Oh happy day! Well, not right now but in a month and eleven days time the cinemas of Ireland will be opening again. To say I am excited and delighted is an understatement. The cinema is my place of refuge. I love going on my own or with one or two select people. I love the smell of popcorn as you walk in and the sound of kernels popping. I love telling the person at the till that I don’t care where I sit when secretly I can’t wait to pick my seat. I love the cinema because it is good for me mentally. Sitting in the dark, watching a piece of art that someone created for two hours and switching off does wonders for my mental health. I don’t think about any stresses in my life and I don’t worry about anything except for the main character’s plight for those sacred minutes.
Having worked in a cinema for the better part of two years and enjoying parts of working and all of the perks, I have thought about some of the regulars, especially the ones who would come on their own. Some might view them as weird. Then again, what does weird even mean when you are an adult? Why do we continually judge people based on their appearance or demeanour? The cinema is the one place where I feel totally calm and at peace. There’s a high possibility that people serving me have wondered what my deal was when I was just going to my happy place.
“See the fella on his own with the red beanie? He’s going to see Brooklyn on his own. Bit weird, nah?” That might be weird but sure at least I know I’m weird. I do be a bit paranoid sometimes but I can handle it most of the time. Other people might not. The cinemas being closed has probably had a profound effect on people who are used to going alone. If they are going to the cinema alone then there is a chance they are living alone. Going to the movies on a Saturday afternoon may be their only way of feeling like they are going out and participating in society. I know that for a long time, going to watch a movie on my days off from working in the cinema was the only time I would interact with someone outside of my family, bar work, for the whole week. I wouldn’t go so far as saying that the cinema saved my life, but it definitely kept me sane. Even if I was ready to never see the place again before I left the first time!
Hopefully, through my rambling and mumbling there you could see my message that while the shops opening is fantastic, and G.A.A. being back in the next month or so too is unbelievable news, the cinemas opening up again will have a profound effect on some people’s mental health. It definitely will for mine. There’s nothing better than meeting a nice worker at the till, grabbing your popcorn and drink and letting a film blow your mind for the next two hours. Can’t wait!