My husband isn’t a big fan of going out to the movies. With a large, reclining sectional (complete with armrests and cup holders) and the option of blacking out the entire living room while we watch near-theater quality movies on a large screen, I can see his point. We could rent a movie from the Redbox for just over a dollar or stream from hundreds of options on Netflix with the ability to pause it at any point, he suggests, while having custom made snacks or drinks in the comfort of our own home. There is no traffic to contend with, no parking lots to navigate, or lines to wait in.
But at my heart I am a movie-goer (emphasis on the GO). I loved the theater; I loved the experience, the buttered popcorn, the ticket stub…ahhh. What I realized, after going to the movies today, is that I love the memory of the movies.
I spent what I consider an obscene amount of money at the movies today, $42.00. That tally was three tickets to an afternoon showing of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul”. It was overcast again today, with the omnipresent forecast of afternoon thunderstorms. I was riding high from a sweet morning walk with the kids and our dog, then a successful well-visit for both of the girls where I watched their ever high tracking for height and health and was reminded of how lucky and fortunate we are as a family. We came home and made lunch together and out of seemingly nowhere Big Sister asked if there was any chance we could go to a movie. She has read the entire Wimpy Kid series, taking time to relay and read aloud her favorite parts for her sister either from memory or from copies of the books from the library, though this year we did order her own from Amazon for her birthday.
It seemed like a nice summer time treat and I felt almost frugal mentally calculating the “savings” of not having to buy a ticket for my reluctant movie-going better half who was on shift. After almost eight dollars for a “regular” popcorn and five and change for a “regular” soda though, I had to reconsider my position. No, a popcorn and drink aren’t necessary but they were requested and candy was helpfully never mentioned – so I indulged.
There were highlights – when the kids laughed that full head back hearty laugh at some gags in the movie and some lows – like when the movie didn’t start for twenty minutes and I tracked down a manager to get it rolling and while I don’t necessarily regret going, I am not in a rush to get back there either. The magic, it seems, isn’t in the lines or the walls or the credits on the big screen. It exists in the relationship you make with the film and the people you are experiencing it with. This is why I am going to the movies tonight. Right in the middle of our home, with my two best girls and as much popcorn as we see fit to make.