Have You (And Maybe A Friend) Ever Been The Only One(s) In A Movie Audience?

Came close many times, but the only time it actually happened was to see Shrek after it had been out for a few weeks and I took a day off mid-week. My SO and I went to see the early showing and we were the only two people in the entire movie theater. It was great. Like our own private screening.

Ever happen to you?

I know it’s happened a few times- I go to movies in the middle of the day, when this is more likely.

One example I can think of off the top of my head was The Independent. A shame no one else was there 'cause it was a great movie I would have loved to see with an audience. Definitely one that could go in one of those “Movie You Love that No One Else Has Seen” Threads.

I used to see lots of movies during the day midweek and was always keen to be the only one there. I saw Way Of The Gun and thought I had finally achieved it but some guy came in and sat near the entrance after the movie had been on for a fair while. Near the end of the film I noticed that he was gone so I had no idea how long he sat there…he may have just been looking for a freebie after his movie ended.

Feeling Minnesota, with Keanu Reeves, Cameron Diaz and Vincent D’Ofrino. I have no idea why we even went to see it in the first place (probably boredom, which the movie did nothing to help), but the three of us were the only ones in the theater.

As an added bonus, the multiplex closed down a couple of days later (it was a converted old-style movie theater in a rapidly declining neighborhood) and it was obvious that management had long passed the point where they gave a damn. The floors were wet from burst pipes, the seats hadn’t been cleaned for a while, and the projectionist managed to show one reel without sound and another upside-down. All in all, not exactly optimal screening conditions, but a least we could throw popcorn at the screen with a clear conscience.

I saw Stranger Than Paradise in it’s first release ('84 or '85?) in a mall cineplex theater in Waco, TX. Total audience - 8 people. Me, three other art geeks from college and the four guys down front who were either sleeping it off or…other things.

Oddly, it was one of my best experiences going to the movies with friends because we realized what a singular film we had just seen and how absurd it was that we were in the middle of nowhere for art films.

Often, particularly if it’s in the middle of the day and the movie’s been playing for a while already. I think the last movie I saw that I was the only one in the audience for was Dark Water.

(Incidentally, did that movie have a point? It just drug on and on and climaxed to nothing. I’m really growing tired of the Japanese horror film remake fad.)

Do you think they’ll ever get around to remaking Suicide Club or Battle Royale?

I saw Reversal of Fortune in the theater all by myself. It was pretty cool. The projectionist told me to get settled in with my Coke and popcorn, and yell “roll 'em!” when I was ready for the movie to start!

Saw The Two Towers all by my lonesome, after it had been out for a couple of months (it was tough for me to get days off back then). It was lovely- I spread out over most of a row and just fell into the movie.

Mr. Kitty, MamaKitty and I were the only ones in one of the Star Trek movies- think it was Insurrection. And on a second viewing of 13th Warrior there were only 4-5 people there.

A friend and I (who came separately and just happened to run in to each other at the theater) were the only attendees at an afternoon showing of Ed Wood.
A date and I were the only attendees at a Saturday evening showing a few months ago of A Very Long Engagement (Fr. Un long dimanche de fiançailles). This was at a 12 movie multiplex when the big movies were Constantine and Sideways and this was the only foreign/arthouse movie playing. Even so there was a gasp when Jodie Foster came onscreen.

My wife and son and I were the only viewers for a showing of the recent Spongebob Squarepants movie. It had been out a few weeks and was a late showing on a Saturday night…after 8:00 or so at a small local theater.

A couple of the teens who worked at the theater or friends of theirs did sit down and watch a little also but for most of it we were alone.

My cousin Doug and I were the only ones on a Tuesday-evening showing of Three Fugitives (horrible Nick Nolte and Martin Short comedy). That was during our Zen movie-going phase. Doug had just moved in to town and knew no one, so he and I would hop in the car and go to the movies frequently. Neither of us had a watch and there was no clock in the car, so we’d have no idea what was playing until we got there. Usually it worked out much better than Three Fugitives.

My friend Scott and I were two of five people a showing of Star Trek V several weeks after it came out.



Yes, at this movie, a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Saw it with Mrs Danalan, back when she was just gf Danalan, the last show of the evening in one of those huge old theatres. Must have been a thousand seats, and just us.

There were about 6 people in the theatre when the movie started – but the rest all left after 10 minutes or so. Possibly they had come in late to the prior show and wanted to see the beginning.

I work part-time, and movie audience behavior having deteriorated as much as it has, I do try to take advantage of early shows at off times.
Last week I saw a 10:45am showing of Hustle and Flow. (Decent movie.)
There were two other people in the audience. But seldom have I been All By Myself for a movie.
Maybe two or three times I’ve been the only one (either all alone or with a friend).

All the Pretty Horses on a Friday night. That should have told us something right there. My girlfriend at the time dragged me to it and about an hour in begged me to walk out with her, but I wanted the deep hurting to sink in so that she would never drag me to another crappy movie again.

Way back I went to see Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown. I was the only one in the audience, and one of the employees came in and asked if I really wanted to see the movie, as I guess they didn’t want to bother showing it to one person.

If his tone had been more polite, or they’d offered to repay me for the popcorn I’d already bought, I might have left. But no, I decided to stay. A few minutes after the movie started one other couple came in, so I didn’t see it absolutely alone.

Quite a number of times. I’m always so backlogged on movies to see (usually indie/arthouse fare) that I often wait until Wed or Thurs night because by then the programmers have decided what’s leaving on Friday and what’s staying another week. If it’s going, I’ll try to go, but by then, it’s usually on its last legs, so I’m often the only one there. I’d say this happens once every 3 months or so.

Twice, once with an amusing story.

The non-story one was going to see ‘Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story’. One other guy in the audience, and he literally was reading a book instead of watching the movie.

The other was many moons ago. Back when first-run films were five dollars… Or so we thought! My friend Mike and I were dropped off by my mom at the theater to go see ‘Dungeonmaster’. I had some extra cash for popcorn and the like, but Mike only had five bucks. When the woman at the front counter told us the movie was five fifty, Mike was enraged. Well, as enraged as a 13-year-old gets at this sort of thing. I paid the extra four bits for Mike, and we went in.
We were a bit early, so I started playing Gauntlet in the loby. When I turned around, Mike was gone.
I went into the theater and sat down. Mike showed up a few minutes later, grinning, and said, “I’m gonna get my five-fifty worth of straws!” He then opened his jacket to show me the huge carton of straws he’d swiped from lord-only-knows where.
There was one other person in the theater, about five rows ahead of us. We made one enormously long straw and poked him in the back of the head with it.

I tend to go at odd times (last showing, or early matinee) and I’m generally not in a rush to see a film, plus I like to avoid the cell phone-jabbering asshats that populate theaters today[sup]*[/sup] so not infrequently I find myself nearly alone in the cinema. The last one I remember specifically was the excellent and underpromoted Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World at One Colorado AMC (before Laemmle Cinemas bought it). It was great, as if I had the whole place to myself.

I nearly had the same experience with the recent Peter Pan movie (another underseen great) until a family walked in five minutes after the film started. Then the kids started to cry during the crocodile scenes (that film should have been rated PG-13) and they left.

Long, long ago when I first saw Raging Bull (late '80s at a revival cinema in a generic Midwestern city) there was no one there, even though it was the middle of Saturday evening. Philistines.


[sup]*[/sup]I’ve often thought that if Adams were to rewrite the introduction to Hitchhiker’s today he’d write, “…is an insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive they still think cellular phones are a pretty neat idea,” as an example of a technological convenience that isn’t actually all that convenient.

It’s happened to me TWICE.

Once was Mission:Impossible. The multiplex was showing it on two screens, 30 minutes apart, and everyone was at the first one, apparently, because there were all of 2 people in the theater.

The other was the Steve Martin vehicle Sgt. Bilko, which was so bad that I wish I hadn’t been one of the 3 people in the theater.