Steve and I went to see Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince on Friday night here in Bodo. It was a much different movie-going experience than we’ve had in the past. The movie started at 9:15pm, but it looked like it was going to rain outside, so we headed to the movie/mall area a bit early. We arrived at the mall around 8:00pm (on a friday night) and everything was close. Well, everything except Burger King, ah the joys of America. So we sat on a bench in the mall & waiting until about 8:45/8:50ish to head into the theater. During that time, we watched kids skateboard in the middle of the mall area. They were quite the little dare devils, so it was definitely an amusing 45 min.
The theater had this tiny little area where you could buy snacks. They had all different types of candy, kind of like a gas station would have, but no “big boxes” like was see in American theaters. They also had soda… but no ice. By now, this should not surprise me, but for some reason it still does 😉 They don’t use ice in any of their drinks in Europe (generally speaking), but fountain soda, for some reason I thought would be different!
We also had to get our own popcorn ~ which was in this big storage thingy that looked like a cooler in a grocery store. The popcorn was room temperature; not quite the same as the freshly popped, doused in butter US version. But it wasn’t half bad. In fact, the temperature made it easy to eat more slowly. It kind of tasted like the popcorn you can buy in the grocery store in plastic bags back home. Anyway, so the idea is, you pick up all of your own food, and then stand in line to pay for it. But the actual physical make up of the room makes this difficult. You have to push through the people in line to get to the food & then try to find out where the line IS in order to pay.
This was by far the most interesting aspect of the movie theater experience. I call the room an auditorium because that is what it felt like! It was as if we were going to see a live musical or play. There was a stage & everything. There were only 15 rows in the whole place, but each row probably had 20-30 seats across. NO MIDDLE AISLE. What that meant, is that EVERYONE who wanted to get into row 9 had to climb over our laps to get there… We had learned ahead of time that we had ASSIGNED seats. We were in row 9, seats 4 & 5 which were, suprisingly great seats!
We didn’t have cupholders, but oddly enough, there were these “desks” the flipped out of the arm of the chair, just like in college classroom! We opted to just hold our food on our laps. I was certain that we’d have a bunch of people climb over us during the 2.5 hr movie to use the “toilet” but they didn’t. Seriously, not one person left in our row. Maybe 4 people left in total during the whole movie (as far as I could tell).
The movie was in English ~ thanks GOODNESS!~ and was subtitled in Norwegian. I wondered whether the people listened & understood the English, read the bottom of the screen to know what was happening, or a bit of both. In general, the movie experience felt much like it would have at home, aside from the subtitles. One thing I did notice was that the sound was MUCH MUCH MUCH quieter than in US movies. In fact, there were times when I actually could not hear what the characters were saying… good thing I’ve read the book 🙂
The movie was great ~ it was nice to do something “normal” or maybe I should say American for a change~ as much as I love it here, it’s nice to have pieces of home every once & awhile! I would definitely recommend that harry potter fans see this one. It was really entertaining~ all & all a very well done film.
Below is a picture of me pre-Harry Potter. Can you tell I was excited!?