UNITED STATES—This past weekend was the first time I entered a movie theater in over 18 months. Yes, 18 months. For me that is unheard of because I’m a movie lover. Going to the movie theater was a ritual for me where I would go at least once a week, if not twice a month at the bare minimum. The movie theater was an escape for me, you get to leave all your worries and stressors behind.

You enter a dark theater, you have your popcorn and snacks, its quiet (for the most part) and you get engulfed into the world of the movie that you’re watching. Your worries disappear and that is an amazing feeling people. The pandemic forced the shuttering of theaters for months in some cases over a year and then they returned to only disappear again, but with the vaccine out, it opened the doors for movie theaters to reopen and people are starting to go back.

The movie I saw was ok, but it was the perfect flick to usher me back into the theater because nothing bonds strangers in my opinion like horror. There is something about a silly or smart horror movie that engages the moviegoer. You are grabbing to your theater seat. Closing your eyes at something gruesome or intense, jumping out your seat when loud music or an unexpected thing transpires, the list goes on. Nothing gets you involved more than when a character does something stupid and you’re yelling or screaming at the movie screen.

I had so much fun I cannot believe I had been deprived of this guilty pleasure for close to 2 years. I mean I got so immersed into the notion of watching movies at home and on my iPad that I gave up on the idea of even considering going to the movie theater. 1) I didn’t think it was safe with Coronavirus cases on the rise 2) I was concerned about making sure I didn’t catch COVID-19. I was indeed surprised because a vast majority of the moviegoers did indeed have masks on.

I had my mask on and while there are people still venturing out there without a mask, there are still quite a lot of people out there, who are vigilant and wearing their mask and realizing the danger is still out there and you have to take precautions. I thought the mask might be annoying, but nope. You wear your mask, and when you’re snacking on your foods in the theater you remove your mask and when you’re done eating, you put it back on. Again, the movie theater is perfect when it comes to theater temperature. It is NEVER too hot and NEVER too cold. I don’t know how they do it, but they do people. I will admit the cost of popcorn, a soft drink a box of candy, nachos or other countless snacks are just ridiculous. However, as someone who studied film criticism heavily in college I know movie theaters make very little revenue on ticket sales, 90 percent of their revenue comes from the concession stand.

So those prices tend to be high to recoup revenue. Now, I don’t need popcorn to watch a movie, a soft drink I do and I always have and spending $6 for a drink is beyond crazy, but it’s the theater splurge a little. In the end, I was reminded how important the movie theater is for me because it allows me an escape for 2-3 hours from life all those things that were nagging me disappear and I can just decompress and relax. It simply is an experience and feeling that is difficult to explain with words people.

Written By Jason Jones