Best movie I ever went to was Spider-Man Homecoming. Not just because it was a Marvel movie (total Marvel junkie here) but I was the only occupant in the theater. It. Was. Glorious. No theater checks after the first one. Too bad our theater closed due to the pandemic.
@kjady One of my top theatre experiences was similar. A friend was dating a theatre manager and they invited us all (about 10 people) to a private midnight release viewing party with BYOB allowed. This was in the 80s, long before that became a thing and normalized like now.
It also wasnt RHPS. Which were also very enjoyable midnight showings for entirely different reasons.
@kjady I am a living catch-22 in that I love seeing movies on the big screen, but hate jack-asses who talk thru a movie at a normal conversational volume.
My local theater has been letting you book an entire auditorium for $100 and you can invite as few or as many people as you want. If you have nine friends that you can trust not to be blather thru the film, the cost per person is significantly cheaper. I wish I had nine friends like that.
I have a nifty little theater setup going in my basement. If I’m home alone I can turn that sucker up to 11 and no one can tell me no. 9 speakers and two subs blasting John Williams is a thing of beauty.
It depends on the type of movie. If it’s got a lot of special effects or strikingly good animation, the theater is the best place. If it’s a rom-com, those are meant to be watched at home on the couch. Same with most stuff in between.
I’ve got a great “large theater” story to tell on myself:
A bunch of us went after work to watch Back to the Future II. It’s a very large theater, with no central aisle. (Trolley Corners, if that means anything.) We’re there plenty early, and the place is not quite half full.
We’ve picked a row, and we’re dead center in it, when one of the group decides we need to be just one row further back.
So folks start trooping to one end of the long aisle or the other. I can’t be bothered, so I swing my leg over the back of the seats…
And perfectly nail the extra huge jumbo popcorn one of my buddies behind me is carrying. It sails towards the cavernous ceiling, and pelts many rows with a large shower of popcorn.
I got an ovation from the crowd.
I tried to become invisible, but it didn’t work.
I tried to replace my friend’s popcorn, but he refused, saying it was worth every penny to watch it.
I still remember the popcorn explosion happening in slow motion.
Ever since my stroke the movie theater is way to loud for me. It’s like bombs going off in my head. Sitting in there with ear plugs isn’t all that comfortable either. I’d rather just sit at home (by myself) and watch movies where I can be comfortable. I say by myself bc that way I can actually watch the movie and not hear any chatter.
Noticing most people are noting viewing alone or in a small group of close friends. Nobody here (completely unscientific sample population noted) has waxed upon yearning for a return to watching movies in a large crowd of strangers. Remember lining up to watch Star Wars for the 17th time? Or LOTR? Or RHPS?
I think the social dynamic of the shared experience has been reduced as societally, I think our relationships are with a smaller number of people than they used to be. Our sense of the scale of our “community” has shrunk in the last 50 years, I think is the reason.
Now, we crave more intimate (and exclusionary) experiences with fewer people. That may be a consequence (or at least reinforced) with the prevalence of “us vs them” division politics and the for-profit media amplifying that process to drive extremism.
@mike808 I remember a crowded theater in the 80s and the guy next to me had pretty heavy body odor. I was thisclose to shoving a couple of Hot Tamales candies up my nostrils.
You don’t get that at an in home setting.
When we were broke, we did those free movie preview things. Those were nice until a certain clique started giving cuts to people who just got off of work or came in from home. Space was limited and when the line began, we’d be there early enough that there were maybe twenty/twenty-five people in front of us. At the time for entry, there were a couple of times there were no seats left. Waiting for over an hour and a half and no movie.
They did have a company who was able to stop that by a pretty simple process. When you get there, you take the pass you printed out, show it to the team, they hand you tickets for the amount on your printed out pass. Newcomers had to go to the end of the line, not take cuts.
I will always recall the first time I saw Star Wars. I was in Salt Lake City, on vacation, and the only theater not sold out ahead of time was a huge traditional single-screen place downtown. This was about five days into the first run, and we got the last two seats dead in the middle of the front row. When I heard the opening notes of the main theme, I knew it was going to be excellent, and it just got better from there. The screen filled my field of vision, and the flying sequences were vertigo-inducing at times. No other movie has ever come close to what that was like.
@mike808@werehatrack The first time I saw Star Wars, it was pretty early in its run and there wasn’t that much buzz about it yet. My buddy’s older brother saw it and recommended it, so we decided to check it out. When we got to the theater there was no line and we walked right in and had our choice of seating.
The second time I saw it (at the same theater about a month later), there was a huge line going around the corner. We made it in but the seating choices were pretty limited. Still enjoyed it the second time.
These days, I’m a cranky old guy and don’t like going to the theater (mostly because of the ridiculously loud volume level that they all seem to think is appropriate). What movies I do watch (and there aren’t that many new ones that appeal to me) are viewed at home, usually DVD or streaming.
And get off my damn lawn!
I prefer at home just because it’s comfortable and you can pause for snack refills or bathroom breaks. I watched 4 movies yesterday on Disney + (Jungle Cruise, legend of the 10 rings, Brave, and The Greatest Showman). I did not eat a gallon of popcorn either.
I don’t mind going to the theater, we will usually catch movies there, I’ll probably see ghostbusters in the theater. I live in a small town, so it’s usually not packed. When we saw black widow it was the busiest I’d seen it since The Force Awakens on opening night, but there was still plenty of room for everyone to spread out, and no one was in the first 5-6 rows at all.
Watching at home is way more cost effective, since it’s easily $40 for tickets and snacks for 2 people. Plus I eat less at home, no gallons of popcorn.