I went to the movies. Big deal. Well, it was. I hadn’t been to a Swiss movie theater for a few years, mainly because it’s such a pain to buy a ticket. Most Swiss plan to attend movies at least a week in advance and buy their tickets accordingly. So if you’re a lazy American and just want to show up before the show, good luck getting a ticket. Anyhow, going to the movies again reminded me just how different the experience is in Switzerland.
I went to see The King’s Speech on Saturday, which was luckily in E/d/f. The key letter being “E”, which meant the film was in English with German and French subtitles. Most movies in Switzerland are shown in their original language since most Swiss people are very particular (i.e. snobby) about seeing a movie in its original format. The sentiment in multi-lingual Switzerland is that people who watch dubbed movies are not sophisticated.
Swiss movie theaters have assigned seats. Your ticket has a seat number and you better sit in it, or you’ll disturb the order. Enter a Swiss movie theater that is only half-full, and you’ll find its entire audience clumped together in the back half of the theater, since it would be wrong to sit in an empty seat that you weren’t assigned to.
Then there are the snacks. My husband and I went to see the 5:30 p.m. show, so popcorn was our dinner. I snacked hungrily during the beginning of the movie, the popcorn tasted great, but each bag crinkle and chew made me feel self-conscious; no one else was making a sound; they had all put their treats away for the intermission, when the movie suddenly stops mid-sentence, and when it is finally socially acceptable to eat popcorn or an ice cream bar.
Today at the office, my Swiss friend was telling me how his partner went to a movie last week and he was glad he didn’t go with because the people sitting behind his partner were chomping on candy throughout the whole movie. Really? I said,…that’s…uh, terrible.