It’s hard for me to forget the smell of liquid butter pouring onto my large bucket of popcorn.
The salty but sweet smell lingered around the theater halls, leaving my mouth watering.
Friday nights in my small hometown of Yardley, Pennsylvania, didn’t bring much excitement. Instead, my friends and I searched the Fandango app to see which movies would be premiered at our local theater.
One of my favorite memories was on a chilly April night in 2019.
Social media was exploding because “Avengers: Endgame,” the sequel to “Avengers: Infinity War,” was premiering after a year of anticipation. As we stepped out of my car, we noticed we weren’t the only people excited to see “Endgame” on the big screen. The entire theater parking lot was filled with cars.
Young kids carrying blankets and older couples latching hands headed to the ticket booth of the Regal UA Oxford Valley movie theater to score the perfect seat.
I didn’t care where I sat as long as I was there.
My friends followed me to our seats with excitement in our eyes. We couldn’t wait to sit in the leather reclining seats.
After three hours of thrilling action and a tear-jerking ending, I couldn’t help but applaud. Even though the movie just ended, I was excited to buy my tickets for a new movie the following weekend.
Little did I know that my weekends would become humdrum one year later.
When a state of emergency was declared last March, businesses began to abruptly close. Unfortunately, movie theaters were one of the first nonessential businesses to shut down.
Every quiet and quarantined night of March 2020, my family and I sat together on the couch and picked out a movie. Although the surround system created an entertaining environment, it wasn’t quite the same as the big screen.
Most nights, we binge-watched our favorite movies and television shows, like “A Star is Born,” “The Greatest Showman” and “The Mandalorian.” Due to COVID-19, release dates for many new movies were being pushed back. Although I love watching the heartfelt chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, nothing beats the feeling of watching a new movie for the first time.
Quarantine felt like a never-ending cycle, and I wondered if I would ever be able to leave my living room couch again.
The thought of movie theaters going out of business was hard for me to imagine. My love for movies began at such a young age that I didn’t want to lose a piece of my childhood.
It wasn’t until Jan. 8 that theaters reopened in Pennsylvania. Last year around this time, I would have been watching the Oscars, but this year, they’ve been postponed until April 25.
So far, my cautious attitude has kept me from enjoying one of my favorite activities again. But with restrictions and guidelines in place, I feel comfortable knowing that theater workers will do everything they can to create a safer atmosphere.
I’m glad to see movie theaters gradually open again. I’ve come to terms with the reality that movie showings won’t be nearly the same as the premiere of “Endgame,” but I’m grateful that I will be able to enjoy the theater seats regardless.
Even though I won’t be able to eat the theater’s buttered popcorn during these unprecedented times, I think I’m finally ready to purchase a movie ticket yet again.