Service of Favorite Films II

March 8th, 2021

Categories: Movies, Pandemic

As of Friday, New Yorkers are allowed back in movie theaters at a pandemic-safe 25 percent. Will they go?

So many films are available on demand or on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu. I only subscribe to Netflix and have loved series like “Lupin,” “Marcella,” “Heartland” and “Anne with an E”  and films like “The Intouchables,” and “Midnight Diner.” I can’t keep up with all the entertainment. On my to watch list are “Made You Look,” “Captain Fantastic” and “Sister Sunshine.”

I’m still enamored of favorites on Turner Classics such as “Chariots of Fire,” “Roman Holiday,” “Brief Encounter,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Way We Were” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”

Will people be happy to stay home or are folks desperate to get out? For a year we’ve watched movies from the comfort of our sofas accompanied by our choice of snacks. On streaming services we can watch whenever it’s convenient–there are no show times–stop a flick or episode to text a friend, wash a dish, grab a nibble, replay a missed section or visit the loo.

Before sharing an indoor space with strangers for two hours with masks on–or off-and-on between handfuls of popcorn and sips of soda–some will wait for 70 percent of us to be vaccinated or at least to see if any venues require proof of covid-19 vaccination.

Is New York being too cautious to the detriment of the economy? Mississippi and Texas have lifted all pandemic restrictions including mask-wearing in all venues.

Going to the movies makes for a perfect date for teens and college friends, for folks who want to get out of the house and as an excuse to meet a friend and grab a bite before or after. I’ve loved going to the movies alone or with a pal. When my husband watched football or golf many a Sunday I’d be off to the flicks. I’ll expect I’ll return but not yet. And you? Are you waiting for herd immunity to kick in? Are you happy to forever cocoon in place to satisfy your flick fix?

Tags: ,

12 Responses to “Service of Favorite Films II”

  1. Hank Goldman Said:

    I agree that once upon a time going to the movies was a treat, and socially a good thing to do, both personally and group wise… However, I am afraid that times have changed – perhaps for good.

    The states that are open are really jumping the gun before this crazy virus is even mildly under control… Love the movies, hate the virus.

    I think different times are ahead… Look at all the movies that are making their debut on the small home screen, which of course is now getting to be larger and larger, science fiction writers predict they will take up an entire wall so it will kind of be like going to the flicks!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I read this morning in The New York Times that more than eight percent of the population has been vaccinated. Previously, I heard vaccine specialists estimate that 70 percent inoculation was needed to achieve herd immunity. We have a long way to go. I agree it’s too soon to remove all restrictions as so many citizens acted in foolhardy ways even when there were restrictions. We cannot be trusted to care about one another.

    I’ve seen gargantuan boxes that held TV screens waiting on sidewalks to be picked up by sanitation trucks in Manhattan. As I get dizzy sitting too close to a screen a room must be big enough for me to tolerate such a device. That said, I’d much prefer pictures and posters, portraits and landscapes on my walls. A 6-foot long TV screen does not appeal.

  3. BC Said:

    Being elderly and not yet fully immunized, I am not ready to venture to the public movies. With Tv and Netflix, etc. one can watch a variety of movies, history ,and documentaries in the comfort of home.

    If I want to get out of my Fl.home, I can take a walk, ride a bike, swim, play croquet, and meet with friends outside. Life living in a high rise apartment is quite different.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I noticed that local NYC TV news coverage featured only young people venturing to movie theaters on Friday. If there were people over 25 they weren’t interviewed.

    Apartment dwellers in Manhattan tend to walk more than suburbanites in normal times. When I had a home upstate I’d walk to the car, drive where I was going, get out of the car, run my errands, get back in the car and go home. In Manhattan I walked all over the place and still do, from one to four miles a day regularly these days, weather permitting. I have a friend who walks about five miles a day even with snow on the ground.

    There are Citibikes for those so inclined in every neighborhood I’ve worked or lived in. Spas, trainers at gyms–friends go now–are available as well.

    We all look forward to spring even though croquet, swimming–if we don’t belong to the Y or a club–and barbecues won’t be in our futures! My father swam almost every day at a magnificent pool at the Y on Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street. I don’t know if it still exists.

  5. MarthaTakayama Said:

    I used to adore going to the movies. I often enjoyed foreign films, art houses and smaller theaters and have never been overly fond of megaplex cinemas with endless commercials for junk food and boring trailers for extremely high budget formula film all with oppressively loud sound. I found for a long time that the whole experience of going out to the movies was more special and fun than watching new movies at home. I have always liked old movies on TV.

    I now have absolutely no desire to go to indoor movies or dining for that matter while we continue to be in the throes of the pandemic with absolutely no coherent controls for prevention, with radically contradictory advice from all different levels of government. I also do not relish sitting in reclining seats juggling food. I have also learned to find absolutely wonderful material on Masterpiece Theater and Netflix. I adore “Call My Agent”, “Fauda, “The Long Song”, “Velvet, and at the moment am consumed by the saga of Mr. Sunshine. I think actually all these and other material not available at the movies are more interesting then many new theater movies.

  6. David Reich Said:

    I love going to the movies, but I won’t be in a theatre for a while. Even with a mask, I’ll hold off on going, just to be safe.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’m thrilled for the references and will add them to my “to watch” list.

    I adore many of the Brit flicks and series but have trouble understanding some of the regional accents. Closed captioning–not available at the movies for English-speaking films–is a lifesaver. A friend suggested it months ago to understand the lyrics in “Hamilton.”

    Until we know more about Covid-19 and the new versions of it and until we learn that well more than 50 percent of the country is vaccinated I’m staying put where movie-going is concerned.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Ditto! You have the advantage of a car and might try an outdoor movie. I haven’t been to one in decades and decades. There was one in New Hyde Park across from President Roosevelt’s home which didn’t seem to be operating for years. I bet it’s been resurrected since last March!

  9. Lucrezia Said:

    I’m a sporadic movie goer, with little to no interest in what does or doesn’t happen in Hollywood. Best movie remains “Twelve Angry Men.” I date myself, but the quality of story and acting, in my view, remain unsurpassed.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    The original version of Brief Encounters was made in 1945 while 12 Angry Men in 1954 and 1957 so I date myself even more though I first met the movie about 10 years ago on Turner Classic Movies. I think the first date was when the movie was televised or maybe it was a Broadway play and the second was when the movie with the great cast was produced.

  11. EAM Said:

    Last November, I was considering venturing into the theater for the James Bond film which is a family tradition. Even though they delayed the release until Oct. 2021, it would not have been prudent for me to go. My concern is that people tend to cluster together going in/out of the theater and will have masks off while eating and drinking. I miss going to the theater and Broadway and when I feel safe, I’ll go back.

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I feel as you do.

    As long as people don’t borrow someone else’s vaccine passport–proof of having had the vaccine–or purchase a counterfeit one we should be OK going to theater–movie, off and on Broadway–if it’s required to enter. Once the CDC confirms that enough of us have been vaccinated we’re also good to go.

    Putting yourself in harm’s way isn’t worth a few hours of enjoyment. Glad you overcame temptation!

Leave a Reply