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The HTF version of "I'm getting old" - early-to-midday showtimes (1 Viewer)

Carlo_M

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I'm fully entrenched in midlife right now (in past decades of shorter life expectancies I'd be on the other side of it). I remember growing up one of the signs of "getting old" was eating dinner early. Growing up in a rural town, I remember it being advertised as Seniors Specials, dinner before 6PM (or was it 7?). I wondered, even as a kid, when I would find early dinner appealing.

Well, even now, I keep collegian hours. I tend to stay up until midnight or so, eat dinner around 8. But there's one thing I've started doing, and I think it began during the second year of the pandemic but has continued even to today (and yes I know COVID is still infecting people, I'm quad vaxxed including the new booster). And that's to buy tickets to movies for the earliest possible weekend/weekday showtimes to avoid the crowd. I still work, so usually it's a Sunday AM or noon show. But I have until next Thursday off so I'm actually seeing Avatar in Laser IMAX next Tuesday at noon. I just enjoy having fewer people in the audience, and it allows me to focus fully on the film as opposed to the usually occurrences like people talking (yes we can hear your "quiet voice", you aren't as quiet as you think you are :rolling-smiley: ). The only exception would be tentpole films. I don't regret seeing Avengers Endgame with a raucous crowd (it was in fact the showing the Russos attended in Westwood and which they still talk about in interviews). But for most films, I find myself going to earlier and earlier shows.

So I guess for an HTF'er. This is my Seniors Special Dinner equivalent.
 

Thomas T

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I don't like crowds. Never have. So I prefer weekday matiness to going the movies on weekends especially evening performances. I don't like people sitting next to me (unless I came with them). Since the pandemic, I started doing my grocery shopping early (like 6 or 7AM) or late (like midnight). As for meals, I eat when I'm hungry. Could be a 5PM dinner or a 10PM dinner!
 

Walter Kittel

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For me, it depends upon the type of film. Some of my best film going experiences have been with completely filled theaters. These viewings have almost exclusively been large action / SF films. (Jaws, Star Wars [which is what it was originally called, damnit!], Raiders of the Lost Ark [see Star Wars naming], Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day all immediately come too mind.)

On the other hand, I've had dramatic presentations ruined by kids (not babies) whom their parents refused to control (Chariots of Fire and Eyes Wide Shut to name several instances.) For dramas I tend to prefer more intimate, solely adult crowds when possible. (Usually mid day showings when school is in session fit the bill.)

- Walter.
 

jayembee

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Well, even now, I keep collegian hours. I tend to stay up until midnight or so, eat dinner around 8. But there's one thing I've started doing, and I think it began during the second year of the pandemic but has continued even to today (and yes I know COVID is still infecting people, I'm quad vaxxed including the new booster). And that's to buy tickets to movies for the earliest possible weekend/weekday showtimes to avoid the crowd.

Back in the day, when I was a kid, dinner would tend to be around 5:30 or so, after my father got home from work, and before the evening news. As an adult, when I lived alone, I ate whenever I'd a mind to, and didn't have a regular meal schedule. Part of it was that for most of my "professional" life, I worked evening or late-night shifts. My sleep schedule varied, and therefore did my meal schedule.

When my wife and I got married, we tended to eat somewhere around 6:00. I just hit 69 this year, and my wife is 57. We now tend to eat later than we used to. I'm retired, and my wife is still working. When she finishes her work day, she tends to do social media stuff for a while to relax. We find ourselves tending to eat closer to 7:00, and sometimes as late as 8:00.

Because of my night shifts during my working life, I'm solidly in that rhythm. I tend to stay up until 4:00am, and sleep till noon. I keep trying to get myself on a "normal" daytime schedule, but whenever I do, it lasts for maybe a week or two, and then I backslide.

As for movie times...my wife is typically an "early-to-bed-early-to-rise" person, so she doesn't like going out to see movies in the evening (though we have done so on occasion). We haven't gone out to the movies much during the pandemic period, but now, and in the Before Times, we tend to get tickets for early afternoon shows (or even morning shows). Since we're still a bit hesitant to spend much time in public places, trying to avoid crowds is part of it, but it's always been a regular thing wit us.
 

Malcolm R

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But for most films, I find myself going to earlier and earlier shows.

So I guess for an HTF'er. This is my Seniors Special Dinner equivalent.
I'm not sure that's really age-related. I've gravitated toward mostly early matinees for most of my life. As you say, they're usually the least attended show of the day so there's less chance of having your show ruined by others.

Though you may be stuck eating last night's popcorn. ;)

I find that as I age, I'm simply going to fewer and fewer movies in the theater, period. After tons of matinees during my early adult life, there's not much that entices me to the theater any more.
 

jayembee

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I'm not sure that's really age-related. I've gravitated toward mostly early matinees for most of my life. As you say, they're usually the least attended show of the day so there's less chance of having your show ruined by others.

The early matinees are also cheaper.

I find that as I age, I'm simply going to fewer and fewer movies in the theater, period. After tons of matinees during my early adult life, there's not much that entices me to the theater any more.

I think the qualitative increase in home video options contributes to that. Unless it's a big tentpole release, I'm inclined to wait until it's on disc or streaming.
 

Josh Steinberg

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It’s far easier for me to slip out to see an afternoon matinee most of the time now than it is to catch an evening show. An evening show requires more babysitting than I can usually get, and finding a night showtime that works for babysitting and my work schedule and my wife’s work schedule is tough. Much easier to slip away while they’re at preschool every now and then.
 

Jeffrey D

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I haven't been to a commercial theater since before the Pandemic. Not really missing it.
Same here. The last film I went to a theater to see was Quentin’s film Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, opening weekend July 2019 (my brother, who is a big QT fan and I went together).

As far as my schedule is concerned- I already am an old timer- asleep by 8:00PM, up at 3:30AM (due to my occupation as a truck driver).
 

Bob Cashill

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It’s far easier for me to slip out to see an afternoon matinee most of the time now than it is to catch an evening show. An evening show requires more babysitting than I can usually get, and finding a night showtime that works for babysitting and my work schedule and my wife’s work schedule is tough. Much easier to slip away while they’re at preschool every now and then.
Ah, the days of staying at home with young kids, when the best time for me to see a movie was the 10pm or later show, when everyone had gone to bed. Good times seeing AVATAR or BENJAMIN BUTTON at midnight in Brooklyn and walking home at 3am! (With the kids in school till 3 or later now I tend to go in the morning now if I can.)
 

Clinton McClure

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On the rare occasion that I actually go to a movie theater, I try to go to the earliest showing of the day. If it’s 8AM, that’s perfectly fine with me. The earlier I go, the better the chances of avoiding screaming toddlers and teens (and most adults nowadays) who pay $14 to sit in a dark room and annoy others with their cellphones. The last two movies wifey and I went to see were Top Gun Maverick and Elvis. With both films, we went to a late afternoon or early evening showing and even then, as soon as the lights went down, there were a dozen or so cell phones that immediately lit up. A few rows in front of us, a guy played Candy Crush for 2 and a half hours. I refuse to participate in that nonsense anymore.
 

Clinton McClure

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*Admittedly, I ended up thinking both movies were terrible and I lost interest less than a half hour in but I still wouldn’t be an asshole and bother everyone else in the theater with my phone. I’d at least have the decency to go to the lobby if I was THAT bored or go sit in the car or out in the rain or a bathroom stall or in a busy intersection or something. I sat silently in the (mostly) dark, half illuminated by cell phone screens and dreamed of watching better movies by myself in my cold, dark, no cell phones allowed home theater with a cold beer and no nimrods with phones policy.
 
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Robin9

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I don't like crowds. Never have. So I prefer weekday matiness to going the movies on weekends especially evening performances. I don't like people sitting next to me (unless I came with them).
That's pretty much my attitude too with one big exception: comedies work far better when shared with a large audience.
 

Tom-G

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I've been doing the earliest matinee possible since 1999, when I was 26 years old (for the record). Back then, there was no such thing as reserved seating so my main motivation was to get a good seat. Now that I'm nearly 50, I still go to the earliest matinee possible because my bed time is 9 o'clock and I also hate distractions from noisy people. When it comes to distractions, I want to avoid people checking their phones every 10 minutes and that's usually the younger demographic. Recently, though, I went to a 5:30 PM screening of Empire of Light and an older couple (probably late 50s) were extremely distracting. The gentleman kept adjusting his coat as he set it down on the seat next to him and did this for seeming five minutes so all I heard was the noise from the jacket. Then, he gets up to get concessions and steps on the lady's foot and she yells "you stepped on my f***ing foot!" All this while the main feature was underway.

Large crowds generally don't bother me. For example, when I saw Avatar: The Way of Water, it was a sold out auditorium and I didn't hear a peep. There was nary a distraction for the entire three plus hours. When I saw a screening of Top Gun: Maverick not long after its release, I saw it in a sold out auditorium and it was fun to hear the reactions from the crowd during the most exciting parts of the movie and the applause after the movie was over. I get caught up in those emotions so seeing movies with large crowds can be fun.

Cinema is always my preferred way to see a film since home screening can never replicate the experience so I'll go to the theater even if I think it's going be a raucous crowd.
 

John Dirk

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I'm with @Thomas T - I hate crowds. Having been in attendance at a concert during my youth where people were trampled to death and also venues where random gunfire has erupted may explain it, or it might be I'm just somewhat of a sociopath. ;) Whatever the reason, back in the dark ages when I frequently visited commercial theaters it was always an earlier show. Nowadays I opt for private ones.
 

jayembee

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That's pretty much my attitude too with one big exception: comedies work far better when shared with a large audience.

That depends. There have been times when I missed some jokes in movies because the audience was laughing too hard at the previous lines. One example I can think of was National Lampoon's Animal House. I saw that three times at the cinema in order to hear all the ubiquitous humor.

On the other hand, I recall seeing Mother, Jugs, and Speed, and there was one line -- by Bill Cosby, which referenced a relatively obscure skit of his -- and I was the only one who laughed at it.
 

BobO'Link

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That depends. There have been times when I missed some jokes in movies because the audience was laughing too hard at the previous lines. One example I can think of was National Lampoon's Animal House. I saw that three times at the cinema in order to hear all the ubiquitous humor.

On the other hand, I recall seeing Mother, Jugs, and Speed, and there was one line -- by Bill Cosby, which referenced a relatively obscure skit of his -- and I was the only one who laughed at it.
Same thing with me when Robin uttered the classic line "Holy rusted metal, Batman!" in Batman Forever.
 

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