“I have five kids so watching a movie is a big event for my family, you know?” someone once told me when I asked if he liked going to the theater. He went on to talk about how expensive a single ticket was and how he would have to get each of his kids a snack and all that stuff. I guess because a movie-watching experience really isn’t complete without the popcorn and the soda, etc. etc. It’s why I love/d watching movies in the theater, too. Aside from the big screen and surround sound and all that, of course. Because it is a whole experience. You’re not just there to see a film. You’re there to experience it. Which is why, lately, I haven’t been going to the movies. Because as with a lot of other kinds of experiences, watching movies has become quite painful.
First, it’s become really expensive. Ticket prices have literally doubled since I stopped watching movies often. Probably the only reason I can still watch movies now is because I can use the points on my credit card.
Next, and I guess more importantly, because it is an experience, everything about it reminds me of the good times that have turned bad. From the checking of the screening times on my phone or on the PC to lining up to get tickets to choosing between cheese and barbecue popcorn (and of course choosing cheese in the end) to debating with oneself whether or not my Php20 is well-spent on a bottle of water or do I just get a soda instead because it costs more or less the same and is more delicious even though it’s not healthy at all. Even watching the trailers and the advertisements between the trailers as well as the PSAs about movie piracy brings back memories. And the smell of the movie theater (because all movie theaters smell the same, wherever you are, I mean, unless you’re in a particularly shady area of the city), the feel of the seats, the annoyance that comes over you when the people behind you kick your chair or when the people in front of you have no sense of timing and stand up to leave or just arrive in the middle of the movie…
Everything I see and hear and touch and smell and taste is a reminder of all the movies we ever saw and all the theaters we ever went and all the popcorn we ever shared and all the arguments-turned-jokes that we ever had about plot holes, continuity errors, temporal paradoxes and whether or not John Williams is the greatest composer who ever lived.
How do I erase the memories? How do I replace the memories? How do I enjoy watching movies again?