I gave up going to the theater but not because I no longer enjoyed the experience. The theater always will have a certain, special mystique for me. The ambiance, the anticipation of waiting for weeks and months for a certain movie or long-awaited sequel to open. Then, the big release day arrives and you are met at the movie theater with the smells and sounds of popping corn, the crowds, all the folks there on date night, and the neat posters of forthcoming releases. Even waiting in line isn’t a big deal at the movies. I loved my former once-a-week indulgence.
Economics squeezed me out of my halfway back theater seat. Cinemas have always had certain renown for steep pricing, especially at the concession stand. In order to keep attending, I first cut back on the popcorn, soda, and candy. Then I had to pause the Saturday Night Theater ritual and rewind to the cheaper admission prices of Tuesday afternoon matinees. Not long after, even the moths in my wallet began to complain.
Honestly, going to the movies was no longer the same. No more munchies, the weekday crowds were sparser, different, and duller. The feeling of anticipation began to wane. It was no longer the Premier Movie Theater experience. The sparkle went out.
And I have to admit it’s much cheaper and easier to stay in and watch a movie. I don’t even have to truck myself up to the video store where availability might be sketchy-especially on the weekends. With so much online content available, I can stream just about anything from my computer or gaming console right into the smaller, wide screen in the comfort of my living room. Sometimes, I just watch on my laptop.
My popcorn is priced well below the Fort Knox Gold movie brand (and its fresh, with real butter!). The candy indulgence hasn’t gone away, but I pay normal retail for sweets instead of sticker shocker pricing. Plus, I’m not sucking down the MGM version of Big Gulp either. The ability to pause a movie and resume where I left off when the need arises means I don’t miss crucial movie scenes.
In spite of the convenience of in-home movie watching, I’ll always miss the ambiance, the dimness of the lights, the glow of the big, big screen.