Movie theatre experience

I haven’t been to the movies since my MAV symptoms began in July. Last night I saw the Hunger Games, great movie…but I could feel the dizziness and pressure building in my head throughout the movie. Thankfully I was there with my husband, because by the end of the movie I could barely walk out. I had such bad vertigo that I had to hold on to him to walk. I think the movie was too visually stimulating for me. I took a phenergan when i got home and went to bed. This morning i feel a bit better even though i was scared to get out of bed. Has anyone else had this experience?

Definitely. Made the mistake of seeing the last Harry Potter movie in 3D IMAX last summer. (Don’t get me wrong, it was a great movie - but wow, it messed with my vertigo!! I spent half the movie with my eyes closed.) That said, I have a friend (who doesn’t have MAV) who told me she saw Hunger Games a couple of weeks ago (I think she said she saw it in 3D) and said SHE had a hard time with it, as some parts of it were filmed kind of like reality filming, with camera bouncing around, that kind of thing. That was enough for me to know I’m definitely NOT going to see that movie… Really, anything visual is liable to set us MAVers off. TV, computer, movies. But throw it up there on a giant-sized screen, and there’s no escaping it. Most likely to mess with the head. :roll:

My wife and I have already accepted I may never be able to go to a theater again…between the visual stimuli and now the theaters play the volume so loud, I simply can not do it !

I’m thinking of bringing a cotton ball next time I go to a movie to muffle the sound - splitting it and putting part of it in each ear. Sometimes it’s so loud, I’m sure you could hear just fine through a little layer of cotton. Visually, I can handle most movies I go to, but then I don’t go to a lot of action films. A lot of running by the characters or car chases or fast camera movements would probably be hard for me; I don’t go to many of those movies. “The King’s Speech” and movies like that are more my speed and they don’t have a lot of that stuff. And they’re not likely to be in 3-D, but I wouldn’t dare try a 3-D movie even if one of the movies I wanted to see was available that way.


Usually I’m fine (I didn’t have a real problem with Hunger Games). However, I really dislike movies where the cameraman is holding the camera the whole time, instead of using a steadycam. During action films, I usually just look away for a little bit if I’m getting too much stimulation. I generally do better with those at home instead of at the theater. Noise doesn’t really bother me.

That said, I made the mistake of seeing Hugo in 3D a few months ago, since the theater wasn’t playing it in 2D. NEVER AGAIN! Oh my gosh, it was horrible, and I felt terrible the next day too. Even my husband, who doesn’t have any dizziness or migraine problems, really hated 3D. I’ll have to see the movie again at some point, on my own tv, because I didn’t really get to enjoy it.

I also have many problems in the movie theater. I went and saw the hunger games movie yesterday and the only way I could watch it was to wear my computer glasses. They helped a lot. Still by the time the movie was over I could not take any more stimuli for the rest of the day. Computer glasses do make a huge difference for me though. The differnce of being able to go or having to stay home.

The big screen, big sound, and even the audience movement all gets my MAV going! We’ve gotten used to watching movies at home… there’s a lot of good things about that.

Like Beth, I tend to go with the small or at least smaller screen these days.

Went to a Sons of the Desert meeting yesterday. No problem watching Laurel and Hardy, or Harold Lloyd, or Chaplin, or Stooges, projected onto a basement screen. Not a very good night’s sleep, though after indulging in the pot luck snacks.

Thanks for the responses. It’s always nice to know you’re not the only one living thru this. I’m definitely going to be watching movies at home for awhile!!

I was able to conquer the movie theater with lots of modifications…

  1. I NEVER go when it is busy, or anticipate a big crowd. Try a matinée!
  2. To avoid all the visual stimulation prior to entering the ticket line and theater, I wear my sunglasses, link arms with whom ever I am there with, and close my eyes.
  3. Sit as high up as possible.
  4. Keep my sunglasses on (if needed).
  5. Ear plugs!!!
  6. Never, ever, ever see a high action movie.

Hope this helps some of you : )


Sarah’s movie to-do list mirrors mine. Those are the same things I do, although, I will occasionally see an action movie. I do pay for it after and the next day on those, so they have to be worth it.


Movies are usually a “no go zone” for me. Went to see Dr Seuss Lorax with kids and I paid for it big time. I closed my eyes through most of the show. MAV sufferers nightmare - deafening noise, crowded cinema and hideous chasing scenes. Still recovering! Kids enjoyed the show though so it was worth it ! Readjusting to the bright lights walking out of the movie also spins me out…had to put my sunnies on straight away!

I was the same. Screen too near, noise too loud, I ended up staggering out at the end, I didnt try again for years. Next time round, I remember there was some water pouring in a bucket on screen and the noise was deafening, why do they have it so loud! Then I found an old cinema in my local town, old fashioned seats, screen far away and I sat right at the back. Much better, I was able to tolerate this one then they closed it down and built a super duper new big screen thingy instead, I hated it. Guess its back to the DVDs at home :frowning:


Hey things go pretty well now with movies after a couple of years, a current regime of verapamil and avoiding too much fancy footwork in dark cinemas… So hang in there movie goers - little by little just dont give up.

However for me definitely, positively not 3D!!! With Hugo, my mate (a non-dizzy medico) said it was bad for her too. kids all AOK of course :slight_smile: . Also really hate the fast forward on the remote at home…