Who doesn’t love going to the movies? The smell of popcorn, the big cherry Coke Icee that gives you a brain freeze at first sip. Finding your seat and patiently waiting through the commercials and previews. Until finally, the lights dim, and the first glimpse of the film flickers onto the screen.

As you can tell by that very descriptive opening paragraph, I enjoy going to the movie theater very much. Some of my first memories are of my father taking me to The Grand right here in Lafayette to see whatever Disney or Pixar film was out at the time. 

I can even tell you that the very first movie I ever saw in the theaters was “Curious George” in 2006. I was maybe about 3, pushing 4 years old. 

The preparation to go to the theater is just as exciting as the movie itself. Looking up film times, then buying the tickets, walking through the theater doors to the bright lights of the lobby and getting distracted by the array of coming soon posters that align the wall. Every part should be savored. 

I can still hear the roar of the audience when the Millennium Falcon first appeared on the screen in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015). When Black Panther appeared in the final battle in “Avengers: Endgame” (2019), everyone cheered and clapped once the credits rolled. You don’t get these types of shared experiences watching a film in your house.

And yes, I like watching movies in the comfort of my own home too. But nothing can beat going to the theater.

It is fun to sit back for an hour or two and get transported to a world full of fantasy, romance and science fiction. A world full of heroes and villains. 

Growing up, I would always go to the movies with my dad on Saturday afternoons. We would get lunch after and recount what our favorite parts were and what previews piqued our interest. 

As I got older and still none the wiser, the afternoon viewings turned into seeing a movie opening night. Was I extremely tired the next day? Most of the time, yes. But was it worth it? Yes, it was. It is extremely fun seeing a movie opening night. Hearing the people next to you theories on what they are about to watch. 

I never saw the big hype around 3-D. Maybe it was because I watched the Disney version of “A Christmas Carol” (2009) at 7 years old and the 3-D elements did scare young me. The gimmick of a 3-D movie never got my attention. But the glasses did make a great dress-up accessory for the fake runway shows I used to put on as a child.

The movie theater will always be a staple of my childhood and my now young adulthood. So next time you go to the movies, silence your cell phone and enjoy the show.