JOPLIN, Mo. — American communities big and small celebrate the second “National Cinema Day,” today (Sunday) – an entire day to remind us how watching a favorite movie with friends and loved ones can bring us together – both in laughter and tears.

“It’s a very restful, refreshing experience, totally focused on what you’re seeing on the screen,” said Michele Hansford, Bookhouse Cinema patron.

Whether it’s your favorite cinema-chain movie theater, your beloved local art house theater — or maybe at home on the couch in front of the TV — watching a movie with friends and family has been an American-favorite pastime since the early 1900s.

According to “Kahn Academy” — a boost in the economy during the beginning of the 20th century allowed Americans to spend more time going to the movies.

Different movie-watching venues still have the same goals — even around 100 years later.

“We all have the same mission: to bring film to towns that we live in to give the experience of different world views, represent different kinds of people on our screen and you know, make sure that entertainment is also beneficial,” said Holly Crane, Bookhouse Cinema co-owner.

We caught up with Michele Hansford at “Bookhouse Cinema” in Joplin.

She tells us, when it comes to movies, it’s more about the experience.

“I enjoy movies, going to the theater to see them on the big screens. It was something, when I grew up in Indianapolis, we did almost weekly to go downtown to the big old theaters to watch the movies,” said Hansford.

“I think people are really excited. Not just for the discounted movie tickets, but just to participate in supporting their local art house theaters. We have dramas, comedies and westerns and classics. We do a lot of international films, as well,” said Crane.

Of course — the theater experience isn’t complete without popcorn and your favorite snacks.