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Who Goes to the Movies at 9:15 AM?

I’m going to answer the question I ask in the title in a moment, but to do so, we need to go back to late aughts when I was hired to write an article explaining the housing market collapse.  I didn’t think twice about taking the assignment even though it was outside my wheelhouse.  I often write plain English translations of muddy ideas; how hard could this be?

I ended up sobbing at my desk after reading through two hours of notes on the topic.  This was so. over. my. head.  There were several terms that all sounded as if they were the same thing… sort of like how wolves and wolves in sheep clothing are both Canis lupus, you know?  I couldn’t write this article.  But I had to write this article because I had accepted this article.  It took hours and it was fairly shitty in the end.

A little bit after that, I wrote a post for BlogHer about the Goldman Sachs fraud charges.  See?  Not much better.  Pretty confusing.

I wanted to see the Big Short because I still think about that assignment.  Well, I think more about lying on the living room carpet and saying to Josh, “I am so stupid, so stupid, so stupid.”  Was I that stupid or was it that complicated?

I may be that stupid, but it was definitely that complicated.  It’s a wonderful film that explains how the housing market collapsed, how the banks built a fraudulent system, and how some people profited while other people lost everything.  Even if anything economic in nature is outside your general interest zone, the movie is fascinating.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  I hope it wins a zillion awards.

(I didn’t actually see who was nominated for Oscars, and I am too lazy to Google the list.  I’m just going under the assumption that the Big Short is nominated for everything and will win everything.)

But I almost didn’t get to see it.  We got to the movie theater with plenty of time to get tickets.  Like enough time that if we had gotten tickets, we also would have read a few chapters in our books while we were waiting.  But the theater recently refurbished, removing about 2/3rds of their seats and doubling the price of the ticket.  The 50 seats in the theater were filled except for the front row.

I don’t run a movie theater and perhaps this was the most economical decision for the owner; a plan that would keep them in business.  But I can’t believe that filling 50 seats at $15 is as good as filling even only 100 seats at $7.50.  Because at least some of those extra 50 humans would have also purchased popcorn or candy.  Instead, we wandered out of the theater without staying and went home.

Josh suggested we try again the next morning since the kids were with my parents until the afternoon.  Maybe there was an 11 am film showing somewhere.  He scanned his phone and said, “This can’t be correct.”

There was a 9:15 am showing at a nearby theater.

Could that possibly be right?  Who gets up at 9:15 on a Sunday and says, “You know what?  I hate sleep but I love movies.  I’m going to go see the Big Short.”

The next morning, we drove to the theater, certain that we were going to find out that it was a typographical error and the movie was actually at 9:15 pm.  But no, the theater opened at 6 am and started showing movies around 7 am.  Would our fellow theater goers be in their pyjamas?  Drinking coffee and chowing down on breakfast while they watched a movie about banking?


We were the first ones there

It turns out that a really odd mixture of people go to the movies at 9:15 am.  Some were alone, some came in groups.  Some seemed to ignore social conventions.  (Really?  So many seats but you needed to choose the one right next to me?)  Others quietly curled up next to one another, yawning.  It was actually the nicest time I’ve had in a movie theater in years.

This experience may have converted me into an early morning film goer.  What do you think of morning movies?  Brilliant time for a film or too weird to consider?


1 Charlotte { 01.19.16 at 8:01 am }

Brilliant time for a film. On the rare occasional a teally go to a movie as a family, it’s always the earliest showing, because it is also the cheapest and least crowded. The closer you get to noon, the more expensive it tends to be. My husband took the kids to see Star Wars over the winter break and they went to the 9am showing. For the 3D IMAX it was only $10.99 a ticket, which is a steal!!

2 a { 01.19.16 at 8:01 am }

I will go to whichever showing is the cheapest. 9am seems early for popcorn, but so be it! (Plus, I’ve spent many of the last 5-6 years watching movies at 7am with my daughter, so it only seems odd to leave the house for it.)

3 Katherine A { 01.19.16 at 8:16 am }

Well…I work nights (on weekends, at least), so 0915 on a Sunday morning sounds like a brilliant time to see a movie with my backwards schedule.

4 loribeth { 01.19.16 at 8:28 am }

There’s a theatre in our area that has morning movies on weekends, but I think the earliest start I’ve seen is around 10. And the earliest I think we’ve ever gone is about 11:15. The big attraction being a lower ticket price before noon. 9:15 would be a tad early for me. I MUST have popcorn at the movies, & popcorn for breakfast seems a bit weird. But popcorn for lunch, that’s something we do all the time. 😉

We saw “The Big Short” a few weeks ago & thought it was brilliant. It’s up for best picture and Christian Bale was nominated for best supporting actor. I am sorry that Steve Carrell didn’t get a nod as well; he was wonderful. But I think that’s what happens in these ensemble movies where everyone is so good — they kind of cancel each other out, unfortunately. 🙁 Have you seen “Spotlight” yet? It’s my personal favourite of the year, and while I’m glad Mark Ruffalo got a nomination, I think it’s criminal that Michael Keaton didn’t. He’s sort of the linchpin of the whole movie.

5 Catwoman73 { 01.19.16 at 8:29 am }

I love going to movies in the morning! I am totally a morning person, so any activity I choose to do in the morning is more enjoyable than it is at any other time of day. Added bonus- morning movies are typically cheaper around here. And I love saving money! I am also much less inclined to eat junk food at morning movies- I once actually brought my oatmeal to a morning movie- I threw it in a container and snuck it in in my purse! 🙂

6 suzannacatherine { 01.19.16 at 8:44 am }

The first showing – even on weekends – is 11:30 or 11:45 – at a slight discount. No “Early Bird” showings in my location. Most theatres don’t open until 1:00 for the 1:30 movie and those are the ones I attend, when possible.

Now I want to see The Big Short! Sounds fascinating! ?

7 Nicoleandmaggie { 01.19.16 at 9:05 am }

I thought planet money did a really good job breaking it down in layperson terms.

8 deathstar { 01.19.16 at 11:44 am }

I’d rather not be anywhere at 9:15 am, but that’s just me. It’s a waste of my dwindling energy supply to get up, get dressed, and drive somewhere to sit down and watch a movie. As for who’s nominated, they’re all white, so I’m not excited. See? Grumpy me.

9 Ana { 01.19.16 at 12:02 pm }

9:15 is definitely not EARLY for me, but I don’t know if I feel like watching a movie then—I’m my most energetic & productive in the morning so I try to get stuff done during that time…time to lounge around & be passively entertained when that energy leaves me in the afternoon/evening. The thought of sitting in a dark theater when its bright & crisp outside just doesn’t initially appeal to me—plus, I get so caught up in movies and having to immediately get back to reality and life and to-dos seems hard.
Maybe on a vacation—not at home—nothing else to do afterwards & can go to brunch and discuss the movie and then take a nap.

10 Sharon { 01.19.16 at 12:19 pm }

We’ve taken our sons to the movies between 9 and 9:30 a.m. a few times now. 9:15 is DEFINITELY not early for us: we never sleep past 7.

11 Cristy { 01.19.16 at 4:13 pm }

Guilty party here.

We did this with Star Wars. The rational was that the Beats would be in daycare (no need to hire a sitter) and we wouldn’t have to battle the horde. I actually really enjoyed doing this, but felt guilty for being one of “those” who forced employees to work the early shifts.

But then again, given the horrors one can observe with the evening shows, not that guilty.

12 Working mom of 2 { 01.19.16 at 5:56 pm }

Never heard of a movie time that early, but with youngsters that time is not early, even with their recent (sometimes) sleeping until 0730. Major sleeping in that is.

So we’re up and very awake by 0915 although I’m not really sure I’d like to see a movie then.

13 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.19.16 at 6:42 pm }

I’d scarcely even noticed those before-noon showing, but I do seem to recall that they’re there. Now maybe I’ll keep them on my radar…though I really don’t like it when someone sits right beside me especially with an otherwise empty theater.

Thanks for the reco!

14 Mali { 01.19.16 at 10:51 pm }

There’s something to be said for movie theatres having assigned seats! It means you can decide before you even buy the ticket whether or not to go in, and choose where you’re going to be seated. (I say this to be deliberately provocative, as I remember a previous discussion where you said you hated this!)

9.15 on a Saturday is definitely too early for me. No kids means Saturday morning sleep-ins. 11 am movies are okay, though during the week I have to check to make sure it’s not a Mothers and Babies movie, which is fine (and an idea I wholeheartedly support), but it is not the session I want to go to.

Looking forward now to seeing The Big Short.

15 md { 01.20.16 at 4:37 am }

once upon another life, i used to do that. not only did i like watching early shows as they were cheaper and quieter, but i also went alone a lot.. and there were lots more people who came in alone to the early shows, so i didn’t feel like a freak 😛

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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