While it’s no secret how much I love watching movies, especially at a theater, I must say that I really miss the days of old when it comes to that experience.
These days, there are twenty minutes of pre-show advertising and twenty minutes of trailers that run before the movie even starts, where most people seem to spend the majority of that time on their cell phones. It also appears that plenty like to arrive towards the end of all those trailers nowadays, which tends to cause distractions and disruptions to all those who came early to enjoy them. In regards to each of those trailers, which can be up to eight or nine in total, they generally last several minutes each and often spoil many of that coming film’s best plot points. When the movie finally begins, phones always seem to ring, people like to talk to their companions there with them, texting goes on way too much, and bright screens often distract viewers more than not throughout the entire running time. When I was growing up though, things were very different whenever I went to the movies.
People liked to arrive quite early at theaters back then to get a good seat and they often conversed with others, including strangers, while waiting for the movie to start. There were never more than two or three previews for future movies shown and each would run between 30 seconds to a minute, never spoiling any of the film’s best parts. The film also consistently began a mere couple minutes from the show’s posted start time in the paper and silence always seemed to be golden more than not with each audience I ever sat with. And in the end, when the credits would begin to roll, people liked to converse with each other again, asking whether they liked the film or not, as they poured out of the theater.
So, yes, I’m finding myself feeling quite nostalgic towards the days of old when it comes to the movie-going experience because of all these 21st century changes. I think that’s why I feel so grateful whenever I attend a movie now where no one else shows up for it and I have the entire theater to myself, as then I can become immersed once again in the experience like I used to as a kid. I can get whisked away for a few hours where there’s no theater drama going on around me, nothing to distract me from the reason why I have always loved going to the movies, that being to escape from the real world for a short period of time.
In light of all this, I can understand why the entertainment industry continues to report that less and less people are going to the movies these days and why box office totals seem to decrease one year to the next. Those who love the movies as much as I do are probably finding themselves wanting to remain at home where they can see a film and not have to deal with all those 21st century distractions that make their movie-going experience a stressor more than a de-stressor.
Nevertheless, I guess I’m beginning to show my age as I reflect upon those days of old, when things felt a lot simpler and a lot better in life. I’m told that type of reflecting happens a lot as we grow older and well, I am hitting my middle-age years you know. But thankfully, God has blessed me and keeps on blessing me with many fond memories of countless hours spent in dark theaters across the world watching the latest films and being transported into other times and places where the stressors of life always tend to go away, at least for a short while. And that is truly something I think we all need from time to time in life, don’t you agree?
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson