Going to the Movies Solo (No, I’m Not a Loner)

Going to the movies is a social activity – at least, that’s what I’ve always thought and practiced. Whenever I see a movie, I always have at least one other human being with me, be it mother, father, sister, friend, friend of a friend, or friend of a friend of a brother of a friend. That’s what has felt natural, enjoying a silver screen experience with someone else. The more the merrier.

But not today.

Today, I broke my solo-moviegoer virginity and saw Django Unchained. By myself.

Now, before you roll your eyes, purse your lips, and exit this perceived inanity, humor me. It does sound kind of stupid because plenty of people go to see movies by themselves. It’s a normal activity. (That sentence reminded me of Paranormal Activity and its sequels upon sequels. They create a vacuum, but I digress). However, part of me has always been afraid of it – afraid of being alone. “Autophobic” as the intellectual hoity-toitees call it. It’s like that sinking feeling of sitting alone at the lunch table in high school. You can feel the judgment and ridicule from your ever so popular peers boring holes into your already colander-like self-esteem. It’s funny, though, because I know I have a double standard about this. When I see people by themselves in a theater, I don’t find myself pitying them by any means. Why should I? If it looks like a loner, sits like a loner, chews popcorn like a loner…

Samuel Jackson as Stephen in the movie Django Unchained

The look of judgment. And badassery.

Maybe they aren’t loners.

I’m not a particularly extroverted, outgoing kind of gal, but I’m no humanity-hating hermit either. I enjoy spending time with friends, but sometimes, I haz need for “me time.” I’m not the only person on the planet with this kind of temperament. So it is a normal activity – it is self-gratifying. Even though a movie theater is a public venue, you don’t have to impress anyone. The room is dark and everyone is focused on the big screen (or they’re canoodling with their partner). No one is paying attention to you. There’s no need to worry about whether or not the person/people you’re going with are enjoying the movie. You can just enjoy the movie.

So today I learned that moviegoing can definitely be a solo sport – not just for loners and members of Homo Awkwardiensis, but also for well-adjusted individuals who need some time for themselves once in a while.

And plus, no one wanted to see it with me.

But I’m not a loner. I swear.

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11 thoughts on “Going to the Movies Solo (No, I’m Not a Loner)

  1. Great article – I spend my time as a theatre reviewer watching alone and you’d be surprised how many other people are there on their own too (and if you are alone and anyone asks – just say you’re a critic.)

  2. It is like many things, with or without others, a new experience, seems odd at first but then after doing it a few times, becomes easy. You are headed in the right direction with your thinking here. What comes to mind for me while reading are those thoughts of being judged or just being self conscious, not only do others not care, but something to be said for getting away from those things even coming up, with time, with learning more, and with being more secure in ones self, then that doesn’t become an issue.

    • Security is a big factor. There are a lot of things I don’t do because I fear that people will think I’m a lonely weirdo (or a weird loner?). I’m getting better at it though. Confidence is key! Confidence is key! Confidence… is… yeah… I’m still working on it.

      • I use to have very bad social anxiety. Not any more these days, and combined with learning about self confidence, I have now seen both sides of the ‘fear of what people think’. I can objectivley see now what I thought and what the reality is. The fear is false. Confidence is key, but confidence is just the affect of other things that one improves within first. Enjoyed the post. 🙂

  3. It can be quite the good activity alone. It depends upon the way you are feeling. Often I watch dvds alone while my partner is asleep. I think she likes to do the same b/c I can get to chattering & same on her side and that can be maddening esp. if you are trying to concentrate. Movie theatres are great fun to be alone in. I use to do it often. My place would be center seat 7th row. Best seat in the place. Most people sit further back unless theatre is full but then I hate a full theatre. Prefer matinees when there are less people. So good for you for doing it alone. My first time was when I was a kid and I wanted to see West Side Story and no one else did. I thought it would be scary but it was actually really exciting and enjoyable. Loved the experience. Who cares what anyone thinks. Doing things alone sometimes is rather enjoyable and peaceful. Aloneness is a good thing. Your inside your own head without interruptions. I like that quiet state. I do want to see Tarantino but I actually can’t do theatres any more. Prefer the convenience of home and inability to sit for the length of a whole film and for other reasons. Like you post and your site. Thanks for dropping by mine. I’ll be back. jk

    • Yeah, it definitely depends on how you feel. I can see myself enjoying a lot of movies alone, especially the ones that some of my colleagues don’t really want to see. Back row in the very center is my favorite spot.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

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