I miss the movie theatre. I miss going out simply to sit in (relative) silence in the dark, amid strangers joined together for the same reason, munching away on over-priced snacks, prepared to chat with my friends later about whatever we've just seen. I miss the mental and emotional immersion of a group of strangers gathering because they want to experience the same story (note: although I do also really enjoy sitting alone in a theatre).

Last week, I had very solid personal plans to go see the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. It had released in other states weeks prior, but finally, was coming to screens locally. What came faster? COVID-19.

No charming 2 hours of my life spent living through the whirlwind antics of a match-making heroine. No opportunity to rewatch Birds of Prey in the ever-convenient cheap seat theatre. No more of my favourite pastime, not for a while now.

Or.....maybe that's not true.

Enter "Stay At Home Movies", the tidy little brainchild of an old classmate of mine, Eric Morales.

Eric Morales
Eric Morales

SAHM is hosted on Kast, and offers the public the ability to still have the community experience of watching movies together with strangers, but while embracing social distancing to its greatest extent. Any home in any city can tune in according to Eric's schedule, which plays two films a day, twice, and takes requests. SAHM provides the opportunity to chat and interact with other viewers as the film rolls - arguably, it's even more inclusive than the movie theatre with an usher staring you down if you whisper too much. And better than a movie theatre? It's completely free. Just share the website link with your friends and family and grow the Stay At Home Movies audience.

I love that this gem provides me a different mental space to check in to if I need it, and most importantly, provides the "social" interaction many of us are craving, but while keeping us safely apart - and still watching movies together.

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