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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Are holidays a good time to go to the movies?

It’s a weird sort of day in the United States today. It’s a Monday, but as a federal holiday, it’s still part of the weekend… and it still feels like the weekend, like we got an extra Sunday or something. (It’s really, really quiet in my neighborhood this morning.) But the Fourth of July holiday being officially observed today — such as in the closing of banks, the stock market, the post office, etc. — was actually yesterday. So whatever celebrating was to be done — barbecues, beach parties, fireworks, and so on — was done yesterday. So today is totally a free day, maybe a good day to go to the movies, some people might figure. For sure, the weather is disgustingly hot across most of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. today, so a trip to an air-conditioned multiplex sounds like a good idea, even if what’s on is crap.

But if today were actually the Fourth of July, it’s hard to imagine that many people would head out to the movies.

Are holidays a good time to go to the movies? Not just this weekend but in general. Would you prefer to spend time with family and friends outside a theater, or inside? I was stunned to discover, this past Decemeber, that multiplexes in the U.K. are closed on Christmas Day — that’s a big day for going to the movies in North America.

What do you think?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • doa766

    usually the people that go to the movies on Holidays are the the ones that start applauding scenes, or leaving their cells on, or taking small children to non-kid movie, etc

    so no, just stay at home

  • Nate

    usually the people that go to the movies on Holidays are the the ones that start applauding scenes, or leaving their cells on, or taking small children to non-kid movie, etc

    I went to see Sherlock Holmes on Christmas Day and I didn’t have this problem. Granted I live in small-town Iowa but I’m getting really sick of these negative stereotypes being bandied about as if they’re some unavoidable truth.

  • markyd

    I always wondered why Christmas day was such a big movie day. It would never occur to me to go see a movie that day. I suppose some people just get tired of the family and just want to get away from them for a couple hours.
    An “observed” holiday like today is a perfect movie day, if there was anything worth seeing(Inception can’t come fast enough). Not much else going on today, because, like you said, pretty much all of the “celebrating” went on yesterday. Wish I had my next Doctor Who disc.

  • Mark

    I suppose this means holidays as in official dates in the calendar as opposed to when you take time off work? Taking the kids to anything during school holidays can be a pain as everyone else has the same idea and you have to book ahead – which is fine, except that predicting which film two or three offpsring will agree to see together is an arcane science at best.

    But going to the flicks on Christmas Day? Really? Christmas should be a time when we take time out to do the really important things. Which in my case is drinking my way out of my Christmas Eve hangover while blasting anything that moves on ‘Call of Duty’.

  • JoshDM

    Best time to go to an adult-oriented movie is any morning, first showing.

  • Drave

    Since I don’t have any family where I live right now, I always see movies on holidays. It’s usually much quieter. I just don’t see kiddie flicks. The hardest part is finding somewhere to eat lunch in between movies.

  • Nina

    NO! Holiday movies,at any holiday, the theaters are just too damn full. My ideal movie watching experience is with a half full theater, with no one within 3 seats of me. I’m off to tend my plots at my community garden & later in the day,immerse myself in in newly acquired DVD of series 7 of MI-5

  • Isobel

    People go to the cinema on Christmas day?? I’d never consider doing that, to be honest. We’re far too busy opening presents, cooking, eating, going for a freezing cold walk on the beach, and playing stupid board games and laughing like hyenas.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to see a film on a Bank Holiday, I’m either seeing family or friends (or sulking, in the case of New Year – I’m very bah humbug about the whole thing).

  • bronxbee

    not everyone in the US (or elsewhere) celebrates christmas. but most of us get the day off… why shouldn’t they go to the movies? it’s like a free day…

  • JoshDM

    People go to the cinema on Christmas day??

    Mostly Jews, as we’ve got nothing better to do that day, but as the theaters have become more and more crowded, apparently many other people seem to have adopted the practice over the years.

  • bats :[

    We don’t have family nearby (or much family at that), we’re not religious (a non-practicing Catholic and a Jew) so Christmas is a good movie day for us, between presents and Christmas dinner. One of these years we’re going to manage going to a movie and then having a traditional Jewish Christmas dinner, too…

  • It depends. One of my younger brothers and I thought seriously about going to see a movie yesterday but neither of us could decide on a movie that we really wanted to see. (The closest we came was TS III and I had already promised a friend that I’d see that with her.)

    In the end, the closest we got to the movies was re-watching The Glass House and All About Steve on my mother’s cable. Not that those two were the best choices on TV but it was a holiday and we were celebrating a birthday as well and I had better things to do than fight over the channel changer with my middle brother. Besides, listening to him and my mother editorializing about the two movies proved more interesting to me than seeing most of the first-run movies would have been. Plus it was free too.

  • When I was a senior in high school, I went to the cinema on Christmas Day with a friend of mine. I don’t remember what I saw. I think it was a film we both really wanted to see; the other showtimes were too inconvenient, so we settled for Christmas Day, I think sometime around noon.

    But yeah, it really didn’t feel right. Christmas Day should be spent enjoying time with the family. If the family goes to see a film together, that’s fine. I think closing cinemas on Christmas, like in the UK, is a good idea, but it would never work in America. In the UK, Boxing Day – the day after Christmas Day – is a big day for social celebrations as opposed to private ones. For example, there is a full list of football fixtures, so if people fill up the football stadia then you could imagine some would flock to the cinema as well. Christmas for family; Boxing Day for something else. Brilliant. America just has different traditions.

  • Dokeo

    On the christmas topic – some families do gift opening on x-mas eve, with only the “Santa” presents on the morning of Dec. 25. Once you get to a point where there are no small children around, there’s really nothing going on until dinner time. Perfect for going to a matinee.

    Other great (U.S) holiday movie opportunities: day after Thanksgiving, assuming you can find a movie theater not attached to a shopping mall (and assuming you don’t like being in stores on the busiest shopping day of the year). Memorial Day and Labor Day are good as well, since the BBQ/party action usually happens during the “normal” weekend, even though there is a third day off.

  • Isobel

    I guess I kind of forget that Christmas is a religious holiday (as silly as that sounds) because it’s completely non-religious in our house. My mother is a lapsed Jew (and practising Buddhist) and my step-Dad is a lapsed Catholic, and I’m not religious in any way, shape or form. Christmas is just an excuse to go up to Scotland and spend time with them and give everyone presents.

    Although, I guess my having been in Scotland for Christmas every year for the last ten years or so probably has something to do with my surprise at people going to the cinema. As far North as my Mum is, there’s still a heavy Presbyterian presence and absolutely nothing is open on Christmas Day.

  • Mackenzie Gatesh

    I work at a movie theater and I gotta say, you are the kind of people I love! Ones who actually spend time with their families a don’t use movie theaters as an excuse while us employees have to sacrifice spending time with our families because people can’t go any of the other days in the year movie theaters are open.

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