The Cinema and My Mental Health

Today is World Mental Health Day and I thought I would get involved with this blog post about my own mental health and how I find Cinema to be a fantastic way to keep it under control and a release from not only the world and life but from myself as well.

Considering Cineworld have just closed across the UK and Odeon are operating some cinemas on a weekend only, it seems even more appropriate to be talking about this. During the lockdown and period of time I was on furlough I also lost the best thing to keep me calm and at times sane. The cinema. While that might seem a little bit dramatic and over the top, it is the place where I truly switch off from everything and not look at my phone for a few hours. Something that is difficult when you are just at home.

I love the cinema and watching films in the dark on the big screens, with the amazing surround sound. What better way to switch off from everything, as long as the film isn’t terrible of course! But at times that doesn’t even matter. When working a lot of hours and going through stages of not being able to see any of my friends going to the cinema is something that I have done mainly alone for so long now I cannot even remember how long!

At one point it was a little bit of a social thing with two amazing friends on a Friday night seeing whatever was new. But then with the working hours it was not always possible for myself to go with them. I then started going alone and to begin with I would never go on a Friday night. Mainly because I felt it was more for groups of people on a Friday. However I reached a point where I wasn’t actually bothered and would go anytime. What difference does it make when you are then supposed to be quiet and not talk during the film anyway.

I guess when I think about what ways I suffer when it comes to mental health it is probably a little bit of anxiety depending how things are going for and around me. But mainly with feeling a low and moving towards depression. Not for any particular reason, I just think I am very hard on myself and how my life has gone and is going. This is why I enjoy heading to the cinema to switch off from that and enjoy watching a film on the big screen.

Having the cinema closed over the first lockdown (I’m saying that as it feels we are entering a second albeit a little bit different) was very tough. No real switch off from the world, I did catch up with some films and tv series that I had wanted to watch for a long time so that was a positive. But I really did miss heading into the cinema and watching films in the dark, silence without my phone as a possible distraction.

When getting back to the cinema was possible I was overjoyed to eventually witness Lord of the Rings Extended Editions on the big screen! So much so that I went to Odeon to see all three and then back to see them again at Cineworld only ten days later. Middle Earth is my ultimate escape and somewhere that has brought me so much joy over the years. The reason behind my love for film and eventually creating Let’s Go To The Movies.

The lack of films at the cinema when they reopened had become so much of an issue that has led to Cineworld’s second closure, which I really hope will not be for too long but given the films being pulled and given new dates in 2021 it does not look promising for this year. Anyone who thinks VOD is the future is very wrong! So many films are meant to be watched on the biggest screen possible and I would personally hate cinemas not to survive this period.

Does going to the cinema help with your mental health?

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