Bronco Abroad: Missing the movies

Bronco Abroad: Missing the movies

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Going to the movies with friends is a classic past-time, even when the movies are in a different language and the subtitles leave a lot to be desired. Somehow, Swedish students manage to justify spending a ridiculous amount of money every time they go to the cinema, leading to cringing disbelief on others’ parts.

Each ticket costs 120 kroner, or 20 dollars. There aren’t any cheaper options, like matinee tickets, either. Shelling out that much money every once and a while might be all right, but seeing a movie a month is definitely not in the cards.

Unfortunate, with how many good movies have been released recently. In the past half year, I have gone to two movies: James Bond, and the midnight release of The Hobbit. My normal movie dosage is about one theater trip a month, occasionally more if good films come out immediately after one another.

Debating the relative merits of Django Unchained and Les Miserables took a good thirty minutes yesterday, before a friend finally resolved it by declaring she had already seen Les Mis and didn’t want to pay for a repeat. So next week I will finally see the movie my younger sister has been taunting me about since Christmas.

Disparate release dates is another matter. Somewhat expected, yes, but not to the degree of two or three weeks between American and Swedish release dates. It doesn’t help that these disparities seldom work out in Europe’s favor, though The Hobbit was a notable exception. The two days of teasing I got in at her were completely worth the extra money for a Swedish movie ticket.

The near month of retaliatory taunts regarding the new Tarantino flick are completely out of proportion though.

Another thing that took getting used to was the concept of assigned seating in the movies. There are American theaters that do that too of course, but my first encounter with it was going to see James Bond with some new friends and ending up on different ends of the theater. Sitting with friends always makes the movie more enjoyable, especially since one of those friends was the one with the popcorn.

On the flip side of cost and seating difficulties, there is the entertainment value of watching a movie in English where the character says some insulting diatribe which the subtitles translate as ‘Nej’. So much was lost in translation, it was truly tragic.

There is also the ease of smuggling in out-of-theater foodstuffs. Sure, stuffing sodas and candy into large handbags is doable in the States too, but the ticket collectors will let you skip on by plainly carrying a bag of take-out. This lack of food enforcement makes it easier to avoid paying through the nose on food as well as on tickets, but movie theater cheesy nachos are a vice which is very hard to kick. Equally hard to find substitutes which can be smuggled into a theater without getting cold in the frigid Swedish January.

A week remains to solve this problem, as Tarantino movies without cheesy nachos rank somewhere up there with hell freezing over. Either way, my pocket book will be feeling the movie pinch for a few days before I stop mourning the loss and move on to spend again.

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