This is going to be one of those topics that you’ll either roll your eyes at or you’ll really appreciate the advice on. When it comes to anything remotely mental health related, we’re all different. And we’re all affected by completely different things. Going to the cinema alone for you might be a walk in the park – something that you don’t even have to think about. For others, that might not be the case.

going to the cinema alone

Photo by David Hurley on Unsplash

A bit of background on why this is important to me and important for me to share my advice and tips on. Back in 2011, I started experiencing severe generalised anxiety. You can read more of the specifics in this post: Mental Health Awareness: My Story but long story short…

this anxiety disorder turned my entire world upside down.

A previously outgoing girl, with not a care in the world, could no longer leave her own bedroom, let alone her house. I was terrified of myself. I was terrified of the outside world. Everything was a threat. And I, very quickly, lost my independence. And I didn’t go anywhere by myself for around 7 years.

In July 2019, I had a bit of a breakthrough with my anxiety, since I started Citalopram and I’ve been slowly experiencing the world on my own again and the two things I really wanted to experience on my own were:

  • Going on holiday alone (which I was going to do in April until the Coronavirus ruined our lives)
  • And go to the cinema alone which, luckily, I managed to do in February this year!

I tweeted about it at the time and I was overwhelmed with the response. Aside from the support from my followers on Twitter, most responses fell into 2 categories:

  1. That’s amazing! I love going to the cinema on my own!
  2. Oh my God, I’d love to go to the cinema on my own but I don’t think I could!

Why are we so afraid of going to the cinema alone?

For me, my reasoning for being worried was because of my anxiety. It wasn’t just the cinema – it was most places. But the whole taboo around going out by yourself, either, to the cinema, out for a meal or going on holiday alone, I’ve never really understood.

I understand we all have different wants and needs. Some people thrive on more social interaction than others. Some of us are introverts or extroverts which may have various mental or physical issues that makes going out alone either easier or harder. Of course all this needs to be taken into consideration.

But for the most part, I think there’s something really special about going to the cinema alone. Or going and enjoying anything alone for that matter! Spending that quality time with yourself is just as important as spending quality time with your loved ones.

So you want to go to the cinema alone but something is stopping you. Here are some of my top tips for going to the cinema alone:

Choose a time to go when it’s quiet

I.e not during the school holidays or of a Saturday evening. I think the idea, for me at least, of going to the cinema alone was to spend some quiet, quality time with myself. So you don’t want to be surrounded by screaming children or chatting teenagers whilst you’re trying to do that. Plus, more people can make you more anxious.

Go and see something you’re really excited about

I mean, this is a pretty obvious point but what I mean is, don’t just go for the sake of ticking that thing of your list. Don’t go and see any ol’ thing just so you can SAY you’ve done it. Wait until there’s a film out you’re really excited about. Perhaps it’s something your partner doesn’t want to see.

Treat it as a self care date with yourself

Spending time alone is really important for everyone. We all need that space and time to think, wind down, reflect and just BE with ourselves without the external noise of our lives around us. A cinema can be a great place to do that because it’s just you and the film. You go on dates with your boyfriend, why not take yourself on a date too?

Be prepared in case you get anxious

I don’t know about anyone else but I take certain things with me everywhere I go which act as a sort of comfort blanket in case my anxiety starts flaring up. A bottle of water and a snack most notably. If you have a few items that ease your anxiety (including medication) make sure you have them in your bag when you go – just in case!

Get there early

Getting to places early always eases my anxiety because then I know I haven’t got to rush. Which goes the same for going to the cinema alone. Getting there early will allow you to get everything you need to get within enough time, pop to the loo and find a suitable seat.

Remember that nobody is judging you

Until you start going to the cinema alone, you don’t notice that actually, a lot of other people are there alone too. It’s definitely a daunting prospect at first but once you’re confident with spending time with yourself, you’ll realise that literally nobody else there gives a sh*t who you’re with or not with.

My experience of going to the cinema alone:

When I went to the cinema alone, I went to see Dolittle. Which arguably, not the best film that’s been released this year but it was a fun watch nonetheless. A good film to have gone to see alone. I went during the week – I work from home and I work for myself so I’m lucky to have the luxury to do this. And I went to the first morning showing, which was around 10am. So there was only around 10 people maximum in the theater.

I bought myself some popcorn and a Tango Ice Blast and chose a seat at the side of the theater. In the particular theater I was in, there were some seats of 2, so I chose one of them so I had my own little bit to myself. These seats also reclined! So I got myself comfy in my reclined seat, my huge tub of popcorn and enjoyed the film.

Honestly, I think I actually prefer going to the cinema alone. It was so chill. And so relaxing. It was nice to not have to talk to anyone or have someone asking you questions throughout the movie. It was nice to have all the popcorn to myself too! I really can’t wait to go again.

Last year, I never thought I’d be able to do this. But since I started really stepping out of my comfort zone, I feel like my world is opening up more and more. If you’re torn about going to the cinema alone, I hope this post provides some sort of encouragement! Do you enjoy going to the cinema alone?

104 Comments

  1. The last point there– no one is judging you. Go and have fun! I do this all the time, especially for midday or morning matinees. Sometimes I’ll get an entire theater to myself.

  2. I’m definitely one of those people who would be terrified of doing this but the more I think about it, the more I want to do it! I really wanted to see 1917 in the cinema and then my husband watched it online and I didn’t even consider going without him. But why shouldn’t I go on my own if I really want to enjoy an experience?! When it’s safe, I’m definitely going to do this! Two hours chilling by myself sounds fab right now!

  3. I know so many people who go to the cinema alone, but I have never. I would love to though, I guess it is about building up the courage. Also ike you said, noone is judging you, and if they are, then who cares what they think!
    Great post!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  4. Great tips – I’ve never really thought about going on a solo cinema trip. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I like the experience with someone else and I am one of those people who likes to make jokes through the film! Thanks for sharing – maybe i’ll do this sometime soon

    Em x

  5. This is such a great post! I have only even been to the cinema alone once and it was too see a film I really wanted too but no one else wanted to see it. I went during the afternoon on a weekday so it was quite quiet and when I actually got in there most of the people were by themselves which made me feel a lot better.

  6. Great post Jenny! It’s so freeing once you learn to be comfortable with your own company, it completely opens up the world and means you can do whatever you want on your own schedule xx

  7. These are some great tips! I’d love to because I’m tired of going to the movies with my kids – that causes me much more anxiety than going by myself.

  8. It was very hard for me to do things alone as well – but not because of my anxiety. It was because I was so used to having my boys with me. Now, I crave alone time. I’m so glad you had a great experience and a good time!

  9. I would loooove to go to the cinema on my own.. right now I get no time to myself and I love the thought of having to speak to no one hahah!
    Rosie

  10. I have never been to the cinema on my own before – but don’t know why ever not? Your post is really helpful; and it’s a lovely way to take yourself on a date.

    Paige // Paige Eades

  11. I would honestly love to go to the cinema myself but it’s not something I’ve ever had the courage to do. Mostly because I’m scared of others will think (I know. I really shouldn’t be). Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

  12. I love wandering round places by myself and the same can be said for the cinema. In fact I enjoy it more. When I lived in France, the local cinemas had spells of showing classic Disney films and even though I’d be the only adult there without a child, I didn’t care because it was fun and a nice treat after a long week of teaching or writing uni essays.

  13. This is such a great post. I love how you mentioned to treat it as a self care date with yourself! All of our cinemas are still closed here so unfortunately I cannot go anytime soon! But I would love to!

  14. I have always said I want to do this as a challenge myself but I haven’t yet found myself in the situation of wanting to see something and not having anyone to go with, definitely something I want to do later this year though, and some really great tips here! x

  15. I’ve never been to the cinema by myself but I would in the future. I love going on solo coffee dates xx

  16. I like these tips, there are tips I hadn’t thought of! I agree when you talk about treating it like a self care date, self-care is so important and treating going to the cinema as that does help with reducing the nerves!

  17. i love going to the cinema on my own, i used to do it at least once a month before it was kind of like a me day, i enjoy it and never felt like it was weird or something but many people has asked me why going alone. like it is a bad thing

  18. Our theatre got reclining chairs right before the pandemic hit and when I finally went to try them out I was thrilled by how much I loved not having to look up too much at the screen. I love a good pack of Twizzlers to nibble on and, of course, water. Sometimes sitting quietly over a good film is just what we need. 🙂

  19. This has really inspired me to go on my own! I don’t know why I never have before.. I have a feeling it’s a fear of being judged but it’s reassuring to know other people go on their own and no one really cares! I think I’ll add this to my list of things to do! Thanks for sharing x

      1. I haven’t been on a solo trip to the cinema in ages! I used to do it a lot to review films, but I think I used the notepad as a way to look as if I was supposed to be there alone, if that makes sense? I don’t think I would have gone alone otherwise, but if love to do so now for a bit of self care.

  20. I love this! As you know I’ve wanted to do this for so long and this will definitely help. Even reading it inspired and filled me with confidence. Now we just need to get COVID out of way, as that’s another trigger for my agoraphobia at the moment! But one I’m there, in my seat, I’m sure I’ll love it. Going to the cinema was always one of my favourite past times before my anxiety hit.

  21. I used to love going to the cinema since I could see what I wanted and no-one to worry about. Now the idea of going makes me anxious. I’ll take your tips into consideration, especially the one about watching something I’m excited about.

    Daisy xoxo | According To Daisy

  22. I love going to the movies alone, because it feels so empowering. It’s been a very, very, very long time since I’ve been able to do so (between the pandemic, saving money to buy a house, and scheduling issues), but I’m looking forward to my next opportunity. Thank you for sharing!

  23. Seriously, thank you for this. This is one of those things I’ve been trying to brave doing for a while, but my social anxiety puts up a tough battle against me. I really just need to understand that most (if not all) people there really don’t care what you’re doing and it won’t be so bad. Thanks for sharing!

  24. I’ve never actually been to the cinema alone, I’ve only recently been to a restaurant on my own. I always worry about being judged (which I know I won’t be deep down). I am very comfortable in my own company at my house but not anywhere else. I’ll definitely use your tips!
    Eve x

  25. This is so inspiring. I never thought about going to the movies alone, but maybe I’ll try it now. I currently live in a country that is not my home country, so I don’t have anyone to go to the movies with. Now you have given me the idea and example that I can be my own company🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

  26. Good for you. I’m glad that you are able to do things you enjoy which you couldn’t before. Life is meant to be enjoyed. You have inspired many with your post. Thank you for sharing. Stay safe.