Recognizing that others are not nearly as comfortable, I have put together an instruction guide for all you would-be solo cinema-goers.
- Arrive early but not too early. Do not be late. The more inconspicuous you are, the less awkward you'll feel. This includes not being the first person sitting in the theatre - "HI, I'M HERE BY MYSELF!" - & not having to shuffle through half a dozen seated, popcorn-eating folks to get to the only open spot in the joint.
- Stay away from animal movies, unless they are animated. The first time I saw a movie by myself, I was a junior in college, depressed & bored. I chose an admittedly cheesy/weepy/ridiculous movie, "Because of Winn-Dixie," which amused my friends to no end. There is something terribly sad about seeing an animal movie by yourself. I do not have an explanation for this. Just trust me.
- Keep your weird noises to yourself. I have friends (please take a moment to consider whether I'm talking about you) who react to every little thing in a movie. If you cannot refrain from grunting/sighing/chucking/talking, solo movie-going is not for you. In fact, movie-going is not for you. Invest in Netflix.
- If you're planning to show-hop, dress like a chameleon. Depending on the set-up of your local theatre, it may be easy to pay for one show & slip into another afterward (even though you shouldn't do that because it's illegal, OK?!?!). Still, if you plan to do this, you should also plan for the worst-case scenario, which is that theatre employees may recognize you. To prevent this, wear layers - this way, you'll be wearing a totally different outfit from one show to the next. "No, no, my identical twin saw Thor alone right before me, I swear!"
- Pick movies with generic plots. This goes back to the animal rule. If a movie is too heavy, you will wish you had someone to break down to. If a movie is too complicated, you will wish you had someone to clarify questions with. If a movie is too freaking awesome, you will wish you had someone to high five. I suggest emotion-free movies such as Thor & Something Borrowed, both of which I saw last weekend & neither of which required the input of a fellow movie-goer - or any brain cell usage whatsoever.