There was a feeling that was missing from the beginning of the pandemic for almost a year and a half, and I couldn’t place it for the longest time.
Then, as I went to the late showing on the opening night of “The Batman”, I realized what that empty space was in my heart.
The movie theater.
It was the sound of the arcade games that fills the lobby. It was the taste of perfectly buttered and overly salted popcorn. It was seeing a brand new movie that surprises you at how good it looks. It was the rush of anticipation as the lights dimmed and the opening credits start.
Throughout the pandemic, we were forced to watch movie release after movie release on streaming services at our homes. While the home screen is great and has its place for movie nights with friends, it still allows for distractions.
I don’t know about you, but when I watch a movie or a TV show at home, I almost always pull up the IMDB page and follow along with the movie, seeing if I know any of the actors, or reading fun and random trivia.
While this is fun and can sometimes add to the movie watching experience, it ultimately takes away attention from the film. There are so few places in the modern world where we are forced to truly disconnect for 15 minutes, let alone 2 hours for an entire movie runtime.
During that time of pure focus in one direction, there is an energy that is sustained in the crowd. The fellow audience members feed off each other, you start to laugh harder at the jokes, jump higher at the scares, and cry a little harder at the dramatic climax.
When you are an anonymous viewer in the presence of strangers, the feelings that the movie wants to instill in you are heightened, because you are truly buckled in and are along for the ride the cast and crew have designed for you.
There is something amazing about attending a brand new movie in the movie theater. During the duration of the film, you are left to your own experience, while sharing it with others simultaneously. Movie theaters are where movies are meant to be.
Header Photo: Movie theaters across the country have taken a tremendous blow due to COVID-19. With movie theaters opening back up again it sparks joy that many have missed during the pandemic. (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP)