Date Night (With Myself): The Pro’s and Con’s of going to the Movies Alone

On the weekend I popped my ‘going to the movies alone’ cherry and I liked it.

A friend bailed on me Friday night and I still really wanted to go to the movies. I was also desperate to see Hugo 3D which I knew none of my buddies were particularly keen to see (despite the fact it’s wonderful!). So I went on a little self-date and would have totally pashed myself on the doorstep when we said goodnight. (Except that it was just me so that wasn’t possible. Shame. #foreveralone)

There seems to be a bit of a stigma against going to the movies solo. Some people are worried that everyone will think they are a loser with no friends. While this may be true for me, it doesn’t reflect on everyone that goes to the movies solo. Or it may be a general concern about being out in public alone without the social crutch of a friend? If that’s the case I don’t really understand this fear either. People go walking by themselves, shopping by themselves, eating by themselves, bird-watching by themselves, library reading by themselves… (or are those last ones just me?).

Either way I know some people think it’s a bit of a sad and lonely thing to do. So I thought I’d give you all the pro’s and con’s of my solo experience and you can decide whether it’s for you.

Before the movie – The ‘Couples Zone’

I went to a late session on a Friday night. Did you know that Friday night is date night at the movies? Me neither. It was a little weird waiting in the ticket queue surrounded by cuddling couples. You could easily tell the new couples with their collared shirts/high heels, their polite chat, and their insistence on paying for the other. This was quite a contrast from the long-termers slouching about in their trackies, mocking other couples on awkward dates, and suggesting their date pay for them. Perhaps not the best session to fly solo, but it didn’t bother me too much. Also there was also a couple in front of me fighting so I guess it’s not all ‘let’s share a popcorn deal’ that it’s cracked up to be!

Con: no one to talk to waiting in line for the tickets. Pro: caught up on my ‘Words with Friends’ games.

Pro: no one got angry that I was late. Con: since I was late I missed the ads. I love being marketed at through cinema ads!

Candy Bar Dreaming
When you hit the cinema by yourself you can get whatever you want from the candy bar and don’t have to share it or get judged by who you’re with. However, you may be judged by those around you when you seat yourself next to the most gigantic bucket of popcorn known to man, and no one else. But it’s ok, you don’t care what they think. Then again, you did hide your choc top in your bag because although you don’t care what they think, you still sort of do.

Con: choc tops cost $5.40. FIVE DOLLARS AND FORTY CENTS! Pro: at least you only have to buy one.

Con: there is no-one to hold your giant bucket of popcorn while you go to the bathroom. Pro: Sorry. There is nothing good about this situation. You can’t take it into the loo (hygiene) and you can’t leave it outside (someone could sprinkle poison salt on it… hey it could happen!). Just remember to pee before you purchase!

During: The Darkness

As the lights dim and the curtains draw back that extra bit, I was feeling great. I’m an independent woman who doesn’t need a friend to go to the movies. That was until a really scary scene occurred about halfway through. I could have done with someone to cling on to besides my giant popcorn. I know Hugo was only rated PG, but don’t judge me. It involved this freaky ‘automaton’ robot/toy  and I am a massive wimp when it comes to freaky toys with faces. Just look at it!

Pro: No one sees you drop bits of choc top on yourself. Con: There’s no one to tell you have choc top melted all down your front.

Pro: no one is there to ask you stupid questions about the plot that haven’t been revealed yet. Con: since I am usually the one asking the stupid questions this makes it difficult for me.

Pro: You get to wear your 3D glasses like a boss. Con: there’s no one to see you wearing your 3D glasses like a boss!

After: Heading Home to a Cold Bed

After the movie finished most of the couples made a quick getaway (presumably to have hot Friday night sex?). I was not so lucky as first I had to button up my pants and put my shoes back on (no judgement, remember I did eat all that popcorn by myself). So by the time I had left the cinema there weren’t too many people around. I definitely missed the post-movie discussions that usually go something like this:

“How cool was that!”

“I didn’t really understand that bit with the thing… what was that about?”

“How big was that guys head in front of us?”

“And when Ryan Gosling took his shirt off? Wow.”

“You have some chocolate melted on your shirt.”

And so on.

Hmm… I am beginning to think there may be a reason no one wanted to come to the movies with me!

Con: no one to debrief about the film. Pro: I wrote this blog post instead!

So my experiment was complete and overall it was quite a success. I will still enjoy going to the movies with friends, however when the opportunity arises I won’t hesitate to go there alone. And I know for a fact no one will see The Muppets with me, so it looks like I may be getting lucky again quite soon. Maybe next time I’ll even invite myself in for coffee afterwards!

So have you ever been to the movies alone? What did you think? If you haven’t done it is there something holding you back going by yourself? Or are you just really popular?

NOTE: A few of you have been asking what a ‘choc-top’ is. I didn’t realise it must be an Australian thing. They are ice cream cones, with a big scoop of ice cream, and then covered in chocolate and frozen. They stay frozen well into the movie (enough time to get started on the pop corn). Delicious! They are movie-going essentials in Oz!

Also, thank you for all your comments. I’m sorry if I don’t get a chance to reply to them all.  I read all of them and appreciate all the support. It is wonderful!

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510 thoughts on “Date Night (With Myself): The Pro’s and Con’s of going to the Movies Alone

  1. I too never entertained the idea of going to the movies alone. After all, who would I ask my stupid questions? But then a Twitter friend of mine, a man from Argentina who I hadn’t met in person, told me that there’s nothing like the experience of going on your own. He suggested going in the middle of the week, in the middle of the afternoon, while everyone is still at work or in school. Not so no one would see him, but so he would have the theater to himself. That feeling of sitting in your own private screening room, feeling the anticipation of the story that is about to unfold, So I took a day off from work and experienced Inception, in my private screening room. Twas wonderful!

  2. Haha this post made me laugh out loud. I’ve only ever been to the cinema on my own once… it was in a different country and I was sick of being in the homestay I was at. And I really wanted to see Captain America. There are definitely a lot of pros and cons… I did feel like everyone was staring a bit though. This probably wasn’t helped that I was definitely the minority in that screen. Not sure if I would go alone at home in the UK, but definitely would abroad!

  3. I love going to the movies alone. When my kids were small I had them in a moms day out and that was when I went to the movies. It was the perfect get away and I was never so caught up on my movie watching. I still recall the peace that would come over me when those lights dimmed.

  4. I used to watch movies alone when i was college, and my friends would be asking me who i was dating secretly and all. But watching movies at the cinema alone is a unique experience. You get to listen and focus on the m

    • … You get to listen and focus on the movie itself. You don’t have to bother looking your best for a date, you need not bother with trying to come up with something to talk about after. And like you wrote, just come home and blog about. Anyway, ‘grats on being FP.

      commenting on blogs while on the iphone app sucks.

  5. The only time I went to the cinema alone was to see, as part of a film festival, a German romantic comedy.
    Pro: I got to sit where I wanted to (most of the times my very picky friends say ‘no, not there, the middle, no, the front, move over a few, we should sit at the back, et cetera).
    Con: When a massive influx of people came in, they sat beside me. Sitting beside strangers: awkward.

  6. I go to the movies a lot on my own now and I am perfectly fine with. More because I can go see the films I want. It’s hard to convince a group of college people to go see a movie like Shame, Drive, or The Artist. Usually they want to see the next average film entering theaters.

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  8. You know, I thought I was the only one living in fear of solitude at the movie theatres, and with your step-by-step guide, I’m feeling bravery! Well. For now. I should like, print out your guide, have it sit beside me, and chuckle with it as I sit alone, watching the movie like as if I’m in my own living room. Not that my living room can fit a screen that big, but act like, “hey, that’s right, I’m confident. I don’t need anyone. I’m soooooo content with me!”

    Funnily enough, I nearly did watch the Muppets alone as I had pre-purchased tickets, knowing my friend would likely bail, and actually feeling slightly disappointed when she didn’t. Not that I didn’t enjoy her company, but to pop my single lonely cherry by going to the movies toute seule!

    One of the cons I would add is when debriefing and the other totally doesn’t get why the movie was awesome.. I mean, come on, really! Channing Tatum in the Vow was totally romantic! How do people not get that…. me shakes head…

    Thank you for sharing.. I am sooo looking forward to laughing out loud enough to scare my neighbors… 😀

    Pink

  9. Going to the movies alone as a guy is often incredibly awkward, depending upon the movie. I feel awfully judged if I go to see a slightly sappy movie without my girlfriend haha. I’m an awkward loser in the theater by myself as a 19 year old man…
    Getting to be a boss and saying “Screw this movie being called the “scariest of the year”, I can do it by myself.” <– That is awesome.

  10. i watch horror movies alone most of the time since no one within my reach would like to watch horror movies. 😀

  11. I loved your post. These days I ONLY go to the movies by myself and it’s not just because I have very few friends/dates — it’s because I really don’t like it when I’m enjoying the movie and then, beside me, I hear the person I brought groan and snicker sarcastically at something I thought was actually kinda “awesome.” It makes me question my own taste and it warps the experience. I will give up the “hot Friday night sex” for the ability to think certain parts in the movie were awesome (you do believe me, don’t you?).

  12. I prefer going to the movies by myself because
    1.) My friends like to ask questions during the film
    2.) We don’t always agree on what to see. So sometimes I pay for a film I didn’t want to see and sucks terribly and waste my money.
    3.) I’m always the one early or on time while my friends are always late so we end up with those seats on the front row. (ow!)
    4.) I do feel more confident going on my own (I used to be terrified of it)
    5.) If it’s a good film, I will gladly see it again with my friends and don’t have to worry about missing anything if they ask a question about the plot.
    6.) I won’t suffer anymore embarrassing moments such as when a date yelled “DANG!” after an explosion on the screen or repeating what the actor just said as if I didn’t hear it…ugh.

  13. I go to the movies by myself as often as possible that’s when I get my alone time. I usually have to sneak out of the house so my kids don’t catch me.
    The first time I went to the movies alone I felt like everyone was watching me, & I’m sure that was all in my head (well maybe).

  14. I find solo movie going quite relaxing with the opportunity to really focus on the film. Having watched Hugo, The Descendants and The Artists alone, seemingly there was a greater appreciation for the art behind movie making. Alone I noticed the cinematography, heard the sound track and respected the actors craft an ounce more than it being people simply there for the entertainment value, these people are talented and enjoy their craft! Of course I’d welcome the RIGHT date, but for now i’m OK as a solo movie goer!

  15. I’ve always wanted to try this, it’s all the rave! People often say to me “you’ve never done it?” But my challenge is… when I got the movies, I am a chatter, I like to comment as I go along. Who would I comment with? Alternatives might be to talk to myself but… I might get shhhusshed by the crowds. AH!

  16. haha, loved this post. so true i wud totally go alone jus havnt yet done it tho:/ bt this post has totally given me the push i needed to do it.lol.
    p.s tht choco thing sounds delicious. i think i wud buy 2.. bt then again 10 buks??? thts like a million in kenya.lmao!!

  17. Awesome post, now I don’t have to feel bad for going alone to movies (had been thinking of doing it for a very long time, did it today).

    While it may turn out to be good for a suspense/thriller movie (not always), but I guess it would suck to go alone for a comedy. Con: Comedy movies are not same without your friends/company and would have been a lot more funnier with your friends.

    Saurabh Singh

  18. I’m a wee bit antisocial (okay, not really…but I am a homebody) so I go to the movies by myself a lot. I never found it awkward…I actually like it. I don’t have to wait on someone (who is always late) nor explain things because they weren’t paying attention. I do tend to avoid going on busy days (Friday nights and Saturdays). I will admit though that I hate eating alone…I always feel will think I’m the loneliest person ever if I do lol.

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  20. Why anyone would choose not to see Hugo is beyond me! Amazing movie. The problem I have is that I like to indulge in really awful films because… I do what I want!! I went and saw Pitch Perfect all alone and had a great time. I actually went home and blogged about it. Aww.. we have so much in common 🙂 I also wrote one about how poorly people behave in movie theaters. I laid down some ground rules. Check it out if you want at http://macedoniafilms.com/going-to-the-movies-alone-pathetic-or-perfection/

  21. I know this post is old, but my first experience was awful and I want to do it again tonight and hope for the better. I needed some encouragement. I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One by myself and had an awful time. Only good part was walking out of the theater from the sheer boredom. My friends are not big scary movie fans (the only one that is being two states away) and my bf is working, so I’m going to see Evil Dead by myself and get a giant popcorn and cherry Slurpee. Here’s hoping for the best!

    • Good for you Nicole! I cant handle scary movies so youre already tougher than me. I hope you enjoy it more, make sure you go to the toilet before you grab your snacks 😉

  22. You’ve had this posted for over a year now, but I was searching Google about going to the cinema alone and this came up. Why was I searching Google for such a thing? Because most of my friends who live nearby and I could go to the cinema with, aren’t intrested in the film I want to see… but I’m a bit nervous about the idea of going to the cinema alone. I already go out for day trips by myself: shopping, photography walks… and I went to London last year alone to meet a long time internet friend, but to go to the cinema alone, it seems like a big step. I’m thinking of going to a late showing tomorrow night (when many others my age will be out drinking instead), and I’m really excited about the movie I want to see… Maybe I should go just to see what it’s like, and hey, I might really enjoy it. After all, you should try almost anything once, right?

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