I Still Like Going To The Pictures

I enjoy the ceremony of it. You show up for a movie and get your refreshments, and then you go and find your seat.

It’s an event, something out of the ordinary, like flying used to be, when you’d actually dress up like you were going to church; except you weren’t and aren’t in this case, either.

Until recently, I have enjoyed seeing premiere showings — i.e., preview night.

These used to only occur at, like, eleven o’clock the night before a movie was to be widely released. It would be an event you’d announce to your workmates, so they’d understand why you’d be a little out of it the next day.

I remember making such announcements to my colleagues before my late-night premiere viewings of The Dark Knight and Iron Man 2.

Imagine getting home at 2AM for… “okay”.

Unless It’s a Sunday Morning

My sister introduced me to the concept that “going to church” actually means attending a movie showing that started before noon on a Sunday.

It’s still my preferred time to see a film. The crowd is generally light, and then you’re left with all the rest of the day to spend as you please. I like going to church.

Going to church has become a thing in my circle. “Do you want to see Joker for church this weekend?” will not be misconstrued within my circle of acquaintances.

The cathedral

I’m sure even that tattoo girl I used to date still refers to curch in the same way; she loved the idea of saying she’d been to church after seeing a movie before noon on a Sunday.

Of course, being a lost soul going hereafter to the devil, she would still refer to movies as “church”, thinking she was somehow being blasphemous.

“That’s a wholesome hobby you got there, Owl.”

Why I Make The Effort

What I like most about modern moviegoing is being able to use apps to buy your tickets ahead of time. I also like being able to pick my seats.

Now, my viewing-friend argues that picking your seats ahead of time deprives us of one of the best parts of going to the movies: showing up and finding the best seats.

Yeah, he might have a point, except that, as a large, intimidating and hostile man, I like being able to show up well after the designated start time when all the trailers are almost done and then telling some crummy teenagers who’ve positioned themselves in the seats I paid for:

“Hop up, chief. These are my seats.”

And they always do.

You can stay put, sweetie.

I don’t need the validation, but it always feels good anyway.

It’s About An Event

It’s a day out, and I don’t get those much anymore. I’m known to thank friends for dragging me out of the house, and they question my sincerity.

I tell them, “No, I mean it.” Otherwise, I’d just stay at home.

I go to work and I go to the supermarket, and then I come home, happy to be away from everything else. When I can find a movie I want to see and, believe me, they’re increasingly few and far between, I’m so grateful; and I’m grateful anytime someone can lure me out of my solitude — if only for providing me another excuse to stay in the next time they ask.

What I usually do at home.

But Instead, I Get To Go Out

To church, always to church.

And I get to have movie breakfast: always two hot dogs loaded down with jalapenos.

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And I get to escape for a while, in a huge dark room, preferably with some friends by my side, with whom afterward I can go out and discuss the movie we’ve just watched.

And if I got to intimidate some crummy teenagers along the way, that’s just tops.