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People wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus watch the film "Dolittle" (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Movies

Not a matter of if, but why. Returning to movie theaters even if you are not sure you want to

Will I return for the right reasons?

I have made no secret about my love of the theater going experience. I love watching movies and I really enjoy seeing them in a theater. I miss eating so much movie theater popcorn my stomach begins hurting about halfway through the movie, the loud bombastic explosions that make the floor rumble, and the trailers before the movie begins that get me hyped up. (I think I miss the previews more than anything else.)

There is no question about it; I will head back to the movie theaters. The real question is what will bring me back?

The last movie I saw in theaters was The Invisible Man. Since then, I have streamed movies at home like the rest of the world. It was not that big of a change; watching films on Shudder and Amazon Prime has been a part of my life for years. The big difference was the lack of blockbuster films. It was not the movies I missed, though. There was just the sense of fun that surrounded them. They were events that I had to attend.

This became less noticeable as things worsened during the year. Movies that were previously set for theatrical release like Hamilton were available to watch at home. And, as is usually the case, time became the great equalizer. The more I watched movies at home, the less going to the theater became a necessity. There was even something cool about seeing these major releases in my living room.

Making things easier is where I live. As much as College Station wants to be a cool forward thinking place to live, it amounts to little more than a big university and some restaurants. If I want to see a smaller indie film, I have to drive to Austin, Houston, or San Antonio. In other words, a real city. I get as excited for the biggest blockbusters of the year as everyone else, but I also need a change of pace every once in a while. Regrettably, I do not have that choice here.

Not a matter of if, but why. Returning to movie theaters even if you are not sure you want to

I have also come to really appreciate watching movies in the comfort of my home. Since there is not an Alamo Drafthouse here, I had the option of either Cinemark or AMC. They are nice enough theaters, but they also do not enforce their own rules. This means I have to put up with people talking and cell phones. At that point, I may as well watch a movie at home.

Still, there is no doubt in my mind that I will head to theaters again. I just do not know what will be the movie that makes me go back. I will not do like I used to and see every movie that catches my fancy, but I also do not feel like I have to go and see the major releases everyone else goes and watches. I just am not sure if my first trip back will be because I want to or because I need to.

We discuss the best movies of 2020

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