It is that time of year when the weather is cold and a lot of big movies come out. People flock to the theaters in droves. I love seeing movies in the theater. Even in this new age of huge HD TVs I still love going to the local cineplex. My favorite way to see a movie is what I refer to as a “Solo”, meaning you go by yourself. The most elusive theater experience is what I have dubbed a “True Solo” which occurs when you are the only person in the theater. A magical, rare moment, much like a perfect game in baseball. 

Myself, being the ‘Maestro of the Matinee’ and the ‘Sultan of the Solo’ that I am, have had double-digit True Solos in my time. I often get asked (OK, one friend recently asked) what is the key to landing a True Solo. Here are a few tips from the master. 

  • Movie selection is key. The odds of catching a True Solo for a Star Wars movie or Marvel flick are pretty low, even if it is late in the run. Pick a movie that has been out for a while but never did gangbusters at the box office. For example, my most recent True Solo was Zombieland 2 three weeks after it had came out. A wonderful movie, but no one was kicking the door down to see it a nearly a month after it was out.
  • Theater selection matters as well. Theaters attached to shopping malls that show the newest movies probably won’t yield the best True Solo results. You might have to go off the beaten path to a discount theater if you are chasing the T.S.
  • Date and time is the most crucial. I know a lot of people work 9-5s Monday through Friday, but the sweet spot for True Solos comes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the day. Why do you think theaters offer discounts on those days? Nobody is ever there. Not exactly a line out the door for movies on Tuesday at 11am. 
  • Check online. Most theaters now are on Fandango or whatever else where you pick your seats and buy your tickets in advance. You can always check the probability of landing a True Solo that way. 

I hope this guide has been helpful on your hunt for a True Solo. It doesn’t get much better than kicking your legs up and enjoying a theater to yourself. Please tweet me with your True Solo successes or near-misses. Remember to take a photo to capture the moment. Makes great Christmas card material.

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