Sometimes I Go to the Movie Theater By Myself

Sometimes I go to the movie theater by myself. I’m almost ashamed to admit it. It sounds lonely, just seeing it written.

I’ve admitted this occasional part of my life to a few close friends, who then react as friends should, with quiet support and proclamations that they’ve done it too. But secretly I’m afraid when I leave the room they talk about how I need to get laid. Maybe they’re right.

I started my solitary ventures to the theater when I got to college. I may have done it once or twice in high school, but when I began my undergraduate studies I didn’t know a single soul in the city I was in, and I often would find myself on the bus, off to the local movie theater to see something I wanted to see. It was more circumstantial that I didn’t have anyone with me, and it didn’t bother me. But I dreaded the possibility of running into someone I knew at the theater, potentially raising the question, ‘Who are you here with?’ ‘No one, I’m here with no one.’

Some of my favorite films I’ve seen by myself in the theater. A few months ago I saw Blue Valentine; it was brilliant. Just last week I saw The King’s Speech. Beautifully regal. There is an indie theater a few miles from where I live where I’ve seen a handful of fantastic films, mostly by myself. And trust me, I have my own perception of it that I tell to other people: ‘Well I wouldn’t be talking to anyone anyway, right?’ The few times I’ve seen a movie as the sole person in the theater have been therapeutic. I disappear from the world and treat myself to what I imagine is my personal home theater. I usually get high in my car right before the movie starts.

Last week when I saw The King’s Speech, I first thought it was going to be one of those lonely theater experiences. The previews were starting, and there I was with my popcorn and Diet Coke all alone with no one else around. This will be wonderful. My own private viewing of the Oscar-bedazzled film about speech impediments and politics, with easily the best seat in the house. (I like the back more, but not the very back).

Then two lovebirds came in. We acknowledged each other’s silhouettes and as I said to myself, ‘What the fuck are these people doing here?’ they were just as likely saying, ‘What the fuck is this guy doing here?’ And they sat relatively close to me, about two rows behind. What douche bags – that’s against the rules. Nonetheless, I went home afterwards satisfied with my early afternoon.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going to movies with other people. I promise I’m not as dark as all the aforementioned makes me out to be. Unless that’s your thing, in which case I am that dark. TC mark

image – GibsonsGolfer


More From Thought Catalog

  • Rae

    I go and see movies by myself all the time. I love it.

  • Denden

    …yup, you need to get laid. Question: hetro or otherwise?

    • Joseph Ernest Harper
      • Denden

        No, I don't want to follow your tumblr.

  • Niharika Rath

    i go to the movies alone every once in a while and i love it, it's so peaceful. it's not “dark” or anything, it's just a good way to enjoy the experience.

  • sb

    I've never thought anything of going to movies alone. It's not like you can talk other than the awkward banter during the previews.
    If I have an afternoon free, I see no better way to spend it then by sneaking in snacks and booze and watching a movie.

  • molly

    i used to think it was sad and lonely, but fuck that. it's fun to see movies by yourself. you don't need someone to hold your hand. i say treat yourself. it's half the price of seeing it with a date.

  • Max Shipley

    Seriously just got back from the movies by myself. I used to feel more pathetic about it– in high school I'd always write who I went to a movie with on my stub, and when I went alone I'd just write 'alone'… I'm past that phase and no longer feel lame. It's really relaxing.

    • LDN

      i write on my stubs too! :)

      there's nothing more sentimental than finding a ticket for '50 first dates' with an old crush's name and remembering what bad taste you had. not that i'm bitter or anything.

  • Andrea K

    I see movies by myself all the time. It's relaxing and awesome and independent and confident.

    I see movies by myself all the time.

    I, also, need to get laid.

    The two are unrelated.

  • Vincent

    This reminds me of the narrator of Fight Club's initial feelings about Marla Singer.

  • Robertbenesh

    I felt like this was building up and then stopped abruptly. Is part 2 in the works?

  • Hannah Foster.

    This one time, I accidentally went to see Sex and the City 2 by myself. It's a long story involving mixups and missed texts but, regardless of the film, I actually enjoyed sitting by myself and couldn't wait to do it again.


      That's a sick way to find enjoyment.

  • shoe hand

    i do everything by myself because i have no friends

  • Humblecore

    Can someone explain the correlation between liking to go to the movies alone and needing to get laid? People are always hesitant to admit to the former for fear of being accused of the latter, but it never made sense to me. Like, if you needed to get laid wouldn't you just go to a bar/club by yourself? And if you're getting laid good and often does that magically remove the desire to do stuff alone sometimes? It's silly.

    Anyway, I'm a big supporter of doing this. I also really like going to concerts by myself sometimes, though not having somebody to bullshit with between bands can be awkward (thank God for smartphones!)

  • Ben

    shut up you think you're cool regardless

  • Peter T. Bedu

    the people who think you're lame for seeing movies alone are usually the most obnoxious when you do see a movie with them


    What we are not addressing here is whether or not you (and by extension, the rest of us who have admitted) are doing it for your own end or because you cannot find people to attend with you – especially since you mention so-called indie movies. Are the people you know Philistines? Who WOULDN'T want to see Blue Velvet?

    • ummmmm

      It's Blue Valentine…

      • cracker

        still, everyone wants to see blue velvet too

  • Geoff

    This is article is boring, pointless and awful.

    • Aslkfjdsa

      Your life is boring, pointless and awful.

  • RamonaCC

    I'll go to a movie with you.

  • george brostanza

    Honestly, i truly appreciate this article because i'm able to relate and i'm not sure whether it's a good or bad thing. I've gone to see a movie with friends, and i've gone to the movies alone and i actually feel more comfortable when i am alone. At the same time, there are a lot of times when i want someone to accompany me, but no one is free. It sucks and makes me question how other people view me. Like, i feel like have friends, but sometimes i feel like i have no one. I mean all i have are these people who i'm surrounded with and it's like we're forced to talk to one another because we go to the same school. i don't know. It's not even that my social skills suck… i feel like its my lifestyle and being alone is easier.

  • SousChefGerard

    I prefer going by myself. Less hassle with coordinating times to go and you get the arm rest all to yourself. Do agree that the magical screenings where you have the whole theater to yourself is like heaven.

    I also get laid on a consistent basis whenever I care to get some. As astute others have stated, there is absolutely no correlation.

  • Rahelielio

    I just recently began reading thought catalog, and finally felt compelled to comment because I've been going to the movies by myself since HS, and more than a few times. Up until sophomore year in college, i wasn't a big partier so it was my go-to weekend activity. Not saying I was “cooler” or anything, but my friends rarely wanted to see the frou frou shit (foreign or sundance-y movies) I was into. In college, I didn't have a fake ID so unless there was a house party I just HAD to go to, I would occasionally go to the midnight screenings alone as well. The friends I have now have pretty good tastes, but it's a bitch sending text after email after text trying to coordinate when and where to see a movie. If there is something I NEED to see right away (or has a limited engagement), I'm going it alone.

  • Alex Thayer

    i've never gone to the movies by myself, but this article makes me want to.

  • Marisa

    I love you, can you email me?

  • O

    The insinuation that people who go to the movies by themselves can't get laid is ridiculous. Why does life have to revolve around fucking? People can't look behind their own biological programming. Idiots. If you can get a bunch of people interested to go see a movie that you really want to see great. A lot of people I know have different work shedules so getting together is just a mission in itself. If I go it alone so what? It's just a movie.

  • Carlos Ortiz

    I always do things like that by myself, other people usually dumb down my activities.
    Other people's lack of interest in what I like to do doesn't reflect on me.

  • Andy

    I love seeing movies alone. Especially those romantic comedies

blog comments powered by Disqus