My Long-Awaited Return To The Cinema

turned on projector
Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

I’m an Atheist. But if there is a God. I know the reason they put me on this Earth was to watch Space Jam 2 at the cinema.

Most of my time in the last year has been spent moaning about not going to the cinema. The windows where it has been open have been filled with me complaining about my face mask making my glasses steam up when I am watching the film. But now that period is over. Cinemas are open and I can sit back and enjoy without foggy lenses.

Enjoying the film with my mask on? I don’t even like to keep my shoes on!

I have long dreamed of Boris walking out for one of his 5 pm briefings, Tango Ice Blast in hand and yelling at the top of his lungs “Cinema is back. Let’s go watch James Bond!”

That didn’t quite happen. The doors opened rather quietly with someone standing by ready to shut them again. Major film studios were reluctant to go straight in and release their big films, uncertain of how long they would be able to remain open. Most of the big films released this year have gone straight to streaming services. If Disney really thinks I am paying £30 to watch Cruella, they are sorely mistaken.

But now the period of Cinema uncertainty appears to be over. Cinemas up and down the country are open with new releases each week to keep me going back for more.

This has always been how I relax. How I escape from worries and truly manage to shut out the outside world. I have felt a huge void without it. There’s nothing that motivates me to get through a work shift more than the prospect of going to an Odeon straight after I finish.

I’m not just talking about watching a film. I mean CINEMA. The trailers before that I’m excited to see for the first time and then irritated when I’ve seen them too often. The adverts with catchy songs that I can’t look up because my phone is off. The rebellious feeling of taking in my own snacks. The complete disconnection to the outside world and unwavering attention to the big screen. Getting out my phone afterwards and adding the film to the list of others I’ve seen.

It’s a ritual. If God really did exist, then this would be my church.

When cinemas opened before ‘Freedom Day’ no one really knew what films were being shown. The listings at some cinemas just seemed like someone had grabbed all the DVDs from a charity shop. Since the first lockdown Odeon has gone from having a physical plastic membership card to it all being on the app. This is probably a good thing environmentally. But I am just immature if I enjoyed having the plastic one in my wallet?

Also, side note, if Gerard Butler makes an action film set at the end of Covid restrictions called ‘Freedom Day’, I’m going to be fucking furious!!!

But since the grand reopening of everything, Cinemas have started the first few steps towards bouncing back. Now I find myself back in London, knowing however hard a day maybe and wherever I am, I am not far from finding a cinema. My first reaction when receiving my work rota is looking ahead to see what films are being played at Prince Charles Cinema on my day off. For the first time in a long time, escapism is achievable.

Have you ever been sat in the credits of a Marvel film and see people walking out before the end credit and you’re just sat there smug knowing that they are going to miss the post-credit scene. That feeling. It’s almost sexual.

Last year I had tickets booked for a double bill of A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part 2. At the time of booking this Covid-19 was only in the trailer stage. I was so close to it before it was postponed because of the pandemic. But last week I finally managed to see the much-anticipated sequel. In the way, it was intended, on the big screen. I couldn’t help but think of it as a symbol that I am currently basking in that light at the end of the tunnel.

Cinema plays a huge part in my Mental Health. It’s where I am most relaxed. At times, where I am happiest. Now that it has returned to my life, I feel an overwhelming sense of calm.

So, to counteract many of the previous articles I have written about being depressed and how hard the last year of my life has been. This is one with much more positivity. I sit here now content. With order restored. We live in a world where I can walk down the street any time I want and go watch Space Jam: A New Legacy on the big screen. To me, this is paradise.

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