My grandmother lived about a five minute drive from one of the better multiplex theaters in Nassau County. Whenever I stayed there, we went to the movies. It was our routine. I loved going to the movies.

Later, a much smaller theater opened up walking distance from my house, just in time for me to be old enough to head out on my own in the evenings. It wasn’t a great spot, and I still saw most movies elsewhere, but it was incredible to be able to walk a mile and see a movie.

One of the few treats in college was walking down College Hill to the mall, then head all the way up 6 floors to get to a huge movie theater at Providence Place. I had friends who liked the same movies I did, and I formed more memories there. Like that time we went to see Shoot ‘Em Up, without me knowing a thing about it, constantly looking over to my friends with a huge smile. Or that time I went to see the new Star Trek film with Fiona and found out it was one of the only movies she’d ever seen, that movies were just not a thing in her life.

Elsa’s mom likes the movies, and so do we. So we went a lot, especially when we first moved to Baltimore. Her dad would buy us stacks of tickets to AMC through fundraisers at Elsa’s younger brother’s school. Movies were “free”, or at least less expensive, and a good time.

But I think we might be done with the movies.

We’ve long had a “nice” home theater. The first thing Elsa insisted we upgrade when she moved in was my old 32" LCD to a TV that would “fit” the space between the bookshelves (at the time, a 50" tv). Now, we are fortunate enough to have a 65" OLED TV. I’ve always cared about sound, slowly upgrading to a quality setup with great speakers (Paradigm Monitor 7s in the front, with a Bowers and Wilkinson center channel, because the Paradigm sounded terrible to my ears, and two Paradigm Titans in the back, all bought second hand over time, with a nice SVS sub). Our home theater has been great for years.

Of course we didn’t go to the movies for a few years because of COVID-19, and we’ve gone back a few times post-vaccination. But this weekend, we didn’t go to the movies. We didn’t last weekend either. John Wick 4 is out, a movie I definitely want to see. The new Dungeons and Dragon movie is out too, and that’s also something that, because of good reviews, I’d normally want to see in a movie theater. Lights out, world turned off, and popcorn by the bucket, full attention on silly fun with big picture and big sound.

I just didn’t think to go. I don’t super feel like going. What would have almost been a default behavior before just, isn’t. The “event” movies I need to see are fewer and fewer. Most theaters have worse projection and sound than I have at home. With the habit broken, the magic has been too. I’ll see the second part of Dune in theaters. Star Wars will one day get me back in my seat again too. But not much else pulls me toward the movies today. Maybe I’m just done.

A new theater is opening up soon, walking distance from my house. Maybe I’ll take a walk to the movies. It’s a little sad to think that maybe, not.