Going to see a movie in a theater has always been one of my favorite things to do. On a sunny day or a rainy weekend, going to the movies is always a fun way to spend the day. Getting to see a brand new movie, buying all the yummy snacks, finding your seat in the dark with your friends- every moment is wonderful to experience!
But I haven’t been to a movie theater in over a year because of the global pandemic.
I can’t remember the last movie I went and saw a movie in theaters. I know it was in February of 2020, right before the pandemic hit. I remember walking outside and it was dark. I remember I got a cherry coke ICY like I usually do. I remember the taste of buttery popcorn, I remember I got Twizzlers as they are my favorite movie candy. But I can’t even remember the movie.
My roommate remembers the last movie she went to in theaters. It was Cats, and isn't that a way to end your movie theater experience?
Because of COVID, many movie theaters closed down or weren’t open for business after March of 2020. It was unsafe to sit in the close quarters while the virus swept the country. Even with the theaters closing on their own, I wouldn’t have felt safe to go anyways. So much was unknown at the beginning of the pandemic. To this day, it is recommended to stand six feet apart and wear a mask everywhere. In a movie theater, those guides just aren’t possible.
No movies were coming out anyways. Actors and crew stopped working to stay home and be safe. Everything that was coming out only came out on certain apps like Disney+ and HBO. The Godzilla vs. Kong movie recently came out on HBO Max, but the issue is HBO Max requires a subscription or a hefty price for the movie. Compared to theaters, it just sometimes isn’t worth it, especially if you don’t know if a movie will be good.
Godzilla vs. Kong is also in theaters now, but the question for everyone is when do we feel safe enough to go back to theaters?
The coronavirus travels through the air, and even after one year into the pandemic, I still hold my breath every time I’m in public when I hear someone coughing. I got Covid over winter break, and it was not good. I was sick for weeks and dealt with a tight chest which made it hard to breathe. I’m still experiencing long-term effects because I have asthma.
It’s scary and I’m constantly on edge all the time. I’ve been told I have antibodies, and I’ll be safe for a while. But the question of what if is always on my mind. What if I got it again and the second time was worse? What if I gave it to my family and something went wrong? What if?
What if I went to a movie theater, even fully vaccinated like I am now, but something went wrong?
It is my worries like these that make me question everything about the future. Even with a vaccine, when will I truly feel safe to go out in a crowded public or to a movie theater or even just hugging family members? I honestly can’t see a near future where we still aren’t wearing a mask.
There are so many movies coming out recently that I want to go see in theaters, but I still can’t decide if I want to risk it and go. I’ve seen people on my Snapchat going to theaters and others on TikTok recording their experiences back in certain movies. But even with a mask and sitting away from people, it’s still a huge risk for me personally. Also, I feel like it just won’t feel the same. A whole part of the movie theater is sitting with a bunch of people in a room watching your favorite movies, munching on snacks, and sipping on drinks. But to do that, you would need to lower your mask.
I just still don’t feel comfortable doing that. And I honestly can’t see myself doing that any time soon either.
Over a year into a pandemic, and things just don’t seem close to becoming normal. Despite the time and the vaccine, just so much is unknown. All my fears and worries are still going strong, and I honestly don’t know when it will end. I want to go to a theater and experience my favorite activity again, but I just still don’t feel safe. For anyone going to the movies now, I hope you stay safe and have fun!
Maybe one day soon I’ll go back to a movie theater and be able to experience the rush of booming sounds and flashing lights and delicious treats. But for now, I’ll still have to make do with finding movies on websites and apps.