Movie Theaters in Germany: Two Thumbs Up

Oh Germany – you gave me yet another reason to love you tonight. After spending two hours and some change sitting in a movie theater, I can honestly give you the review of two thumbs way up.

I’ve mentioned a bit on this blog about how Germans are by nature, rule followers. For example, in German driving class, we learned about both the official and unofficial rules of driving in Germany. Official: there is a solid line when entering the Autobahn that you don’t cross over until it gets dotted. In the states, there are many impatient drivers who would ignore this rule (I, at times, being one of them!) but Germans just don’t! They don’t get road rage because it is a reportable offense – seriously, if you tailgate, honk or make not-so-nice hand gestures, they can and will write down your license and you can get into trouble. They don’t drive slow in the left lane on the Autobahn because it’s just rude to the folks who drive more the 100 MPH, and as soon as the speed limit changes, they slow down to the speed that is posted. It is beyond refreshing sometimes.

Rules – written and otherwise – are just not meant to be broken here. And I can happily add being respectful in a movie theater to that list. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie in a theater, but I know it hasn’t been since I have been in Germany, so it’s been at least 10 months. But I do remember the experience of going to a movie in the States and how it really wasn’t all that pleasant. People talking, people checking Facebook or other websites, people actually answering their phone in the movie theater (seriously – how does that even seem like a good idea?), and people bringing babies/toddlers to adult movies and not leaving when the child got fussy. It was getting to a point where John and I would only go at a time when the least amount of people would probably be in the theater so we could actually enjoy the movie!

However, I really, really wanted to see Catching Fire, the newest Hunger Games movie, and I hadn’t been to a theater here so it was time for a new experience. There is an international movie theater in the town next to mine, which is also where the base that I work at is located – so I honestly expected the movie to be nothing but military folks. It was a 5 p.m. showing, so I automatically geared myself up for the unpleasant talking, cell phone use, etc – but I was thankfully wrong on both counts!

The Corso Kino:

Reminds me of older theaters in the States - only two theaters and limited show times. But clean and first run films, so who minds?

Reminds me of older theaters in the States – only two theaters and limited show times. But clean and first run films, so who minds?

The first misconception was that it would be all Americans, since the film was in English – but I honestly only heard German being spoken (which makes sense – Germans are required to take English in school and speaking/watching English language programs are encouraged), and the second misconception was that people would be doing anything than watching the movie.

But the entire length of the movie – more than 2 hours – was spent in complete silence. No teenagers or adults “whispering” throughout the movie. No cell phone glow – just a theater full of people watching the movie. It was a wonderful and refreshing change.

Not just that either – in the typical German tradition, beer and wine was also offered, as well as soda – but you were served the bottle as not to produce a lot of waste with paper cups. Every row of seats had a bench to set your snacks and drinks on and every other row had a bench so if you were with someone, you could share a couch. (Which, by the way, also comes in handy for coats and purses!) And at the end of the movie – all the glass bottles went into the recycling bins!

The theater:

The rows - with lots of space and great tables to hold drinks and snacks!

The rows – with lots of space and great tables to hold drinks and snacks! Not the best picture – the lights were still out at the end of the movie!

The recycling bins:

Cutting down on as much waste as possible!

Cutting down on as much waste as possible!

It also didn’t hurt that as I walked out of the theater – happy that both Catching Fire and the experience were great – there was snow coming down and the town was lit up with Christmas lights. Overall, such a good night and once again – something to learn from different countries about how to do things. Being polite in movie theaters being at the top of the list! Two thumbs way up! 🙂

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