The Cinema is one of the simplest joys in my life.
I will happily go alone if no-one else is interested in the film I want to see, which is often, or I'll go in a group if it's a big 'must see' movie that everyone is raving about.
Walking into that large, dimly lit space, is part of the ritual of getting ready to watch what is on offer.
Selecting the best available seat, and weighing it against the possibility of sitting behind a giant or near a chatterbox is a finely balanced decision not to be taken lightly.
Making myself comfortable; jacket off, snacks accessible, judging if it's the right time to open my Choc-Top, these things can't be rushed.
I don't understand people who arrive late, or just as the movie opens.
Watching the commercials and the trailers for upcoming movies is an integral part of the process for me.
Movies Make Memories
My earliest movie going memory is 'Bed-knobs and Broomsticks' with my Mum, on a cold Saturday afternoon; looking around the packed Cinema to watch the partially lit faces of the audience, reacting as one to the jokes and songs.
I just fell in love with being a part of that shared experience.
Queuing around the block in Chester with my big sister, excited to watch 'Grease' for the very first time, I was so nervous that I wouldn't be allowed in because I was only just scraping in at the legal age to watch it. The anticipation had my stomach doing flips.
In my College years, my movie mad friend, who'd had a far more liberal upbringing than I, introduced me to the cosmopolitan delight of the Saturday Midnight Double Feature!
Going to the Cinema at Midnight!!! Amazing.
Seeing 2 films, back to back! Luxury.
Tumbling outside before dawn and catching the Night bus home so that you could sleep all through Sunday morning was confirmation that big city life was everything I'd hoped for.
I get a kick out of going to the movies when I travel, just to see what cinema is like somewhere else.
The extremes of experiences have taken me to a multi-screen complex in Times Square in the Mid 90's , seeing New Yorkers haul impossibly large boxes of popcorn to their seats, contrasted with adorably tiny Sussex Inlet Cinema (NSW) , a single screen showing up to the minute choice of films on rotation, with a blackout curtain to pull across the door to stop sunlight spilling onto the screen.
Wake Me When It's Over
There was a bleak period in my film loving life when the only time I seemed to set foot into a cinema was school holidays. Some 'family movies' are glorious, funny and well written.....some are not.
Too many times I felt my heart rush to my boots as I realised that the next 90 minutes were going to be packed with drivel.
By the time my son was 8 we reached an agreement.
If I fell asleep during one of his film choices, he should only wake me in an emergency or when it was all over.
Alvin, Sponge-Bob and Smurfy-Wotsit were all just background to a quality nap.
Now that he's old enough to go with his mates, his Fast can be as Furious as it likes.
Not my problem.
It's My Turn Again!
In recent years I landed in clover, when I discovered that my local Entertainment Centre/Council Events Venue held a monthly cinema club.
For a very reasonably priced ticket they would show movies that might typically be considered
'Art House Films' or the fare that mainstream Cinemas would show on their smallest screens at 10.30am!
It was always packed, it was serving a very grateful and happy demographic.
I had two gorgeous years of seeing almost everything that they screened, until Covid hit.
I'm keeping fingers and toes crossed that my bijou movie club can get the kiss of life and fire up the projector someday very soon.
Sitting in a Cinema with a mask on isn't great for the Spectacles-dependent, but you've got to do what you've got to do. Socially distanced seating arrangements are quite lovely though, it enhances movie going for me.
What Shall We Do?
My husband and I are at a point where we often chat about how we see our retirement years.
They are far enough away that we speak about them wistfully, but they are close enough that we do enjoy the planning element.
One of my non-negotiables is that wherever we live or spend large chunks of time, must be close enough to a Cinema that a weekly visit is straightforward.
He knows he can come with me, but he also knows that most of the films that I want to watch probably wouldn't interest him!
So we'll figure that bit out as we go along.
It won't surprise anyone that I love seeing films with Women driving the story, or with a strong female angle to the plot. I think we are in a golden period lately where a lot of control has dispersed away from the formulaic, big business approach, more actual Story Tellers are being handed the reigns.
Women, slowly but steadily are taking up more space on screen and in the production meetings.
It's not perfect, but it's definitely going in the right direction.
Watching movies at home on TV is a very different experience for me, but not a lesser one.
The strength of the streaming platforms and the need to stay home more means that I have had some gorgeous 'at home' movie options lately.
I'm more open to trying a film that I'm unsure of, with no qualms about switching it off if it doesn't engage me. I can't remember ever walking out of a cinema if a film disappointed though.
I'll stick that out to the bitter end!
I'll be happily recommending films on here, and giving some insight into why I enjoyed them, though I'm unlikely to 'give a bad review'. I don't see any value in being negative about someone else's creativity.
I'd love this to be a conversation with you.
Please let me know your reactions to the films I talk about.
Don't be shy to recommend something for me to watch......but not Horror, I don't do Horror!