Monday, 14 March 2011

Our royal friend the old movie theatres

Had another jolly weekend stuffed solidly with films. Thanks to Nanshan Theatre (湳山戲院) in Taipei, where offers 8 good films of great taste (the commercial Hollywood and some European) at a time at a low price (130 NTD, less than4 quid, and yes, 8 films), writing some comments about movies somehow became my weekly assignment.

So I did had a great time watching 5 on two weekends, I Am Love, Seasons of Witch, Paper Castle, The Next Three Days and one that I don't recall...Perhaps too much for 14 days. A weekend like this is truly satisfying.

Speaking of movie theatres, I personally prefer going to the theatre instead of downloading or watching online or DVDs from Blockbuster. I can't stand the lousy (and sometimes ridiculous) subtitle translation and I simply enjoy the atmosphere of sharing the emotional moment with some other. 

Yeah, Price is a thing. In Taiwan theatre like this sort is called 'Second Round', which means they're not as good as the chained theatres and play movies that are not the latest. It's the best choice for movie lovers or students who are unable to afford the pricey tickets (approximately equals to 2.5 McDonald meals). In this sense the sound effect might not be as good and the seats may be a bit shabby and without a place to put your cola and popcorn. Nonetheless, second round movie theatre remained quite popular in the past decades. Also, locations matter. Many situated around night markets or university campus. You can just spend the whole day in and out (yes you can go for a lunch nearby and get in for another movie later) with one ticket and a stamp on your left hand. Isn't it brilliant?

However theatres of this sort are closing down these days. The Big Century (大世紀), one of the memorable parts of my university life, was torn down years ago, for the builders' stupid expansion. I felt so nostalgia about it that I'd thought about placing some flowers on the site. I guess one of the reasons is  the whole economy development. People don't settle for 'acceptable', they want 'fine quality' if there's alternative. In other words, we'd rather pay more for better service or goods. It makes sense and it's probably a good thing. But the simple fact makes me wonder if Nanshan would be the last one stands, in Taipei. (So far there are 10 left in Taipei, and only 2 in downtown.)

Thanks to this lovely place, I find it utterly comfortable to go to the movies along and fully enjoy the afternoon hours of my own.

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