Between March 8th and August 3rd something has been missing in my life.
A place that has been my second home for just over two decades. A place I spent years working at. A place that I met my wife. A place that I have always felt relaxed and at home. A place that I have visited an average of 86 times per year for the last twenty years! It has been 84 days since I went to a cinema.
Cinemas have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I have really missed them. I know streaming services and Video On Demand exist but they just do not mean the same thing to me. In fact any of you who follow my site will have seen the drastic drop in the rate of reviews that I have posted during lockdown. There are many reasons for that but the main two are simply the experience and the ability to separate myself from real life.
Today I was both excited and apprehensive about my return. I chose to visit on a Monday afternoon to minimise how many people would be in the screens. I thought far too much about face coverings and hand sanitizer. My safe place didn’t feel as safe as it used to but once the films started I was able to feel the way I used to. I could forget the real world and focus on the one presented to me.
New safety precautions will make one dramatic change for me. I have collected my paper tickets at the cinema for twenty-five years and now thanks to the need for as little contact as possible that will be a thing of the past. I actually feel slight relief with that turn of events as I have far too many elastic band wrapped miniature piles of tickets in tupperware!
One slight concern though was that despite my choosing a Monday afternoon the cinema was very sparsely populated. Approximately twenty people in the screening of Unhinged and only five including me in the screening of Proxima. Both films deserving of larger audiences.
Much has been done to make us feel safer. A one way system to enter and exit, hand sanitiser on entry, staff wearing masks, floor markings, a tray to place your phone on for distance ticket checks, toilet facilities made unavailable to keep people distanced and I saw staff cleaning regularly.
I hope to be back again soon and I hope that I start to feel more comfortable doing so. I also hope that you feel comfortable to return now or at some point soon.