RED isn’t making 8K cameras because your Galaxy S8 really, can, like, handle it, dude. Kick back in the dark, keep your feet off the seats and hold your own hand in the scary bits for a change.
Get there early
There’s a whole thing about how trailers take too much time so you should arrive fifteen minutes after the blah blah blah. People who don’t want to talk to you say this. Luckily, you’ll be taking yourself – the inner dialogue, if you’re like me, never stops.
Shout yourself popcorn and lollies, and make sure you go to a cinema that sells beer and wine.
Know what you’re in for
I can’t, in good, aspiring filmmaker conscience, recommend that you see bad movies. Only masochists believe in so-bad-it’s-good and the whole point of a solo date is so you love yourself. Use Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, and a trusted review site (try Variety if you’re a conservative that still loves the deco of the Regent Theatre but also understands why it had to be turned into a more commercially-sustainable venue, or the A.V. Club if you have a degree in anything) to make sure you’re seeing what you think you’re seeing.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t surprise yourself. Do that if you want. But why go to the trouble of leaving the house if you’re not gonna do your best to make sure you have a good time?
Turn off your phone
This is as much for you as it is for everyone else in the cinema. Nothing important happens on Twitter, and if it needs to be responded to you won’t see it on Instagram. The soft vibrate of a phone call is enough of a reason to leave if you have to.
If you think it might be a real thing, you have one second – an impressionable ad worth of time – and that new comment on the Facebook page you manage for no reason isn’t worth it.
This bit’s easy, provided you’ve done the rest.
No, seriously, relax. It’s a solo date. You’re here for you and no one else. Feel free to disagree with the otherwise great reviews. This is your chance to notice how the colour grade in most scenes is almost invisible but there’s that one shot… Soak it up for an hour-and-a-half. For two hours. Three.
Try to remember what a holiday feels like.
Fall asleep if you have to (or want to)
Just do it. It’s happened to everyone. It’s not disrespectful. You need sleep more than Spielberg needs to know you saw every frame of his movie and there is no better excuse to (as per step four) shut off from social for a bit.
Cinemas are always air-conditioned, you’ll be alone so no one will care (unless you snore, but you won’t because you’re polite), and you can even read about plot, theme, and continuity errors online.
If you’re in Brisbane, check out the Elizabeth Picture Theatre where I saw Blade Runner 2049 (amazing) and The Last Jedi (polarising but excellent).