As the lights dimmed, my anticipation heightened. It would be the first time I’m doing this. As with every first experience – there’s a sense of anxiety, uncertainty and excitement.
Cinema is a social venue, though the act of watching the film is a solitary process. As kids, we were brought here by our parents. As we grow older, it’s probably the place where we went on an awkward first date. As our circle of friends grew, it became the gathering venue for groups. The choice of show is secondary – usually a blockbuster to satisfy most tastes. Convenience takes precedence over the film that you’d really like to watch. We sacrifice our interest for the greater good of social conformity and friendship.
I always wondered how is it like to watch a movie alone in the cinema. As a teenager, it puzzled me why would anyone watch a show by themselves. Did they not have friends? Were they an outcast? What drove them to sit alone in the sea of movie-goers that came in pairs and groups.
I was about to find that out myself.
I’ve always enjoy spending time alone. I like being in the company of people but yet, I longed for time of my own. 4 days of lunching out with colleagues and 1 day alone. Comes weekends, half a day reserved for myself. That would be ideal – a wonderful way to gather my thoughts.
But watching a movie alone is something I’ve never consider doing. Primarily because I thought how would others perceive me. I don’t want the box office guy to think I’m a loner when I walk up to buy just one ticket. I don’t want to be surrounded by chirpy audience when I’m sitting there alone.
Those fears are unfounded.
These days, one can easily purchase movie tickets online. I wouldn’t have to queue in line and be subjected to judgement. Self ticketing ksioks are readily stationed in the cinema these days, and it’s really easy to skip the line and buy tickets. I bought mine using this niffy machine.
Inside the theatre, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Maybe it was a weekday afternoon, but there were plenty of solo guys watching the show. I didn’t feel out of place among them. In fact, I relish the opportunity to be one of them, to finally experience watching a film in the cinema all by myself.
It’s appropriate that the movie I was watching is named “A Quiet Place”. It has gotten rave reviews from viewers and critics. I thought how nice it would be to watch this alone.
It was a tense, atmospheric movie with almost no dialogue. All the more enjoyable watched alone. At the end of the show, I thought to myself – it wasn’t too bad at all. Would I do it again? Absolutely.
I crave solitude. In this hyper connected world of ours, it’s a privilege to be able to carve out “me time”. In spending time with us ourselves, we are able to look within us, form our opinion and be less influenced by the people around us.
I’m already yawning for my next solo adventure to the cinema. It can’t come soon enough.