Pay Per Minute

A small group of us went to see The Aviator at our local cinema Tuesday night. Ordinarily, the shows start at 7pm and 10pm, though there are the occasional deviations. The Aviator was showing at 8:15, I figured this must be because it was a long film, not knowing the run time, and I was right. When we got to the ticket booth to buy our tickets, we were a little surprised that instead of the usual €8.50 a ticket, they had charged us €10 a piece. When we inquired as to whether the price had gone up, we were a little taken aback when we were told simply that: ‘it’s a long movie.’ Yes, folks, they charge more if it’s a long film. How weird is that?

This isn’t the only odd thing we’ve noticed on our trips to the cinema though. For starters, they take their snacks pretty seriously over here. You don’t have cup holders, instead there is a shelf that runs along the back of the seats in front where you can put your popcorn, drinks, etc. Then there’s what you can take in. Yes, you have the normal choices of coke, popcorn and various sweets, but you can also get a bottle of beer, a glass of wine (with a small bottle of wine) and hot tea or coffee in proper glass or china cups. They take them so seriously in fact that you have a 15-minute intermission, no matter how long the movie, so you can stock up on some more. During The Aviator, for whatever reason, it happened about an hour and a quarter in, so not exactly in the middle (bearing in mind that the film wasn’t due to finish until 11:30). Every time we’ve been, without fail, even if the actor’s mid sentence, a black screen appears, it all goes quiet and the word Pauze flies at you. The lights go up and that’s it for 15 minutes, when the lights drop and we resume exactly where we were. It’s rather strange, though not entirely unpleasant.

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