Thursday, August 12, 2010

Movies in Hong Kong: A Love/Hate Relationship

I know I've waxed poetic on the the movie theatre experience here in Hong Kong and, while it's just lovely once you're inside the theatre, getting there can be F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G!

As some of you may know, I have a dirty little secret -- I'm a Twi-Hard.   The latest installment from the franchise (Eclipse) was released when we were in NYC.  Clearly, I wasn't going to prioritize Bella and Edward's love affair over seeing friends and family (although I did when New Moon came out at Christmas!) so decided to wait and see it when I got back to Hong Kong.

Information critical for this story: Hong Kong movie times are not the same throughout the entire time it's in the theatre. Whereas in the States a movie will have the same 7:20pm start time for the 5 weeks it's in the theatre, a movie in HK could play at 7pm on Thursday, 8:10 on Friday and 10pm on Saturday.  They don't post the times until 2-3 days before, either.

The Wednesday I'm back in HK, I decide to buy tickets for Eclipse on Friday night; however the website displays only showings for Wednesday.   Finding this odd since you can order Friday night tickets for other movies on the site, I decide to swing by the theatre on my way to lunch.  Here's the frustrating conversation that ensued:

Me: I'm trying to buy Eclipse tickets for Friday.
Movie Person: Eclipse may not be here on Friday.
Me: Oh, so today is the last day for Eclipse?
Movie Person: Maybe.  We don't know yet.
Me: I don't understand. How can you not know?
Movie Person: Ma'am, this movie has been out for a long time already.
Me: I understand that but what's going to happen between now and Friday that dictates whether the movie continues?
Movie Person: BLANK STARE
Me: OK, what about tomorrow?  Is it showing tomorrow?
Movie Person: Maybe.  We don't know yet.
Me: So you're telling me that the 3:30pm showing of Eclipse today may be the last time Eclipse is shown in your theatre?  But, there's a possibility you will change your mind and decide to play it tomorrow or Friday?
Movie Person: Yes, that is correct.
Me:  That is ridiculous, but give me a ticket to today's show.

Later that night I go online and, wouldn't you know it - Eclipse tickets are available for an 11am showing on Thursday morning!  Only in China would a business put tickets on sale for show less than 12 hours before it's airing -- for an 11am Thursday showing, no less!  Where is the logic??  Someone please tell me!

In other, less-frustrating, more-hysterical movie viewing news, check out the sign that they posted regarding the movie Inception:

They charged us more money because Inception is a "long" movie.

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