Danecdotes: The magic of movie theaters

My recent return to the movie theater has been an enjoyable one

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I love going to the movies.

In high school, my friends and I went to the movies all the time. If there wasn’t a sporting event or party on the weekend, it was a good bet you could find us at the nearest movie theater. (Living in rural central Minnesota, the nearest indoor theater was at least a 30-minute drive.)

In college, that was the main hobby of me and my then-girlfriend-now-wife. It was a fairly cheap activity – provided you skip the concessions – and it was always enjoyable, even when the movie was so-so. I remember one year when we set out to see as many of the “Best Picture” Academy Award nominees as we could, and I believe we made it to eight out of the 10.

It had been a hobby of mine for probably 15 years, but then I had a kid. Then COVID-19 delayed movies and emptied theaters for a while. In the past four years, I think I have been to the theaters three, maybe four times.

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This past weekend, the wife and I left the little man with the grandparents and finally made a solo trip to the theater for the first time since 2019 – we saw “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which is pretty fun if you’re nerdy like me – and I was immediately reminded of why I enjoy going to the theater.


First of all, it is simply a fun escape. Yes, we can watch movies at home, and there are a million options, as opposed to maybe seven or eight options at the theater. But there is just something about seeing a movie in a dark theater on a 60-foot screen (I have no idea how big theater screens are, but you get my point) when a movie is still fresh in the public mindset.

It’s also a tremendous way to beat the heat. We recently took our son to the movie theater for the first time. He was well-behaved and the movie was decent (we saw “Lightyear,” in case you were wondering), but he kept complaining that he was chilly.

For a 40-pound 4-year-old like him, I suppose that’s fairly easy. As a grown man, my only thought was that the outside temperature was in the 80s and the theater was a sweet relief. I absolutely hate being too warm, so the theater can be a bit of a godsend for me.

So I hope these recent trips to the theater – and what seems to be a decline in the pandemic – mark a turn of events for me where I’m going to the theater more often, because I really do enjoy it. The kid is about the age where I can take him with no issues, so I would be happy to take him to see whatever ridiculous kids’ movie he may be interested in seeing.

Hopefully I can leave him with the grandparents and go see an action movie every once in a while too.

If you have avoided the theaters for whatever reason, I would encourage you to check them out now that they seem to be back in the swing of things. It’s a great way to kill two and a half hours.

But maybe avoid the concessions - $5.75 for a small drink? Come on now.



Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at

Opinion by Dan Determan
Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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