It's generally accepted that going to the cinema is a social occasion. It's not about just going to see a movie. It's about going out with your mates or your family, eating popcorn, and generally making a night of it. And, of course, going to the pub afterwards (or MacDonalds if you're with the kids) and chatting about how it was so much better/worse than you expected.
But it's not quite so, it seems.
People who buy more than six cinema tickets a year tend to go on their own, according to research from Edinburgh University. It's kinda logical when you think about it. People who go to the flicks that often aren't just going for the blockbusters that everyone wants to see on the big screen. They're the ones who want to see all sorts of things, usually the things their friends and family aren't into. So yeah, going to Indiana Jones or Harry Potter is probably a social occasion, but going to Persepolis or Mongol probably isn't.
I've always felt faintly awkward and embarrassed about going to the cinema on my own. I don't want to be the one guy at a movie who hasn't got anyone to go with. And particularly now that I'm in the process of getting used to being single again, putting myself in situations where that's exacerbated is something I try and avoid. If there's something I want to see, I try and find someone who wants to see it too, and if nobody else wants to go, I end up waiting for the DVD.
But all of a sudden the idea of going on my own doesn't feel nearly so odd. When it comes to the out of the ordinary films that I want to see at the cinema, it's reassuring to know that most of the rest of the audience will be like me, there for the pure pleasure of watching a movie on a big screen.
Picturehouse, here I come!