Movie theater etiquette is dying, but there is still one tradition that makes for “a near-ideal cinematic experience,” writes Alexander Huls in the New York Times: “the midnight show.” It’s the first opportunity for passionate fans to see a new film, which means the experience is filled with long lines, people in costumes, and—once the show finally begins—raucous and elated reactions to pretty much everything that happens onscreen. It may sounds like a “nightmare” to those who see the movie theater as “cathedral,” but it’s actually not, Huls writes.
Unlike typical talkers and texters in movie theaters, none of the midnight show attendees are disrespectful. Their chatter is not distracting because “it’s directed at the movie,” Huls writes. “It comes from an irrepressible desire to celebrate what’s being seen. It comes, at its heart, from the greatest emotion a movie can give you: Joy.” It brings moviegoing back to “its core, a social experience … a shared event.” And you’ll never see a lit cellphone screen or hear even a peep during the serious scenes. In the future, Huls predicts, the midnight show may become the only place “to really enjoy” a film. His entire column, which includes suggestions for movies to watch at midnight this year, is worth a read.