Going to the Movies

It’s funny, but when you don’t speak the language, everything becomes a bit of an adventure. Tonight I decided to venture out to the movies – something I wouldn’t have thought twice about back in the States. I walked over to Cinemark 10 Palermo to catch The Dark Knight, also known here as Batman: El Caballero de la Noche. Being my first time at the movies here, I checked out the show times on their web site and realized that they have two versions of the movie being shown – one in castellano and one in English with subtitles. Obviously, I opted for the second one.

The theater was no different than any multiplex that you would find in the U.S. Once inside though, there were a few differences:

  • Tickets were AR $15 each (U.S. $5) and seating was not general admission. When you purchased your tickets, you also selected reserved seats for your showtime. Luckily, the cashier helped explain this by showing me a map of available seats on his screen and letting me point to the ones I wanted.  When you go into the theater, an usher is there to help you find your seats.
  • The concession stand had a number of different items than you would find in the U.S., but the old standby of popcorn and a soda was available. I opted for Combo 1 – a large soda and popcorn for AR $13. The cashier asked if I wanted salted or sweet popcorn, and butter was not an option. Salted it was and probably a bit healthier than the buttered option back home. Next time, I’m going to go for the sweet popcorn.
  • There were no ads on the screen before the movie and no trailers. The movie had an 8pm start time, but didn’t actually start until 8:10pm. Good to know if I’m ever running late for a show.
  • Finally, as you’re watching the movie in English, you have Spanish subtitles across the bottom of the screen. It doesn’t take too long to forget that they’re there though. The interesting thing is that the movie had some Chinese in it with subtitles that would be in English in the U.S., but were only in Spanish here. This was just one scene, so not much was lost.

While this may not be all that interesting, I had actually wondered about whether movies were in English or dubbed in Spanish before I came down. So, now I have the answer. Believe it or not, in the two weeks I’ve been here, being at the movies was the closest thing to being back at home that I have experienced so far – probably because no one was speaking.