Monday, June 18, 2007

Killer standees, locked bathrooms, and assigned seating

My husband and I went to see Ocean’s Thirteen last night. We went to a multiplex in a mall here in the city centre, and I think it has been almost five years since we saw a movie at this particular venue (the last one was the second Lord of the Rings, if that tells you anything). It has been a long time since we have been to a movie that wasn’t part of a film festival of some kind, in fact, the last movie we went to see, if I remember right, was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yea, we really get around. At any rate, it seems that it now costs eight euros to go see a movie here (fifty cents less if you are willing to sit in the back row). So if a high school or college kid wants to take his girl to a movie he will fork out a minimum of fifteen euros for the date, probably closer to thirty if you include refreshments other than bottled water. I don’t know how much it now costs to see a non-matinee movie in America, but I’m pretty sure it should be cheaper in Greece since the average wage here is no where near what it is in the U.S. Eight euros borders on making it completely unaffordable for the average person.

To add insult to injury, there is now apparently assigned seating in this particular multiplex, which my husband finds dignified and civilized, but I just find it annoying. There is nothing like paying for a seat which forces you to climb over twenty people already sitting down instead of being able to sit in another row. I’d like a side order of fascism with my overpriced Pepsi, please. Yea, yea, I’m overreacting. But it hardly seems necessary. I’ve been finding my own seat in movie theaters since I was a wee one. It isn’t that difficult, and I’ve never once borne witness to a scuffle.

Before we could even get into the theater we had to swim our way through a maze of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix standees. Yes, I realize it is a big movie, and I am really looking forward to it, but people are going to go see it whether or not there is a ten-foot wide standee blocking the way to the bathrooms, which were closed, by the way, because some idiot working on the Metro hit a water main with a drill. Yea, I should have discovered that before I drank a bottle of water and an eight ounce slushy. One wonders why my husband and I don’t go to movies that often.

The movie itself was thoroughly enjoyable, perhaps a bit better than the last one, although I’ve enjoyed all of the Ocean’s franchise, even the original one with good ol’ Frank as Danny Ocean. I regret that I never got to shake his hand. By the way, when did Brad Pitt start to look old? It terrifies me. It means I’m getting old, too. Anyway, if you’ve liked the other Ocean’s movies, especially the first one, I think you’ll like this one too. If you didn’t, well, I can’t help ya.

Will this be our last movie outing for awhile? Who knows. We’d like to see Zodiac, Sicko, and of course Harry Potter. But I don’t know if the first two will find their way to Thessaloniki cinemas, and we won’t get Order of the Phoenix until a month and a half after it has hit theaters in America. That is the lot of the movie-going public in Greece.


Cheryl said...

Hi Mel! I enjoy reading your blog. I came over from Kat's blog.
My family will be moving to Greece in a few weeks. I love reading your take on everything because a person definitlely needs a sense of humor to face the difference in culture and the way things are done.
I agree, going to the movies should be a no-brainer, can't wait to try the cinema in Thessaloniki!:) By the way, the prices here are about the same. It's been a while since I've been, but the last time I went I think an adult ticket was around $9.00 and then you can pay up to $10.00 for a tub of popcorn and 2 sodas, or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Ocean's 13 was $11 per ticket in NYC last night, and we gave up on getting snacks a long time ago. It's a ripoff all over the world for first run movies.

EllasDevil said...

Go to Village to see your movies, especially if they have seats available in Gold Class... that is the way to see movies. A nice big comfy chair and only 20€ per seat!

Totally worth it!

melusina said...

Hi Cheryl, and welcome! I am glad you enjoy the blog. Are you going to be living in or around Thessaloniki? We live in the center now, but will be moving to the boondocks outside Thessaloniki Sept/Oct. It will be interesting to see how life is outside the city, but I don't really mind city life - and Thessaloniki is a totally pleasurable city to live in.

Anon - $11? Geez. I definitely think it is cheaper to build a nice, state of the art mini-theater in your home and wait for movies to come out on DVD. Ridiculous.

EllasDevil, are you kidding??? 20 euros for a comfy chair?? I don't think so, no matter how comfy.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Movies are really expensive here as well...matinee is $7 - that is just nuts. Refreshments, you can forget that, I have figured out many a way to smuggle my own snacks - plus mine are much better anyway, so THERE!

Kiki T said...

Hi Mel,

Here in the city of Toronto Canada... the movie is Canadian $10 in a really really nice theatre. With the exchange rate that's 7 Euros to be exact. And our minimum wage is about 8 dollars an hour now. By the beginning of next year it will have reached 10 dollars expectedly.

Sorry things are so ridiculously expensive there. Good luck!!

Cheryl said...

Hi again! We will be living outside of Thessaloniki, hopefully. Previously, we have lived in the center of Kozani and near the center of Drama. We currently live in the city here. Although we love and enjoy what city centers have to offer, we are tired of the city and its noise, plus we need space for our kids to run. I am a little apprehensive because I am so used to city noises, I am not sure how I may react to creature noises in the boonies. :)

CaliforniaKat said...

We learned that concessions are the profit makers of a cineplex, which I suppose explains the outrageous prices. We bring our own stuff, if the snack police aren't checking our bag (yes, they do that in some places in NYC and CA).

Matinees used to be 2.50 in the Bay Area where I'm from, but I see they're up to 8.00 (6.40 euro), with regular tickets set at 11.00 (8.80 euro). Add $1 if it's an IMAX.

ED - are you treating us all to a movie? 20.00! Can't you buy a movie for that price and sit in your own comfy chair at home?