When people tell you about why they don’t go to the theater, they tell you about their bad experiences, which usually amount to being around people who were talking or using their phones during the movie. It’s distracting, right? We all agree. Now, let me ask you: How many of you are as precious about your movie watching from the comfort of your own home? Are you turning off your lights and phone, not talking, and not pausing there too? If so, good job! If not, well, that’s the real reason James Cameron is so adamant about seeing movies in the theater: The chances of you actively engaging with the film increase exponentially. As he told NPR:
“When you start looking at something on a phone, you’re sort of missing the point. Going to a movie theater is less about the size of the screen and the perfection of the sound system. And it’s more about a decision to not multitask […] You’re making a deal between yourself and a piece of art to give it your full attention. And you don’t when you’re at home.”
I could not agree with Cameron more here and that’s why I try to see as much as I possibly can in a theater, including older films. This year, I’m especially making a concerted effort to attend repertory screenings, and of course, I’m definitely catching next month’s theatrical re-release of “Titanic.” If so many people put their time and heart into creating something, the least I can do is give it my full, undivided attention. The only true way they will get that from me — or anyone else — is in a cinema. Movies aren’t content to be churned through or viewed as background noise. Don’t treat them as such.