Experiencing a slow Tuesday night alone at the movies
It’s 9:29 p.m. and I haven’t left my house.
Honestly, I was kind of avoiding leaving because my house is so warm and it is so dark outside and it looks so unappealing.
I’m going to be late for the movie that starts in six minutes, and unlike typical movies, you can’t leave a 30-minute cushion for commercials; Canyon Meadows Cinemas hardly has any.
Good thing the theatre is in an optimal location being less than a five-minute drive from my house in the southeast and just off of Macleod Trail, a main artery in the city.
The bright side is that I don’t have to worry about meeting anyone because I’m going to my first movie by myself. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I’ve waited so long to leave.
In my mind, I have made this out to be a bigger deal than it is.
Photo by Katherine Huitema
However, it is not so easy as a single woman going out by yourself; going out alone is not really considered socially acceptable.
The only reason why I have the confidence to go to this particular movie theatre over any other is because it feels like my home away from home.
My family and I have been going there for years and whenever I haven’t seen my parents in a while it reminds me of them.
Once I slam my truck door closed, I turn both the heat and the fan on high and lukewarm air blasts out through the vents. I shiver and curse the fact that my 2002 Ford Ranger doesn’t warm up as fast as newer vehicles.
The transmission whirs to a start and my truck struggles to climb the giant pile of snow and ice that has accumulated on the edge of the street where I park.
The snow crunches under my tires and I congratulate my truck after she groans onto the narrow street.
I try not to speed the entire way there but it’s hard, 60 km/h just seems so slow. Luck is on my side for once tonight and the two sets of lights that I pass are green.
Driving up, the main L.E.D. lights on the top of the building flicker and although the façade of the building looks new, it is apparent that some upkeep is needed.
The two box offices are on either side as I walk in, with the concession straight ahead. On slow nights, such as this one, they close the box offices and instead you can just buy your tickets at the concession.
On the weekends, the movie theatre is a hustle and bustle of activity, and everybody wearing a black shirt and nametag has a role. However, tonight, five of them stand by talking.
The great thing about this theatre is that movie prices are so cheap. I hand over the crumpled $5 bill I had in my back pocket.
“One for John Wick,” I say as I smile at the cute boy behind the counter. I’m attracted instantly to his perfect smile and his tousled brown hair, plus he looks taller than me. For me, at 5-11, that’s an added bonus.
For once in my life, I don’t care if the other teenagers behind the counter are judging me for seeing a movie by myself.
Photo by Katherine HuitemaIt’s a Tuesday night, I’m in a good mood and I feel powerful.
There is something so liberating about knowing that you are in control and can do whatever you want to.
The whole theatre is full of geometric shapes. From the carpet on the floor to the movie posters from recent movies on the walls, everything seems to have a vintage feel that only comes with an old movie theatre that has been there forever.
The ceiling opens up into a large cavernous space.
I spot my theatre by the large number ‘four’ on the right side of the hallway and I duck in, hoping that I won’t disrupt too many people.
I was worried for no reason; a total of six people, including myself, occupy the 149 seats, and I grab the corner seat closest to the door in order to make a clean get away when I want.
I feel the scratchy cloth seats underneath me as I plop down with a sigh.
I’m the only female and seem to be the only one from this generation.
The theatre is silent except for the rustle of popcorn bags and mutters under breaths.
My mind wanders while I wait the couple minutes until the movie starts; should I have given that cute boy my number? How old was he? I wonder how much revenue this theatre produces in order to stay open on a quiet night like this?
I start to pay attention to my surroundings for once; I put away the distraction I call my phone. The walls are a deep red, with panels of green and yellow; like theatres in the movies.
I nestle further down in my seat when the movie starts and wrap my fuzzy grey scarf tighter around my neck.
An angry Keanu Reeves fills the screen and the rest of the movie blurs by in a series of action and violence, which is exactly what I feel like watching on this cold winter night.
Even though it’s late and a couple hours past my bedtime, I don’t get tired until the action fades.
The six of us trickle out of the theatre while the credits play behind us, in silent solidarity because we all just shared the same experience for the last two hours.
However, I feel like a stronger person for having accomplished something I was so nervous to do, see a movie by myself.