Photo by Jenn Murphy

On a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast (which I’ve already said lovely things about on this blog), host Josh Horowitz asked actor Sebastian Stan to describe his ideal movie-going experience. I’m not going to tell you what he said, you’ll have to listen for that, but it did get me thinking about what my dream night at the movies would be.


I have this kind of silly dream of being the only person at a screening of a movie. When I was a kid, it was fueled by the idea that if I was the only one in the theater that meant I could run around and speak at full volume, unafraid of angering any fellow movie-goers. While those possibilities no longer entice me, I would still like to see this dream realized. It adds a certain level of exclusivity to the experience, which I know is pretty lame, but hey, sometimes I want to feel special for no apparent reason! Is that too much to ask?


Typically when I go to the movies I end up getting there pretty early. Part of it is a constant paranoia that something will cause me to be late so I need to prepare in advance, and part of it is that I firmly believe that the best part of going to the movies is watching the trailers. (Seriously, I think the theaters should just screen trailers for an hour or two in an empty theater on occasional weekday afternoons and charge $7 for a seat. I would go in a heartbeat.) This means that I generally end up being the first in the theater and automatically assume that the day of my dream movie-going experience has finally come. But once it gets closer to the actual time the movie is supposed to start, others start to trickle in and my dreams are dashed. It’s happened so many times that I might as well give up.


Despite my many failed attempts though, I have actually gotten close a few times. I was probably one of the last people in the world to see “The Hangover” in theaters, but there was (of course) one other poor soul there. I kind of did it at a midnight screening of “Larry Crowne” (why I was at a midnight screening of “Larry Crowne” is another story for another time) but the theater staff sat in on the movie too, so I refuse to count it. My goal isn’t to be one of a small handful of people in the theater; my goal is to be the only one in the theater.


I like to believe that one day my movie-going dream will come true. Perhaps it’ll take me going to see a poorly-rated movie on an odd afternoon or getting to the theater early as usual and speaking loudly and at length about a “highly contagious, flesh-eating bacteria” I’ve picked up to scare away other potential patrons. Who knows? All I know is, when that day comes I will have realized a dream long in the making. Then it’ll be onto the next dream: being a person cool enough to get Questlove to DJ at an event in my honor. What? A girl can dream!


Have your own dream movie-going experience? Ever been the only one in the theater? Want to find out how I ended up at a midnight screening of “Larry Crowne”? Let me know in the comments. And, before the trailers start…


Stay classy.