen of the motion picture houses. 

I admit, I love my TV, but going to a film theater is an unbeatable experience.  There are far less distractions.  At home, it's not often that we can sit through a show without getting up to go to the kitchen or use the bathroom or answer the telephone or some other thing.  At a dark theater with only the light emanating from the big screen, I get caught up in the story from the open credits until the final crawl.

I try to go during non-peak times to avoid the mob of kids, but sometimes being in the midst of an excited, wild audience can add some spice and vitality to the moviegoing experience.  It can certainly turn seeing a lesser film into a more memorable outing.

Sitting through a bad movie in a film theater can still be torture, but almost nothing beats the thrill of watching a good production as a magic lantern show with surround sound in a cavernous space where the action on screen fills audiences' sight, sound, and mind until they carry it away with them.  I miss the days of going to the cineplex or a small arthouse theater and catching two or three movies a week, but I always welcome the opportunity to go whenever I get the chance.


Jeff said…
Even better, when the theater is one of those old palace types, instead of at the mall. I've seen the Wizard of Oz, gone with the Wind, Godfathers 1 & 2, Amadeus, and best of all was It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.