Braving it alone

Tonight, I decided to brave it alone and took myself to the theatre (sorry, to the cinema) to see Brave. And why not? Friday nights are great nights for going to the cinema, and what better date is there than me?

This is going to be a slightly different post because I’m going to break it down into three bits: The me bit, the venue bit, and the movie bit. So you can take your pick of those sections or you can read the whole thing. You call. So let’s get started!

The Me Bit:
This is only the third time I’ve gone to the movies alone. The first time I was 12 or 13 years old and the friend I planned to go with had to cancel. I decided to go to the matinee showing at the Roslyn Theatre alone and had my Daddy drop me off. Only when I got there, some of my older sister’s friends were there and they were quite cruel about me not having any friends. I can’t remember if I walked home or called for a ride, but I remember trying not to cry and feel sorry for myself.

The next time I went I was 27 years old and living in Edinburgh. It was over the winter holidays and I really wanted to see The Princess Diaries but didn’t have anyone to go with, so I went alone. (I hadn’t met Paul at the time.) I was really nervous about it and a bit freaked out, to be honest, so I wore a ball cap so that I could “hide” from everyone else. I don’t know if I was the only solo-viewer that day, but it seemed like I was. It was my first successful trip to the movies alone, and I always watch The Princess Diaries when I see it on television now because it reminds me of that little victory.

Then there was today. I’ve thought about going to the movies alone several times since Paul died but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But I didn’t have any luck in finding a movie partner – and really, really wanted to see Brave in the cinema – so I had to “brave it alone”. And do you know what? It was OK. Yes, I would have preferred to have someone there with me, but I didn’t feel awkward or out-of-place. So I guess that’s a good thing. Almost like a battle won.

But enough about me, let’s move on!

The Venue Bit:
OK, this is where I feel let down. I went to the Vue Stirling Cinema – part of a big national chain – and was very underwhelmed by the experience. In fairness, much of this is because I grew up going to a small, “mom-and-pop” theatre in my hometown where it’s like going to a friend’s house to watch a flick. Still, it was a bit “meh”.

First, the place didn’t smell like fresh-popped popcorn. It smelled like stale popcorn. (And it looked like stale popcorn.) So, I opted for crisps and sweets instead. Which was OK since I like crisps and sweets.

Next, there was 34 minutes worth of previews and adverts before the opening credits of the movies. Yes, really. Thirty-four minutes. That, in my opinion, is ridiculous.

Then, there was the inevitable end bit where everyone started to leave the moment the credits began to roll. And the cleaners swept (pun intended) in to start getting ready for the next showing. They looked a bit irked that I was sitting, watching the end credits. (It was worth it. Wait for the movie review section!)

The saving grace, however, was the seats. I upgraded to a VIP seat (£9.15 with my student ID) which meant that I got to curl up with my legs underneath me and I had two cushy armrests and a cup holder. So, that was pretty awesome.

I can’t give you a “thumbs up” rating for the venue because it was very unremarkable. But I’d go back. Only I’d smuggle in my own snacks. (I know, shame on me!)

The Movie Bit:
Brave was awesome. Awe-SOME! Really, it’s a must-see. The animation was fabulous and the story was funny, heart-warming, and entertaining all at once. The “acting” (if you can call it that) was amazing. I could feel the emotions.

At the start, when Merida is dancing and twirling near the top of a waterfall, I could feel her joy and excitement. I wanted to dance and twirl with her! Throughout the movie, I could feel her sorrow and frustration and energy. It was so well done.

Some of the younger kids in attendance were taken out after the movie started getting a bit exciting (spoiler: bears are growling and fighting and doing bear stuff) but I think that most of the kids enjoyed it as much as the adults did. (There was lots of laughing from viewers of all ages!)

And, in true Just Frances fashion, I stayed for the credits. All of them. (Someone worked hard to put them together, and I like to honour that by watching.) As always, near the end was a list of production babies. And, there is a little something to reward those who stay to the end. And it made me laugh. And everyone else missed it. So, if you’ve not seen the movie yet, stay until the end. It’s worth the smile.

And that’s it. (Finally.) It’s long, but the summary is this: I braved watching Brave alone and it was an excellent movie! (Yay!)

[Image copyright Disney Pixar; republished with good intent under the Fair Use Doctrine.]

4 Replies to “Braving it alone”

  1. Good for you! I’ve only been to the movies alone once and I hated it, but I was young and still cared what other people thought of me.
    I loved Brave – her hair is exactly like my sister’s by the way – but my nephew and I did NOT stay for the credits, so now I’m sad!
    Anyway, kudos to you for braving it! xo

    1. Thanks, Corinne. The kudos are appreciated! I know that some people like to go to the movies alone, but I see it as a ‘social’ event and have never liked going alone. (But I’m happy to curl up at home on my own for a movie.) Of course, I think that these things always remind me that I used to have someone to do these things with, which just adds to the difficulty.
      But I am really pleased that I was able to do this without panicking. In fact, I actually enjoyed myself!
      (And remember: Always stay for the credits! It’s only a couple of minutes of your time and you never know when you’ll get a wee treat for your efforts!)

  2. Well done … but don’t leave it too long to go again, enjoy the experience and get set for a lifetime of solo-pleasure.
    I still go to the movies alone; being married doesn’t supply an automatic movie-going mate, our viewing choices vary, and if I didn’t go myself, then I’d miss yet another film. Occasionally I get organized and view with a friend but mostly my trips are on-the-day spontaneous. I had a student union FilmSoc pass as a student and would go once a week to the viewings – alone doesn’t weird me out probably because of this early start.

    1. I suppose I may go to the movies solo again, but I really don’t like doing it. To me, it’s a social thing. Again, it might have something to do with my hometown theatre where everyone knew everyone and you just felt like you were watching a flik in your friend’s house.
      I totally love watching DVDs alone though. Which I get to do all the time, so that’s cool!

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