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I've made an interesting self observation over the past few years. It seems the older I get, the more I prefer watching movies alone. When I was younger I loved being in the theatre with a large audience watching and reacting with everyone else. Nowadays I don't even like watching with even one or two friends. Am I getting weird or what? This has got me to wondering how my fellow TCM lovers prefer to watch movies (the classics and the not-so classic). Anyone?

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As one grows older, it is much more likely that, if the movie being watched is one with a complex or intriguing story line (characteristic of many classic movies), he/she will be analysing (studying) the movie, picking up clues here or there, etc. Such an analysis becomes more difficult and perhaps impossible when others are present.

 

On the other hand, younger people are much more inclined to enjoy a movie as a "party" affair, wherein other moviegoers are a member of the party. The kind of analysis that intrigues the elderly watcher of many classic movies does not appeal to one who is looking for the party atmosphere.

 

Indeed, it is this divide between the young and the old which makes it so difficult for TCM to contain both groups within a single tent, as it were. What attracts the young repels the old, and vice-versa. Where this is all going is not easy to predict at this moment of turbulence in the TCM waters.

 

 

Jeremy

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When I was younger there were many movies which are special in my memory because of the people I was with and our interactions with one another and with the movie. There were also many movies which I watched alone even although I was in a full theatre.

 

When I watch movies now I prefer it to be with one special person whose presence adds to the experience and who does not distract from the movie.

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In college, I had a friend who said, "I prefer going to a movie alone. If somebody wants to talk about it, we'll get together another time. Right now, it's between me and what's on the screen!"

 

I'm pretty much like that myself. I like having strangers around me in a theatre. But I don't really want to talk. Plus, if I'm alone, I get to pick the movie!

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This is an interesting question; it's also a fortuitious one, in view of the fact that there's another new thread about reperatory cinemas, and on that thread both the OP and myself talk about going to see a film alone.

 

I've been to the movies every which way...in a big social group (when I was young -ie, Rocky Horror Picture Show, that sort of thing); with a couple of female friends, with just one "best friend", and with a "significant other". So the dynamics , how much attention you're paying to a movie when it's the first time seeing it, depends on who you're with and how comfortable you are with them. I remember (this is years ago) joking around with my friends about what's a good "first date" movie and what is not.

 

That said, I've always liked going to the movies by myself - there's something kind of adventurous about it.

 

Watching a movie at home on television or dvd is quite a different experience from going out to see a new film in a theatre.

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Well, when I go to the theater, I sometimes go to matinees by myself, and sit in the front row of an almost empty house. I can certainly enjoy a film that way. I do prefer films on the big screen, even though I have a 56" HDTV. I sometimes go in the evening with a friend. Most of my friends are like me, when it comes to talking during a film - very sparingly - and only in parts with no dialog, to share a pertinent observation. I can enjoy that. I can also enjoy audience reaction sounds, as long as they are not so loud and raucous as to distract from the film.

 

At home, one or two friends, who do not distract from the film are fine, but get much more than that, and usually there will be distractions. I do sometimes invite a couple of friends over for dinner, (which I prepare,) and a movie or two. Timing is important, to keep from distracting the viewing. I do watch a lot of films alone, at home, and do enjoy that. But, after watching three or four, and having no one to discuss them with, it becomes a bit boring. So, I find advantages, and disadvantages, to all modes of viewing.

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Might depend on the movie. When my brother was still alive, we enjoyed getting together once in a while to see a John Wayne western or a Clint Eastwood or a Burt Lancaster movie, or a Chuck Norris actioner. With my wife, I can enjoy a Sandra Bullock comedy or a Jodie Foster thriller. But, alone, I can enjoy an old western B movie, a noir, an Abbott & Costello comedy or a Weissmuller Tarzan movie.

 

Once in a while my wife and I enjoy a movie at the theater.

 

Occasionally, with another couple, we can enjoy a new or recent release on DVD if it appeals to all of us in some way.

 

The party atmosphere with a group? Not for me.

 

Watching any movie with my other brother is difficult. He talks through the whole movie. :)

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