"What" Writing - Movie Theatre

For our final day of “what” writing, we are exploring the sensations found in a movie theatre. Write for ten minutes exploring wherever your mind takes you, staying as close to your senses as you can. Enjoy!

The floor is made of chewed gun, increasing the effort and strain of every forced step. I hear the gaggle of young girls giggling crowded in the front two rows. From the back, I hear the smacking of two twitterpated teenagers not-so-privately professing their temporary unyielding limerence. Their coldsores will ache in the morning. The hair on my arm stands at full attention because someone thought it a joke to turn the thermostat to its lowest setting prior to the screening. There in the middle far left section is a worn out fake velvet cushion with my name on it. Of course, the arm rest is broken, so my right arm will get to rest for 90 minutes on my lap. As the curtain parts, the diapason resonates throughout our bodies as the proud surround sound alerts us to its presence. My fingers are rainbowed where the remnants of popcorn butter holds tight to the hard candy coating of these tiny saccharine orbs. Sitting through the closing credits, disappointment still looms, though not surprisingly. This move was nominated for seven awards, of course it is boring.

Quiet rumbling permeates the room along with the sloshing and crunching of shared snacks. The anticipatory chatter halts at the sudden emergence of airy symphonic chords and a display opening on the screen. Bright colors and sounds wrap around my senses like a noose, drawing me in. Although strangers from a distant land, watching familiar characters enter the scene fills my chest with with warmth, like coming home after a long journey.

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I advance my way through several ranks of thick, heavy glass defences, pushing the cold aluminium handles through layers of air-locks that depressurise us from the outside reality, adjusting to the inner sanctuary that we have escaped to. The air is filled with the bass-heavy sound of action-packed sequences emanating from identical screens in every direction. We gravitate toward the smell of musty butter, where a line of people flock for their feed.

Firstly, I haven’t come across the word “limerance” before, and what a fantastic word it is! Thanks for that.

The hair on the arms standing up is good showing, but might this bit be guilty of telling?

I really like how you have captured the surround sound as “proud”, fits nicely.

The translucent, off-white wall. sconces dimmed all at once, like a chorus of setting suns. Hushed whispers are interrupted momentarily as the speakers around the room begin to whisper too. My pants rustle and I feel a light brush against my knee as a crinkly-nosed man in his thirties shuffles by me, returning to his seat with hands full of overly-sweet, bubbly sodas and a family sized portion of popcorn. My own bucket of salt and butter is nearly empty, my hands greasy with impatience.

I agree. I was just trying to capture what first came to mind. And it’s always so dern cold in there! It can definitely use more imagery there :slight_smile:

The leathery seats against the bare skin on the back of the knees, instant cold creeps, the air conditioner pumping on high, a not so short skirt, but clearly not long enough, some popcorn scattered on the floor, people are still coming in, looking for their seats. Phones go “do not disturb” mode, talks of excitement, everything being said on a whispered tone, the well reasoned popcorn smell, not from the popcorn under the seats upfront, fresh popcorn brought in by the couple sitting right behind us, a few more get to theirs seats as the lights go out and the trailers commence. I had forgotten how loud the movie theater speakers were, after all it’s been a while, but that’s a head throbbing, radiating type of pain worth every penny and every ounce of ache.

A bit late, but here’s my attempt.

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Good job! I see that we both get cold at movie theaters! Ha. I really like the description of the cold air moving and the internal desire to have covered yourself more for warmth. Similar tension is felt when you describe the sound. The love-hate is real, and your imagery for the hate side (ache, throb) is very well done, the love side is a little more “tell” than “show” but fits in well here.

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I really like the closing line “greasy with impatience” - it adds to that regret of having finished the popcorn before the film has even started.

I sink deep into the deluxe, soft leather seat, pushing the cool metal button to lounge back just a little further….squeak!.. It can wait until a noisy action scene. Black, white, then neon purple, then back to black, strobing colors flash without warning. I hear the ominous music start, quietly at first, then louder, and I nervously wiggle deeper into the leather. I’ve lost track of time now, where I am, or what sweet-n-salty treats I am shoveling into my mouth, or whose skin is brushing against mine… I am not even fully listening, I am just dizzied with stimulation, like ground lighting, and my body has floated above my tired life to bathe in dopamine.


The onomatopoeia is always a good choice :slight_smile: And the internal conflict of wanting to be more comfortable, but also not wanting to impact others’ enjoyment is really good tension building from internal sensory. That tension is furthered with the “sweet-n-salty” and that nasty stranger’s skin on you. The sensation of leaving your body to bathe in dopamine is expertly drafted. Good job!

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Yea I agree the waiting for a loud part to make a noise is something we can all relate to, you could develop this tension further by describing the anticipation and urge to move etc. But these are coming along nicely keep it up!

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From light, I enter into darkness. The buzzing of children, interlocking fingers with their adults, sandals clicking and clacking at the carpet, and a sickly-sweet smell or popcorn, all disappear as I pass through the thick theater door. I avoid entering the door until the previews begin to play, like my brother used to avoid putting mom’s spinach casserole in his mouth, the taste metallic, ketchup and wet spinach sloshing around our mouths. I avoid making eye contact with strangers or even worse, with someone I may know, preferring to be anonymous rather than feel the beading eyes penetrating my soul. I navigate a path to my seat, stepping over feet, and sink into the plush seat, my body conforming to the object I sit in. I breathe in, still a sickly-sweet smell of popcorn, but alone with my thoughts.

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Some good senses used, the smell of popcorn, the sound of the sandals clacking and the feel of a body conforming to the plush seats. I feel like I wanted to be dragged into the scene more though, I relate to the line about not making eye contact but again thats tell-y. perhaps eyes could be darting past each other like bullets in the action movie about to be watched.

Also keep up your consistency! I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit but if you do these first few weeks as consistent as you have been you’re writing will flourish!

people stood in groups while waiting for the doors to open, facing each other shifting their weight from one leg to the other, carrying large tubs of popcorn, too big to hold in their hands. the black doors of the theatre opened with a click and everyone rushed in like a colony of ants. shoulders rubbing each other, taking small cautious squeaky steps so as to not trip over our own laces, my stomach growled from the warm smell of popcorns, fragrance of jasmine flicked my nose as the girl infront came to a halt. as the swarm of bodies dragged me inside, darkness swelled & the chilled breath from the air conditioner prickled the nape of my neck.

I love the waiting and shifting weight imagery! That is very relatable and gives us a visual, as well as allowing us to feel the weight shift. The click is a nice audible cue for us. The fun tension of worrying about tripping over shoelaces is really nice. It blends the excitement for a movie in a crowd with an element of worry. Great job!

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I dodge in and out, narrowly avoiding the people with wheelbarrows of popcorn, slowed momentarily through the clouds of butter, through the labyrinth. Doors for 8 arrive. I shake the dice, left it is. I enter the freezer, a specimen of study for all the obscured faces. 25L sits at the summit. One foot lunges after the other, scaling steps two at a time. The onlookers congratulate me upon arrival, standing in deference as I pass. As I reach the peak, I stand, a giant, for all to behold. My throne on the clouds awaits. I sink into it, just in time. The crescendo begins, lullabying the setting suns, now is the time of adventures.

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There is some really creative stuff in here Cosmo! Clouds of butter is brilliant sensory writing, and I love how you have built your entrance into such a grandiose occasion. It has a strong unity behind it, rather than just painting your seat as a throne, you have extended that idea to the onlookers congratulating you in deference, a giant for all to behold etc. Maybe giant could be replaced with something more regal to push it further? Great work!

As I softly step into the threshold of the dark hall leading to the picture screen, I clutch the warm cylinder of buttery popcorn and reflexively crunch down on a salty morsel. The bright screen and loud crashing sounds of previews temporarily overwhelm the senses, then the warm bead running down my neck reminds me that I’m late. Waving hands and middle fingers beacon me to trudge embarrassed up the long stairway to the second-to-top row. I tiptoe sideways across the sticky aisle, careful my butt only touches a padded, bouncy respite.