Why you should go to the Cinema Alone and How to do it. (Seriously).

By David Frame

Welcome.

As subtly implied by the title, this article is a surprisingly important guide as to how and, more importantly, why you should be going to the cinema alone (seriously).

Understandably, the notion of such a venture can be distressing; the horror of staring eyes, suppressed laughter and judgemental thoughts can be enough to render some people catatonic.

Placing these anxieties aside; the comfort of a dark room, along-side some cinematic escapism, is perhaps the ideal environment to steal a couple of hours-worth of therapeutic “Me-Time”. With the addition of aggressive consumption of popcorn, nachos, and hot-dogs; where better to escape the harsh realities of this world and indulge in some invaluable self-care?

For your benefit, this guide has meticulously outlined the measures in which you must undertake in order to go to the cinema alone. So, rest assured, follow this detailed guide thoroughly and you shall enjoy your choice of film in therapeutic bliss.

01 The Essentials.

Going to the cinema alone is not a straightforward operation; utmost precision and tenacity are paramount. As you will come to realize, preparation and precaution are vital to the success of this undertaking.

The subsequent list informs you of the required items for a solo-cinema venture. Some items may seem unusual out of context, though I assure you, all will soon become apparent. Compile these items prior to embarking on your cinema quest; consider using a receptacle such as a backpack or a handbag to assist. Avoid using suitcases, sacks or briefcases as this will make you an unfortunate target for conversation.

- An Additional Coat

- A Form of Payment

- A Blanket

- A Cushion

- A Bottle of Water (Stay Hydrated)

- A Phone

02 Preparation.

‘Preparation’ is unquestionably the most crucial component of the solo-cinema operation; however, it’s also the most easy-going and can thankfully be done from the convenience of your own home. No need to start stressing yet; grab yourself a bite to eat and put your feet up.

Okay now put your feet back down. There are three key elements to ‘Preparation’:

- Deciding which film to watch

- Deciding what time to watch said film

- Deciding which seats to watch the said film at said time.

As you have presumably figured, online booking is imperative. It’s vital to be as well-informed as possible beforehand; this will minimize any unforeseen circumstances that could potentially jeopardize the operation.

Remember, you have no-one else to satisfy, so watch any film you wish without judgment.

It’s important to aim for a daytime screening; preferably during working hours. This will reduce any unfortunate likelihood of encountering someone you know. Additionally, with an earlier screening, you shall walk out of the cinema later with a productive outlook and a full day ahead of you. You’ll be appreciative later.

Now, if by any chance you are constrained into an evening screening, best of luck. You’re on your own with that one.

Those of you who are available for daytime screenings, seat selection is key to a pleasant solo-cinema operation. It is vital that you avoid picking a seat in close proximity to the entrance. It’s best to avoid strangers staring and judging you as they contend to find their seats.

Preferably, target the balcony seats with the most favourable view, but ensure to maintain as much distance from the entrance as possible. This will lessen the likelihood of stranger interaction as well as give you passage to a quick and sudden escape later. If the balcony seats are unavailable, it’s advisory to reconsider your screening time.

As a necessity, book your selected seat as well as the seat directly adjacent; this additional seat will later be utilized to act as a façade.

Ensure to revise the seat arrangement beforehand; it’s imperative to have pre-conceived knowledge of your seat location to minimize time spent within public view later.

03 Traveling.

You will find getting to the cinema will be significantly quicker now that you’re not relying upon others for transport or, god-forbid, having to pick up a passenger. As well as this, the journey will become a lot more enjoyable as you crack on your Spotify playlist or radio station of choice and sing for all your heart’s desire.

If you rely upon public transport, you will regretfully have just as miserable a journey alone as you would otherwise. Apologies.

Notably, ensure to leave at a suitable time; not too late you miss the movie although not too early you resemble an abandoned child while you wait.

04 Food and Drink.

Upon arrival, you will have two objectives prior to your screening; to collect your tickets and grab your food; the latter being more intricate.

It’s important to note that having previously purchased two tickets for two adjacent seats, the identical rule must apply to food and drink. Consequently, it is necessary that you order sufficient food for two people for yourself; the cashier must not suspect you are alone.

Remember, as you are currently by yourself, you are free to eat as much as you like without judgment. So indulge yourself in an all-you-can-eat feast of hotdogs, nachos, ice-cream and popcorn (sweet, not salted).

05 The Ticket Collector.

‘The Ticket Collector’; this is the individual who will be haunting the entrance to ensure you have the required ticket. This interaction should not persist longer than necessary.

Consider pretending to be on the phone as you present your ticket; however, given the buffet you are likely carrying, this may be impractical. Alternatively, if the opportunity arises, attempt to slip in with a large group or crowd; this will significantly reduce the likelihood of being identifiable as a solo-cinema goer.

If the aforementioned strategies are impossible, you will be obliged to overtly confront ‘The Ticket Collector’ face-to-face. Be sure to extrude confidence, hold your breath and avoid eye-contact. Good luck.

06 Locating Your Seat.

Locating your seat is relatively painless; unless of course you didn’t revise your seat arrangement beforehand. In which case, you will soon spend two-to-three insufferable minutes stumbling around attempting to identify the alphanumeric figures placed conveniently in a pitch-black room.

In the meantime, without any cooperation, you have no dignified way of penetrating the heavy sound-proof doors whilst carrying your ‘buffet-for-one’. Asking for assistance could potentially expose yourself as a solo-cinema goer; therefore, cautiously hold your buffet to one-side, shimmy the door open with a leg or an arse-cheek and slide into the safety of a dimly-lit room.

If you did come prepared, however, briskly strut over to where you know your seats are eagerly awaiting you and give a graceless nod or “thanks” to anyone who begrudgingly stands up as you shuffle past their legs.

As standard procedure, avoid making eye-contact with anyone, pray nobody knows you, and cower in your seat.

07 Waiting.

Following the distress of what has preceded thus far, take a moment to assimilate your surroundings and revel in the fact that that you needn’t depart from this chair for the following two-to-three hours. Unless, of course, you need the toilet.

As for the items listed in ‘The Essentials’; place the additional apparel, ideally a coat or jacket, on the back of the pre-booked adjacent seat. Surround that location with the supplementary food and drink, therefore conveying the façade of ‘another person’. Anyone who acknowledges you will assume your “friend” has temporarily vacated the area.

Deploy the blanket and cushion to assemble a luxury private space. Be sure to remove your footwear for additional comfort and burrow yourself amongst the textiles. Make yourself at home (not too much).

For those of you who, for some incomprehensible reason, ignored ‘The Essentials’, re-evaluate this decision as you sit restlessly in discomfort waiting for the film to commence.

If you haven’t already, locate that buffet of yours and begin aggressively heaving nachos, hot dogs and popcorn into your cakehole. Rejoice as nobody can distinguish your animal-like conduct under such dim lighting.

08 Watching.

You did it.

Now relax and be sure to take comfort in the fact that you won’t have anyone whispering in your ear for the duration of the film.

Enjoy.

09 The Escape.

It’s possible to lose focus now that your fundamental goal is complete, however, there remain some advisory precautions that should be taken upon your escape.

Ensure to make a swift exit the instant the credits roll; gather your items and leave with a brisk walk or gentle jog; not too fast as to raise suspicion or attract unwanted attention. Avoid getting entangled in the slow-walking exit queue and be sure to keep your head down at all times until having exited the building.

Upon having retreated, you can relax and revel in your remarkable success.

10 Congratulations. (Seriously).

Well done.

What you have achieved is commendable. However, what you may have understandably forgotten is the value and necessity of self-respect. By disregarding the opinions of strangers, you can pay sufficiently greater consideration to your own well-being.

The purpose of the preceding guide is to help you overlook such opinions; to (hopefully) push you on a path of self-care. You should no longer rely upon such strategies, but instead, be equipped to recognize ‘going to the cinema alone’ as an undertaking of self-respect; not a venture to be ashamed of.

In these turbulent times, it is vital you steal time for yourself; time in which to prioritize self-care. The cinema provides an opportunity for you to take a well-earned break from the harsh realities of the world and immerse yourself within another. Going alone strengthens this break; allowing you to prioritize yourself whilst you conveniently indulge on mediocre nachos and popcorn (sweet, not salted).

It’s thought-provoking to contemplate that if humankind grasped a greater understanding and importance of self-care, perhaps you wouldn’t need to go to the cinema alone (seriously).

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