I love going to the movies. Before kids, Dan & I went all the time. It was one of my favorite leisure activities — we went for birthdays, anniversaries, with friends, or just because it was too hot to do anything else. Sometimes we’d even stay and see a second movie after the first one ended (and that way, no one has to compromise — you both can see your first choice). Ah, the good old days. There aren’t a lot of things I really feel like I’m missing out on since becoming a parent, but the ease with which we used to go see movies is one of those things that I know we’ve lost for a while.
Today, I went to the movies for the first time here in Austria — by myself. It’s an “OV” (original voices) theater, so whatever American movies they play there are in English, which is a nice thing to have found, and it’s really close to our apartment (bonus!). It was great, if different from what we’re used to at home. First, you have to choose your seat when you purchase your ticket — they have assigned seating in the theater. I didn’t have a preference, so I asked the ticket seller what her favorite was, and she chose a seat for me. She chose me a seat in the third row of the balcony, right on the aisle, which was excellent. Yep, in the BALCONY. There was a whole upstairs seating section — very cool. I guess partially because there is assigned seating, the theater itself was only opened up 7 minutes before the show started. There’s no real need to open the theater earlier, because no one has to stake out a spot. (It was a little weird just standing around in the lobby until the theater opened . . . and that was with only a dozen or so people attending this showing. I imagine it would be very crowded and awkward if the theater were nearly full, although maybe then they’d open it sooner?) Also, the theater wasn’t super air conditioned — they definitely have a/c, but it was still warm inside. It was cool here today, so I wonder if it would be better or worse on a really hot day (maybe they didn’t have it on very much because it was cool out, or maybe that’s as much as it turns on and it would have been like watching Harry Potter in an oven if it had been 90 outside today).
There’s a concession stand, with popcorn, soda, nachos and candy, but with a few important differences. First, no Cherry Coke (gasp, horror). Second, no ice (boo). Third, the cashier talks the customers out of the large size — talks them OUT of it. The guy behind me in line wanted to order a large popcorn for his family to share, and the concession vendor girl told him that the large size was too big even for three people, “It’s much too big”, she said, “you’d be much better off with a medium”. Then, he decided maybe he’d get two mediums for them all to share, and she talked him out of that. Bizarre. I’m guessing they don’t get bonuses for how many larges they sell.
But, it was great. I got a Coke and a popcorn (not a large of either) and got to watch Harry Potter in 3-D in English. It was a good time — I’ll definitely be going back.