Some (mistakenly) see it as a cry for help. I see it as a regular Saturday afternoon doing my favorite free time activity.
Few things bring me as much joy as watching a movie, and a good one at that. As a self-described cinephile, I try my best to fit into my schedule my favorite pastime, watching a new movie at the cinema. My routine is pretty simple; on the weekend, I see what’s currently screening in local theaters, head to my nearest cinema, and unabashedly tell the staff that I’m buying one ticket.
It’s as basic as that and has been something I’ve been doing for years. But what I thought was just a regular Saturday activity is apparently unimaginable to some corners of the internet, which I find hilarious. As someone who has been doing this since my college days, I can tell you that there’s nothing wrong with a solo movie date and enjoying your own company.
THAT’S CINEMA TO ME
Whenever I come across posts on social media of people taking pictures of random strangers eating alone or being by themselves and playing armchair psychiatrist saying that they need help, I cringe, not only because it is an invasion of privacy, but also of the fact that it makes doing these kinds of activities alone look wrong.
It is said that no man is an island as people naturally gravitate towards having the company of others. I too enjoy being with my friends and family whenever they join me to watch a movie in the cinemas (I still remember organizing my barkada’s outing to watch Avengers Endgame in IMAX). But watching a movie alone is not my SOS to the world that I’m spiraling or depressed. This is my way of enjoying my free time, as many others do.
Whenever I step into a dark cinema with my snacks ready and sit down for two hours or so, I’m there to enjoy the movie and the story I’m about to be told. It gives me a sense of enjoyment as well as helps me destress from the work week or escape from the real world for just a few hours. Watching movies at the theater is an inherently social activity, but my happiness is not determined by whether or not someone is sitting beside me.
This has been a part of my life for years, so I find it confusing to see some people consider watching movies alone, or solo dates for that matter, scandalous or taboo when that shouldn’t be the case. It’s even been reported that solo dining is going to be a big trend this year, so it’s about time we let go of the stigma of solo dates.
TICKET FOR ONE
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about wanting to the cinema with your besties or people you’re close with. No one is stopping you. But there shouldn’t be any side-eye energy for those who don’t mind their own company. When the Barbie movie came out last July, I was a solo watcher among a long line of friend groups and families lining up to buy a ticket, yet you didn’t see me hyperventilating.
Watching a movie alone, as well as eating alone, is not tantamount to social suicide. This is just how people like to spend their time. As someone who does both regularly, I’m still happy with myself by the time I leave the cinema or get the bill. And besides, there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of me-time in your life. We all deserve to treat ourselves. It’s a form of self-love, or as is the case with me, just a regular part of your life.
Whether it be alone or with a companion, watching movies will always be a joy for me to do. There’s nothing like the experience of buying a ticket, getting the snacks, and heading to your seat. I value a good and entertaining movie, regardless of who I may or may not be with. So, let’s stop shaming the solo movie date because it’s a lot more fun, freeing, and fulfilling than some people think. And you might even want to try it out for yourself if you haven’t. Who knows, you might just enjoy it.
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