Monday, March 12, 2012

Mix-Up Monday: The Movies (cinema, kino)

We went to the movies last night and it struck us as a good topic for a blog post.

Going to the movies is pretty similar in most cultures. Big, not so comfy seats, giant screen, junk food, and even the movies themselves, with a large percentage coming from Hollywood. 

Going to the movies in Germany is almost exactly like going to the movies in the USA. Tickets are ridiculously expensive, popcorn, nachos, and candy are available to munch on, and the screen is large with stadium seating. There are only two real differences between going to the movies in the USA and Germany: Beer and seating.


A typical American concession stand

Not too different but worth mentioning, beer and wine are sold at the concession stands at German movie theaters. This is definitely not something common (or even exists?!?) in the USA.


Going to the movies in Germany is very organized, just like most everything in German culture. When you buy a ticket for a movie you get assigned a seat. Yes, that is right, an assigned seat like you are going to a theater production.

We reserve our tickets online before going to the theater so we get to pick out our seats (just like on an airplane). The program which lets you pick even has rules about where you sit. For example, two tickets bought together must sit together and you cannot leave a single seat free. Last night we tried to book the seat one in from the aisle and the one next to it but the program would not allow it. Instead we had to start either at the aisle or two seats in from it. At some theaters, the price of the ticket changes depending on where you sit.

If you are buying your tickets at the theater you can also ask for certain seats if you would like. Otherwise, they just pick for you.

A German ticket with a row (Reihe) and seat number (Platz) given
This assigned seating is unheard of in the USA. You go, sit where you want, and part of the challenge of the movies is getting there in time to find seats together. If you run into friends at the theater you can switch where you are sitting and sit together. If you don't want to sit next to each other and it is not very crowded, you can leave an empty seat between you and the next person.
A typical American ticket. No seat given

She thinks assigned seating at the movies is a pretty smart idea, at least for nights when the theater is crowded. What she finds strange is that even when the theater is almost empty, people still sit exactly where they were assigned.Guess habits are hard to break.

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