10 things we miss about going to the cinema

By Rory Cashin

May 7, 2021 at 9:20am


Fingers crossed they reopen soon enough, because we miss each and every one of these!

Since March 2020, cinemas have been almost entirely closed. They opened a little bit in the summer (around the time of Tenet), and again near Christmas (around the time of Wonder Woman 1984), but for the majority of that year-and-a-bit, they have been closed.

As restrictions are lifting, and discussions are happening around the reopening of cinemas (hopefully in June!), we thought we'd put together this little list of the ten things we miss the most about going to the cinema.

1. Opening Night

If there is a movie that you've been waiting to see for weeks, months, or years, then chances are you'll want to be in the cinema for the opening night of that movie. That goes double for when we finally get to the cinema post-Covid, which has seen many movies pushed back on the schedule. Additionally, on opening night, you're pretty much guaranteed to be surrounded by fellow film lovers who are equally excited to see the brand new release as you are.

2. Impromptu Trip

Then again, as much as we love to plan our days and nights and weekends around the arrival of new releases, sometimes the best cinema trips happen when you didn't even plan on going. If it suddenly starts raining heavily, or if you find yourself with a few hours to kill, then you can pop into the cinema and see whatever happens to be starting next, maybe risking something you wouldn't have otherwise watched.


3. The Smell

Yes, when you arrive, this is usually the first thing you'll notice. That particular smell of cinema popcorn. You can try all you like to replicate the smell at home with microwave popcorn, but it is never the same. From the lobby, to the concessions stand, all the way into the screens themselves, the smell is ever present. We love it.

4. The Popcorn

And then there is the popcorn itself. Some people prefer sweet, some people like to mix in an entire bag of Maltesers or Minstrels, to get that mix of sugar and salt. There are even some folk who ask for jalapenos on top. We're not here to judge, you do you.

5. Nacho Cheese

Nachos in the cinema have become a complete cornerstone for cinema visits, thanks to the sides! Yes, you can get the salsa and the jalapenos yourself at home if you're just opening a packet, but there is something particular about cinema nacho cheese that is completely different to nacho cheese you might get elsewhere.


6. The Trailers

For most of us, trailers are where we get our first look at movies we are excited about seeing. But while you might see trailers these days on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, they are a completely different experience when you watch them in the cinema. You get a glimpse of what that movie's experience will be like on the big screen, which only makes us even more excited to see them.

7. The Big Screen

It doesn't matter how big a TV you have at home, nothing compares to the big screen experience. Whether you're hitting up your local IMAX or biggest-screen-available, or something a little smaller and more intimate, the visual tsunami remains unique to cinemas.

8. The Big Sound


Big speakers all around you, ramped up to a volume you might never think to approach if you were at home, you have to love a really good cinema sound set-up. From the near-silence of scary movies which will send you five feet out of your chair at the slightest pin drop, to the biggest blockbusters blowing everything up aurally in full 360 degrees.

9. Watching Alone

There is a lot to be said for going to the cinema solo. No distractions for two hours or so of "Me Time", watching a movie alone in the cinema is completely under-appreciated. If you've never done it, do it!

10. Watching With Someone

And then, of course, there is the special experience of watching something in the cinema with your mates, your significant other, your granny, doesn't matter. When you both laugh or cry or scream simultaneously, along with dozens - if not hundreds - of complete strangers in the screen, that is something you literally can't get anywhere else..