Tuesday, June 22, 2010

At the Movies

My moving watching experiences are definitely a little different here in Singapore.  At home in the U.S., I did not go to the movies very often.  I was protesting the cost for the comfort you get at the theater v. the amount to rent/buy and watch at home.  I don't really enjoy sharing my movies with a whole lot of other people, my Dad rubbed off in me that way ("Shhh!").  My favorite is to get the bargain, previously-viewed DVDs at Blockbuster (3 for $20 deals).  If I watch it twice, it's basically covered the cost.

In Singapore, I have yet to see evidence of a market for DVD rentals.  Also, my DVD player is from the U.S. to play my 200-odd DVDs from home.  In Singapore, the technology is programmed a little different so that cross-country DVDs are not compatible with certain players.  But there's also not a Blockbuster everywhere.  I've concluded this is due to two facts: 1) Pirated DVDs seem to abound in Asia if you know where to look, which is very cost effective and 2) I get the feeling everyone likes to spend time outside the house for free aircon, socialization, etc. 

That said, my movie habits have changed.....somewhat.  I still don't want to share my movies with a full theater and go to some great lengths to ensure this is maintained.  When I want to see a movie, I go through the following thought process:
1) There are two main cinema chains I visit.  Check #1 for movies starting before noon.
2) Do I like any of them?
3) Is it opening week? If not, less likely to be crowded.
4) What are they rated? (An R or NC17 equivalent will have less people, no kids, at the shows before noon.)
5) Okay, let's click on one and check it out.  I get to see the seating plan and see which seats are taken.
6) How full is the theater so far? Hopefully 25% or less. 
7) Go to cinema chain #2 and see what the comparable options are. 
8) Decide which movie and theater I want. 
9) Pick my seat (usually J2/H2 - one in from the far side aisle which means unlikely to have company nearby).
10) Check out for about S$10, which is maybe US$7-ish. 
11) Usually I do this all the morning of the show, so now it's time to shower, catch the bus, pick up my ticket at the window and find my reserved seat.

The concessions aren't so hot - no candy and I don't like popcorn.  That's okay though, I don't usually have munchies.  Most of the theaters I've been in are good - seats are permanently down so they aren't flipping up every time you stand. Very expedient to get to your show with the pre-pay online option.  More foreign language films available to me here.  Most of the U.S. movies are released here as well - some at the same time, some a month or two later. 

It's a good way to get me out of my pj's on Sat/Sun morning :).  I do enjoy going to the movies by myself here.

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