Movie Theater

Weekend Roundtable: Last Movie You Saw More Than Once in a Theater

Not much is opening new in theaters this holiday weekend, so this might be a good time to catch a second screening of something you’ve already seen. When was the last time you went to see a movie more than once in the theater during its original release?

Keep in mind that we’re specifically talking about first run films here, not movies you’ve rewatched at home or even those you caught again years later in a re-release or revival.

Jason Gorber

This year, I’ve seen two films multiple times. The first was Apollo 11, the majestic documentary that screened at Sundance. I went again during its “LieMAX” run in Toronto, then three times (!) at the glorious Cinesphere for a truly immersive experience.

The most recent was Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood – once at Cannes in 35mm, once on a DCP at a second press screening, once in an Atmos room, and once in another full IMAX venue.

On the giant screen, laser projected in 4k, both films drawn from celluloid sources looked positively extraordinary.

Brian Hoss

My theater-going habits have changed a few times over the last few years. There are now a number of nearby Dolby Cinemas. This past year, I started using the AMC A-List membership, which makes seeing movies I’m only vaguely interested in much more likely (like seeing Hobbs & Shaw in Dolby Cinema or seeing imports like Shadow). So much so that I’ve stopped attending advance screenings. (I think Alita was the last one.) I now find going to the movies with a friend a nice quick break from family life. But in certain cases, I end up seeing the same movie with the family anyway.

This most frequently applies to comic book movies like the recent Spider-Man: Far from Home, or family fare like The Lego Movie 2. In select cases, it applies to less family-friendly stuff such as Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, which is my current target for a second viewing. Happily, I enjoy seeing movies that I like with different people, and that second viewing is a nice chance to find out just how well a movie holds up a second time.

M. Enois Duarte

Most recently, I went to see Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood in the cinema twice, and it mostly by choice. As a Tarantino fan, I was most definitely going to watch the film on opening weekend, especially since one of the theaters I frequent was showing it in actual 35mm. I went with a group of friends and loved Tarantino’s nostalgia trip. The following weekend, I went to see it again with a friend who was able to join the previous group, but this time, we saw a regular digital screening, allowing me the opportunity to pick up on several things I didn’t notice the first time. More importantly, it was interesting to experience the same movie from two different sources on a large screen, and it ultimately made me really nostalgic for the days before digital. Granted, the differences were small and nuanced, but they’re visible nonetheless, particularly the look and texture of the visuals.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

I hardly ever venture out to the multiplex anymore. To quantify what a homebody I am, I’ve only caught two movies theatrically over the past three years, as opposed to the 560 I’ve watched at home in that same timespan.

This is in stark contrast to my high school and college years, where I practically lived in the movie theater. I wound up seeing Jurassic Park and, of all things, the remake of House on Haunted Hill six times each theatrically, all told. Jurassic Park was inflated due to a tiny discount theater while visiting family for the summer. I repeatedly had my choice of two movies, and my answer was invariably Jurassic Park. I so wholly and completely burned myself out on it that I wouldn’t revisit the movie again until this past spring. A few years after mainlining dinosaurs, I fell so head over heels in love with House on Haunted Hill that I was desperate to force it upon my friends, but I could only ever seem to drag one of them at a time, so… yeah. Six separate trips to the theater.

The last movie I caught more than once in theaters was Captain America: Civil War. I wish I had some enthralling story to tell, but no, not so much. I saw Civil War once on my own, taking the afternoon off work to catch it on day one. A few weeks later, my kid brother on the other side of the state couldn’t resist the siren song of Iron Man and Captain America whomping on each other, so I took him to see it too.

Josh Zyber

My movie theater excursions have been curtailed significantly since having kids. The hassle and expensive of hiring a sitter for the evening is generally not worth the effort when I know that just about any movie I want to see will hit Blu-ray and streaming in a couple months anyway. Going to the theater at all is a rarity for me, much less going to see something more than once.

The last time that happened was Baby Driver. I’m a fan of Edgar Wright and wanted to see the movie, but honestly I probably could have waited for disc. However, the week it came out had been particularly stressful for me at work, so I decided to take a half day on Friday and cut out to go see an afternoon matinee. As fate would have it, we wound up with free babysitting later that weekend, and Mrs. Z really wanted to go see a movie. Nothing else at that time appealed to her, so off I went to see Baby Driver a second time.

Good thing I liked the movie.

Your Turn

What movie was so good that you just had to go back and see it again right away?

Have a great long weekend, everybody. We’ll see you back here on Tuesday.


  1. T.J. Kats

    Endgame. I had to see it Friday morning while my wife was working and my son was at school so I didn’t get spoiled. I then took them later on in the weekend to see it.

  2. Csm101

    Godzilla King of th Monsters. The first time I saw it in the Dolby auditorium but I had to experience it in 3d so I went back for a 3d screening. Before that, Avengers infinity War Dolby/ 3D. I actually saw It the first chapter three times in theaters before that which is very unlike me.

  3. cardpetree

    Infinity War

    I love everything about that movie. The pacing is so perfect. I’ve watched it from beginning to end about 10 times. I enjoy it every time.

  4. Shannon Nutt

    I’ve gone from seeing about 50 movies in the theater per year to maybe a dozen, if I’m lucky. So I actually had to go back to figure out what the last movie I actually saw more than once was. I thought it was 2015’s The Force Awakens (which I saw three times), but turns out it was Batman v Superman in 2016 – I saw it twice opening week.

  5. Scott

    The last movie I saw twice in the theater was Rogue One. Saw it without my wife in a Dolby Cinema, then saw it with her in a standard cinema. Wow, seeing it the second time was a total letdown.

    I’m very, very tempted to go see Midsommar for the second time this weekend. A surprise announcement of a one weekend only directors cut that is out this weekend. I saw it when it first came out 4th of July weekend and was blown away by the film. If I knew that they were going to release the directors cut on blu ray I would just wait for that, but from what I read there are no plans (yet) to release the directors cut on home video. I’m just hoping I can find someone who hasn’t yet seen the film to go with me this weekend.

    • Bolo

      I’m curious about the director’s cut of ‘Midsommar’ as well. I was perfectly happy with the theatrical cut, but would still like to see the longer cut. I’m assuming they’re milking a double dip out of the home video release. Hopefully we’ll get a 4K release that includes both cuts shortly.

  6. Patschpatsch

    It‘s been a while that I saw a movie on the big screen multiple times: 8 Mile and Scary Movie 3..

    I still love 8 Mile! It was in the theatres when I was around 15, I was a huge Eminem fan and rap in general, wearing baggy pants and my Fubu sweatshirts… I tried to use that movie to get friends of mine to develop a similar passion for rap as I had back then… plus I thought Brittany Murphy was cute and I also had my eyes on a girl back then and wanted her to do what Brittany did to Eminem in the movie 😉 I was not very successful in that endeavour…

    I still can‘t explain why I saw Scary Movie 3 a total of four (!!!!) times in the movie theatre. Back then my friends and I honestly found the movie hilarious although we knew it was bad. We usually went out for drinks on Friday nights and for four nights in a row the nights always kind of ended at the midnight screening of Scary Movie 3. Good times…

    I don‘t think I would do this nowadays: too expensive, too crowded and most people seem to not go to the movies to enjoy the movie but as a social event which results in me not being able to enjoy the experience

  7. EM

    Last June I saw Toy Story 4 5⁤½ times. The “½” is because of a power outage midway through a showing during a thunderstorm. The “5” is because I liked the movie a lot and wanted to catch as many 3D viewings as I could—I have not seen the movie projected flat. Iʼll get the movie on disc, of course—Iʼve been eyeing this Octoberʼs British and French BD3D releases, both of which are said to be region‐free, in accordance with Disneyʼs pattern—but I donʼt have a 3DTV setup at home and have to resort to stereographic rips on a handheld‐sized screen watched through a 3D/VR viewer, which is better than nothing but just not the same. (Iʼll watch it flat on my TV, too.) 5⁤½ is my first‐run record, beating out my 3⁤½ viewings of Super 8—there was a power outage at one of those screenings as well!

    Even more recently—in July—I had my second viewing of the Aretha Franklin concert film Amazing Grace. (The first viewing was in May, and so Toy Story 4 was in the middle.) That said, Iʼm not sure if either screening, each in a separate arthouse/retro venue, counts as first‐run. The screenings might have been, in the spirit of Toy Story 4 and Super 8, first‐and‐a‐half‐run.

    And while Iʼm now clearly steering beyond Joshʼs parameters, I canʼt help mentioning that the last two theatrical showings I attended were in fact of a single movie: Return of the Jedi. It just so happens that in the past few weeks two different venues near me were showing the original Star Wars trilogy, albeit, alas, in not‐quite‐original cuts (the same as the latest Blu‐rays, Iʼm told, with Vader whining “NOOOOO!” etc.)—not the best way, but 99% of the film experience was excellent and demanded theatrical sight and sound. One theater was showing the films individually, one viewing apiece over three weeks, whereas the other showed them in a single‐day marathon which took place between the first venueʼs Empire and Jedi showings. Quite a stellar August.

  8. Greg

    Aquaman–9 times in the theatre. Ties my record with Texas Chainsaw 3D, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Dreamgirls and Pocahontas.
    I saw Lion King 4 times this summer.

  9. Wayne Via

    Once upon a time in hollywood ive seen twice at the theater. I would see it more but its not playing at my theater anymore. Its my pick for best movie of 2019. I wish i couldve seen it in 35mm. The digital is too dark in spots. I miss the good old days of 35mm projection.

  10. Judas Cradle

    And you should feel sad if you never got to see it as it was intended:
    On a big screen in 3D.
    It was amazing.

  11. Nicholas Daniel

    Endgame. Went to midnight IMAX double bill opening night. Then again 4 days later, which was too soon, so then waited about month for a third viewing. Still loved it, look forward to picking up the 3D blu ray on Monday.

  12. Ted Y

    I used to see films over and over in theaters, but much less so as I’ve gotten older and started really exploring cinema and understanding how much I still haven’t seen. I think Jurassic Park & Fellowship of the Ring hold the personal record with 5 viewings each (plus probably dozens of viewings at home since then).

    Recently? I think just Inception (2x), The Force Awakens (3x) and Black Panther (2x). I’ve also already watched Blade Runner 2049 4x at home if that counts.

  13. Guy

    I’m amazed when people name off large theatrical rewatch numbers. Going to see the same thing more than once is simply not part of my moviegoing DNA. Twice is the most I’ve ever seen a single movie and I’ve only done that with three films. It’s been a long time too. The Dark Knight. Saw it at the opening day midnight showing with friends and again with my dad towards the end of its theatrical run.

    They were two vastly different experiences. The first time, it was a sell out showing in the biggest auditorium complete with palpable electricity in the air and a fifth of the crowd cosplaying. The second, my dad and I had the tiniest screen that theater had all to ourselves on a random weekday afternoon.

    • Shannon Nutt

      This is interesting and I’d love to know your age group. Going to movies multiple times probably got ingrained in me when I was a kid, because there was no such thing as home video (yet) and while, yes, movies would come to TV – they were edited, had commercials, and if you missed it, you wouldn’t see it again for a long time. Even when home video did come around, it was sometimes years (not a few months) before something would make it to VHS. These days, it’s easier to see something only once because you know, regardless of how well it does in theaters, it will be available in a few months to watch at home.

      Unless you’re saying you ONLY see a movie once…meaning if you see it in theaters and like it, you never watch it again in most cases…that would make you a minority of a minority, I think. 🙂

      • Julian

        I know a few people who only watch a movie once, even if they really like(d) it. They rather see a new/unseen movie in the time frame it would take them to rewatch an old favorite. I’m the complete opposite: I should really check out more classics I haven’t seen, and instead, I just decide to experience ‘Back to the Future’ for the 500th time.

        • Shannon Nutt

          I’m with you Julian – I have a ton of movies I own, but have never seen, but often I’d rather re-visit an old favorite than take a chance on something I’m not sure I’ll enjoy. 🙂

          • EM

            At the mainstream multiplex™ I usually go to matinees because if I am taking a chance on something Iʼm not sure Iʼll enjoy, I want to minimize the financial exposure. One occasional exception is the Fathom Events showings of older movies at full price—I have a fairly solid idea that Iʼm getting my moneyʼs worth. (Often I have seen the movie before, but not always.) Of course, if youʼre going to see the same excellent first‐run movie 5 or 6 times (or split the difference) and have a 3D upcharge each time, it helps to seek out the matinee prices anyway!

            Another way I minimize financial exposure to disappointment is by not buying copies of movies Iʼve never seen.

            Before deciding on a new‐to‐me movie (theatrical or otherwise), I usually do some research—reviews, trailers, and so on. Sometimes I wonder if some of the time spent on research would be better spent on the ultimate research, i.e., actually watching the movie. On the other hand, I donʼt want to be midway through some slop and wish I had been more like Julian, going back to the past in going back to Back to the Future.

      • Guy

        We’re just speaking theatrically here. I’m thirty so I was definitely in and partaking of the VCR/LaserDisc era at my beginning and through the disc mediums since. That probably factors in somewhat. Owning or renting was always an option.

        More so than age/era, though, I think it was cultural to where I grew up. Small town living. If you wanted to go out on the town, seeing a movie and walking around in the mall before or after was the only option after 7 or 8 o’clock. For kids and teens, that was limited to Friday and/or Saturday. Because it was pretty well the only public social option, moviegoing was a eight to twelve person communal activity within your friend group. Some would want to see the new romcom, others the comedy that didn’t win last week and a third contingent pushing the new spy flick. Whichever camp won conceded to see whatever didn’t get picked the next time.

        Also, in my prime teen moviegoing years, we were in a short window where the town had two cinemas operating at the same time: the old 9-screen one in the mall and a new state-of-the-art 8-screen place directly across the highway. For whatever reason, they didn’t overlap what they showed at all. So, for those short few years before the mall operation closed down, there were seventeen different movies playing at any given time. The theatrical windows for certain flicks were longer than they otherwise would’ve been, allowing time to get to a third or fourth option title, and, to fill out their screens, we were getting indie fare the likes of which we’d always had to wait for home video to see before.

        So between the group consensus dictating a rotation and the sheer variety of movies available at any given time, repeating just wasn’t a thing. That concept is now deeply ingrained. If I’m going to go, it’s going to be to see something fresh. As the theatrical to video window has rapidly diminished in recent years, that mindset’s become even easier to maintain.

  14. Mitch M.

    The most recent film that I saw more than once at a theater was BLADE RUNNER 2049. I first saw it an IMAX theater, loved it and wanted to see it again right away; the second time was a Dolby Cinema theater. I ended up seeing it at a Dolby Cinema three times!

  15. Robert Wylie

    Lion King (2019)… First time 7 story high imax, second time regular. Second time I just enjoyed the Hans Zimmer soundtrack

  16. Mika Hakala

    The last film I’ve seen more than once in a theater is Terminator 2, and both of those times were in 1991. The last time I’ve seen any film in a theater was in 2004, and I haven’t frequently visited movie theaters since mid-90s.

  17. Pedram

    I very rarely see a movie more than once in theatres. I’ve only ever done it three times, and they were The Phantom Menace, The Matrix, and Avatar (all twice). There are so many movies I want to watch, so I’d rather wait until home video to watch a movie again – and even then I’ll often wait a good while if I ever do.

    I like going to the theatre with friends, so with all the hassle of finding people to go with and organizing a free night in our schedules and paying the increasingly pricey ticket cost, I’d rather do it for a movie I haven’t seen versus than one I just did. I rarely get the same enjoyment when I’ve recently just seen a movie (which is why I dislike how trailers give away the best parts), so I’d rather wait until some time has passed and a re-watch will be a little more fresh. The best time is just before the sequel or next instalment comes out.

    Having said that, there are quite a few movies I’ve seen numerous times on home media (dating back to the VHS days) so it’s not like I never rewatch movies. It just has to be a pretty special movie for me to do so.

  18. gar3

    With four kids just going to the theater is something I don’t normally do anymore, sadly. But looking back at the calendar, it seems 2003 was the year of seeing the same movie multiple times with my soon-to-be wife, heh. We saw Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl three times and Lost in Translation twice. My wife, who is Japanese by the way, was a big fan of both films.

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