The expense of theater visits kept me away for many years. My poor children rarely got to see a movie from within a theater as it was just more economical to wait for it to come out on rental. That philosophy changed as of Keith's seventh birthday.
He wanted to have a birthday party and as I contemplated hosting a houseful of little children running amok, high on birthday cake and soda, I fantasized gouging out my eyes with a spork. His fifth birthday was held in a local park. On the hottest day of the entire year. I just couldn't do that again. I also could not do another skating party as I did for his sister earlier in the year. Bottom line, I cannot handle kid birthday parties.
As I calculated what was spent on the skating party I figured I could actually take the little heathens to a movie. Two hours, no running, not at my house - this was doable. When I proposed the idea to Keith he totally latched onto it. He got to pick the movie, Muppet Treasure Island, and got to pick three friends and his sister could bring one friend - in other words, the same cluster of monsters that ran in and out of my house on a daily basis.
It was a total success. All of the kids enjoyed getting to see a movie on the big screen. And thus a tradition began. We now have the phrase "birthday movie". I've just been informed that Amanda wants her birthday movie this year to be Alice In Wonderland with Johnny Depp. I love how we can agree on things like this!
I don't remember exactly when we started a "New Year's movie", but it was shortly after my divorce. After a night of excessive drinking, I couldn't face an entire day of kids running through the house because it's too cold to go outside. And yes, a big booming movie was gentler on a hangover than the constant yammering of my kids.
The only caveat to the New Year movie was that all four of us had to agree on it. That has had mixed results. Lord of the Rings was an excruciatingly long movie. It also had rather scary monsters causing little Ian to scramble into my lap. It was in this movie that I discovered that Amanda and I have similar tastes in men. That was eerie when we both agreed that Orlando Bloom was rather scrumptious in his pointy-ear elfiness. Finding Neverland was a bomb for the boys and left me and Amanda dabbing our eyes.
The last two years we've gone to kid friendly movies of Chipmunks and Bedtime Stories. The big kids sucked it up like troopers, as if they didn't like it! This year, however, there was no question, it was Sherlock Holmes. It was a complete hit, even if it was a tad long. The Husband was a little put out that it wasn't more similar to the 1930's version, but he was still entertained.
I wised up a few years ago getting a member card for the chain of theaters we visit. I accumulate enough points for free tickets and popcorn. It doesn't justify the expense, but helps make it less painful in the pocket, if just psychologically.
5 hours ago