One of the things I always love to do when travelling to different countries is go to the local cinema. I went and watched DeadPool today at the cinema in Cines Plaza Siglo Nuevo in León, which was a wonderful escape from the heat and an absolute bargain at 85 Cordobas (~AUD$4.50).
Gotta admit, it was a pretty normal affair today, not too different to going to the cinema in Australia really – just a hell of a lot cheaper!
Probably the most interesting experience I ever had was in Quetzaltenango in Guatemala 16 years ago (watching “Gladiator” for about the 20th time) where there were just tiered concrete benches to sit on. Everyone walked in about 15 minutes late, laden with junk food from the supermarket that was right beside the cinema. There was an intermission about half way through, which seemed to be the signal for everyone to head back to the supermarket to re-stock their supplies of junk food. Half the audience didn’t even stay to the end, deciding to exit (with remaining junk food) about 10 minutes before the end of the film. It was almost as if the movie was simply an excuse to eat junk food.
Then there was the really seedy cinema in Ecuador (no, it was not THAT kind of movie!) … And the cinema in Egypt where people with trays of junk food would wander the aisles while the movie was running trying to convince you that you needed more supplies…
The thing that has always fascinated me (in Latin America at least) is that the movies are all shown in original language (ie mostly English) with Spanish subtitles. Exceptions are made for kids movies, which are actually shown in both original language and dubbed. It has to be really annoying to have to read subtitles for pretty much every single movie you go and see!
And some things just really don’t translate. An outstanding example of this that I remember was watching “Chicken Run” in Chile. There is a gag in the movie that is a big play on accents (actually it was the funniest scene in the whole movie) and I was killing myself laughing. But I was alone … and everyone in the cinema was looking at me wondering what the hell I was laughing at.