I forgot how much I loved going to see movies on the big screen… until cinemas closed in Singapore.
I was six when I first watched a movie in the theatre. It sparked something in me and I’ve been hooked ever since. There’s just something about fully immersing yourself in a film. Sure, you can be comfy in your jammies at home but nothing beats a dark room with a big screen, vivid colours and surround sound.
My parents are movie buffs so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Growing up, watching movies was my family’s way of bonding. We’d catch the latest flick on Friday nights followed by plot discussions over supper.
I never knew how much watching movies on the big screen meant to me until – dun dun dunnn – the pandemic. Things were fine at first. We had bigger, more pressing issues to worry about. I thought, “It’s cool! Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video are my best friends”. I dived headfirst into the world of streaming platforms and loved it. Until I rewatched Avengers: Endgame on Disney+. Any Marvel fan will know this is one movie you just can’t watch on your laptop or TV. Unless you have a home theatre (care to invite me someday?).
So I waited till the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted to catch a movie. It was a Tamil film, which is a whole other vibe and a story for another day. But it didn’t stop there. I’ve been to the movie theatre thrice in the last two weeks. I’m loving every single bit of it, but it’s different too. Here’s what I learnt when I rekindled my love for movies after cinemas reopened in Singapore.
What I learned after cinemas reopened in Singapore
1. It forces me to put my phone away
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of using your phone while watching a movie at home. I know I am. I’m blaming the pandemic for the endless doomscrolling. But the stakes are higher when you’re at the movie theatre. You paid for your ticket and made the effort to go. You also don’t want to be a nuisance to others. That’ll probably reduce the urge to look at your phone. It definitely helped me, although it was a different kind of screen time.
2. I’m extra picky about watching a movie
Pre 2020, I used to watch the same movie twice. Hell, even thrice in the cinema if I really enjoyed it. Definitely a far cry from now. Maybe it’s the rising ticket prices, fear of catching the virus or just sheer laziness to step out. I now factor in reviews, the plotline and genre before I make a decision. So far, action, suspense, and horror are ticks in my books. You just can’t watch a movie like A Quiet Place 2 at home! Or The Conjuring 3 – even though it was a disappointment.
3. The one-metre safe distance rule ROCKS
Hello, personal space! Say what you want but I love this new rule. No fighting for the arm rest, no awkward brushes, no chance of accidentally reaching for the wrong drink, or any inconsiderate behaviour in general. Also, no long lines at the snack counters. So you don’t have to worry about missing the previews.
4. Annoying people still exist
Being cooped up at home makes me forget this sometimes. What’s a movie theatre experience without the blinding light from a stranger’s phone, people talking as if they’re the only ones in the room or the rustling of a bag of chips? A coupla boys in front of me couldn’t stop yapping throughout the movie. They even had their feet up on the seat in front of them. *Rolls eyes* It wasn’t long before I let out a loud “Shhh”.
5. BUT you also miss the communal experience
Save for some bad apples, I actually miss sharing my reactions with strangers. After being isolated for so long, it feels good to have a communal experience. Whether it’s a gasp, laughter or full-on cheering during an iconic scene (still not over the Endgame battle scene), you truly value this wonderful sense of community. Even if it only lasts for a few hours.
The pandemic has taken away so much from us. But I’m glad I can still hold on to my movie theatre experiences. So the next time you wanna watch a movie, or hey, even better – have movie passes to premieres, you know where to find me!
Now that cinemas have reopened in Singapore and we’re slowly going back to the new normal, how has your movie-going experience changed?