Sometimes sitting in the garden feels like the biggest ever BIG SCREEN.
“Dad I’ve really got use to our home based movie nights. I was thinking that I’m not sure I ever want to go to the cinema again. Too many people. Too much stress.”
Going to the cinema has always been a bit of a lottery with our Son. We need to carefully manage the process. Arrive before the queues start to form. Carefully select a movie time which will be quiet. Sit on the very front row as this is likely to be empty and you won’t get anyone in front of you. Then keep you fingers crossed that no one sits close to us. Wait till everyone else has left before we depart. So many stress points for both our son and parents. We’ve had to leave movies within minutes (or even before they have started). Slowly the number of movies he would endure the cinema stress would reduce rapidly. Before the virus took hold it was down to just Marvel movies. So no I am not surprised that he’s backing away from cinemas. Sadly I think he won’t be the only one.
It’s not helped that our cinema options are limited. The only cinema he would go to in the end was a large muliplex in the city. It ran early morning showings which where usually empty. Unfortunately they have redesigned the cinema. Bigger, armchair like seats have been installed. Bigger seats means less seats. Less seats means fewer chances to find space. Which means the screenings feel so much busier. For someone with Aspergers that is a major issue. So are the cinema trips over? Well if they are then I have so many memories from them
- Taking mum to see the Horse Whisperer. She hadn’t been to a cinema in many many decades. She was a little taken aback (and very relieved) that PATHE News wasn’t shown before the movie and she was amazed that people didn’t wait for the credits to finish – as a child she had to wait for the national anthem.
- Taking son to see one of the Smurf movies and realising we were the only people watching it. Having your very own giant big screen is such a cool feeling.
- My first date with my partner was to see The Phantom Menace. Unbelievably our relationship survived that experience.
- Going to our local cinema in the nearest market town. It always looked such a small cinema from the outside. Unbelievably it was actually way smaller. We watched Black Panther with a couple of his old school friends and it felt like we took up half the seats. A screen probably smaller than most peoples TV and with just a handful of rickety old seats. That was the main screen, lord knows how small the second screen is.
- I was brought up in a seaside town where the cinema was on the beach. During a high tide the gents toilets would flood.
Photo from Trip Adviser
- Went to see the Blues Brothers at that cinema and someone let off a stink bomb. Only the very hardy got to see the end of that one. Luckily a head cold and a blocked up nose gave me a distinct advantage.
- Went to see BMX Bandits there as well. It was absolutely heaving. Unbelievably two kids sneaked in bikes and started riding them around during the film. A week later a famous Oscar winning movie was on and no one turned up. Summed up the town really.
- My first trip to a cinema was to see Digby The Biggest Dog in the World. Yes I am that old.
- Before I met my partner I remember going to see JFK with a long time girlfriend. Foolishly it was the midnight screening. I fell asleep after the first few minutes and woke as the credits started to role. Strangely I was able to fill in the missing 3 hour gap and actually felt that I had not missed anything.
- My partners mum wanted to go to the cinema as she hadn’t been in years. She was a devout Quaker so we looked at various religious film options which the local specialist cinema would offer. One film looked very promising. It was a 2 hour documentary about monks living on a remote site. The monks had taken a vow of silence so the movie only featured background sounds, no talking and no music. After seeing the various options her mum opted for the cartoon, Chicken Run and loved it.
- I took son to see Captain Marvel. Unfortunately his muppet Dad took him into screen 3 rather than screen 2. As soon as the movie started it was clear that the movie running here was Dumbo. Unfortunately Dumbo in 3D. We didn’t have any 3D glasses so we had to rather embarrassingly trudge out.
So just maybe our cinema days are over for the foreseeable future. That’s kinda sad but if that makes our Son happier then that’s fantastic. There is something reassuringly nice about watching a movie premiere wearing your old comfy jogging pants with a big bowl of popcorn on your lap. Also in full control of the movie options, so we can decide to switch films at any stage. So here’s to the days of the home based cinematic experience. Time to create some new memories.