Reasons to go to the cinema by yourself

What’s so bad about spending time by yourself? It seems as if it’s still considered taboo. I lived in Sydney for 6 months where the only people I know were family. So they have their own things happening and I was forced to spend time by myself. I embraced it! I loved it! I went shopping, to the cinema, out for meals and around about the city, exploring it as much as I could. All by myself. There’s nothing wrong with it. Especially going to the cinema by yourself.

I’m going say that whilst I do prefer going to the cinema by myself, I’ve never had a bad experience when I’ve gone with a friend (unless there are strangers who just don’t shut up, that’s out of my control unfortunately). I like going with my friends, but I also think there’s a solid argument in going by yourself. Allow me to convince you, or at least try to.


When you go

When you go with friends, whether it’s one person or a group, your schedules have to match, you have to agree on a time and then meet up before the film. Fairly standard procedure, but not one I normally enjoy organising. People are busier now more than they have ever been, so I read recently and it makes sense. Our jobs are so much more demanding, trying to organise any sort of meet up is difficult. July is quickly approaching and there are still friends who I’ve not seen this year at all. So, put away your diaries and calendars, get up and go on your own. Chances are that you’ll see others there with just themselves as company.


What you watch

There’s normally a good selection of films to watch so you could probably agree on something. But there’s no guarantee. If you’re a big film fan like myself, chances are you’ll know what films are which are not the big budget movies most people go to see. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with them, but when it’s your choice, and your choice alone, you have the rare chance to pick any film showing anywhere you want to go. Think about that. No compromise, no discussions, no arguments, no disagreements. Just one simple choice. What do you want to see?


Seating arrangements

When I think about that, with the people I’ve gone to the cinema with recently, (hello George, Michael and Ness!) this hasn’t been a problem, I don’t think that it ever is. But we did get there early to buy our allocated tickets so we had the choice of sitting in the back row. Perfect. But when it’s unallocated, what then? Some like the back, some the middle, but no one at the front! And then, the middle of the row? The aisle? The end by the wall? There’s a lot of options to consider. Before I enter a movie theatre, assuming I know it as well as I know the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, I think of where I want to sit, where did it not work last time? Where was it perfect before? Where will I not be disturbed? So many questions to consider. When you’re alone, you really can pick and choose. Unless it’s frustratingly jam packed.




No sharing, of anything

There’s always someone who goes to the cinema who will enjoy the film and the entire movie-going experience. However, they may enjoy it at your expense. You buy the popcorn but they don’t want any however they end up eating half of yours. Then what happens? They’re thirsty and there goes half of your drink. Oh what’s that? The arm rest? You don’t need it do you? Of course not. Are you starting to see a pattern emerging? That person, and not everyone you watch a film with is like this, will pay for their ticket but get a lot more out of the experience than you. Yes you’re there for the film (and in my case the trailers, LOVE watching them) but these lovely added perks of a big bucket of popcorn, or chocolate or a huge drink and the wonderful armrest, all to make it even more enjoyable are taken away when someone else is there. No sharing is so much better in the cinema


You are not alone

I went to the cinema on Sunday to watch Fruitvale Station. I wasn’t the only one who went by themselves. There’s some sort of taboo in doing things by yourself, it’s remarkable how much more you can do by yourself. You don’t have anyone to answer to, that day / outing is all about you. And others do it too. This weekend, there was myself, 3 couples and 5 others who were on their own. If the couples or groups judge you, you’ll never know it. You’re there to watch a movie, or eat a meal, enjoy an exhibition and so on. When I reached home, my cousin says she just doesn’t understand how I can go by myself. When you really think about it, watching a film isn’t a social experience, you’re not there to speak to anyone, you’re not there to interact at all.

you are not alone

When you do anything by yourself, the trick is to not care and enjoy yourself. The day is yours, this is your time, use it as you wish and let those naysayers carry on as they are. At the end of the day, it’s just you and a movie, what more could you possibly want? Here’s to you!


The secret of cinema.

The way we watch films has changed and it continues to change. Initially there was the multiplex, then the independent cinemas starting rising for independent film makers everywhere. Now there is something newer, something that many would have heard of and been to but also something that hasn’t reached it’s peak just yet. However, that day is coming. It’s the rise of the alternative screenings. For those of you utterly bewildered and confused by this concept, companies such as Film 4, Future Cinema and Beas of Bloomsbury all screening popular and cult films in either extraordinary places or by setting the scene of the film to give you the feel of authenticity. The film of being part of the action, being there when the drama unfolds, riding along in the cars during an over the top chase scene. There is also the chance to see recreations of scenes from the films, live performances from actors as well as singing and dancing, all part of the package from Secret Cinema and Future Cinema.

Bugsy Malone performance

The creation of these screenings has given all types of cinema goers the chance to watch some of their favourite films in different ways, the rise of everything interactive has caused a wave of these screenings popping up everywhere, some at a steep price but not all. Whilst Secret Cinema charges £35 for the pleasure of their company, you get your moneys worth not only having the film kept a secret until screening, but also having actors performing parts from the films, having the sets in front of you for you to admire and getting involved yourself. Please see the photo of the lovely gentleman below who was hoisted on stage in a ballerina’s outfit and danced around for several onlookers to enjoy!

 They aren’t all like that though. There is also something for the person just looking                                                                                          to enjoy a film in a different location, there is Beas of Bloomsbury which offers vintage films in their warehouse-esque setting for £5. You can purchase hot dogs, beers, wine, sweets, popcorn and all sorts to make the night a more enjoyable and fatty one! And let’s be honest, a fatty night is a good night! One similar to this is Film4 who do their own outdoor summer screenings which, assuming the weather holds out, is a fantastic joy. With summer night of London, the glow of a brilliant film such as Scarface in front of you and the just being outside to watch something is a great feeling. The screenings happen each summer for around 2 weeks and there  is always something you’ll want to see. A quote that depicts the feeling of these screenings is “Watching a movie under the stars in Somerset House’s beautiful courtyard on a balmy summer evening is a near-perfect LonA foamy Bugsy Malonedon experience” says Time Out.

Without a doubt, all three and several more outdoor and rooftop screenings are immense fun and offer you an alternative to the typical bar / club scene which London is so famous for. But for those of you who want a change, take a look at the links at the bottom and feel inspired!


Film 4 screenings at Somerset House

Beas of Bloomsbury

Secret Cinema

Rooftop Club

Time Out’s outdoor screenings