23 August 2012

Let's all go to the Movies...

So, I wouldn't have expected movie-going to be much different here in South Africa, but sure enough, it is!  I've only been to my local theater, but it was much nicer than any movie theater I've been to in the United States.  The seats are more like a small couch, with extra-wide arm rests, deep cup holders, plenty of room between rows, stadium seating, and most curiously, assigned seats.  I wasn't sure about that at first, but the kiosk shows you all of the seats currently available and you pick exactly where you want to sit.  There are loveseats available for couples, as well as bean bag seats (?)...

Movies here usually start screening after they do in the US, sometimes by just a week, sometimes a month or more.  Once in a while, a movie might actually open here before it does in the US, but overall, the movie selection here today looks pretty much like it did in the US a month ago.

Here in the urban areas, the cost for a new movie is about $6.50 anytime you go, and concessions are much more reasonable than they are in the US.  A combo with an American-size Medium Popcorn, Medium Coke and M&Ms costs just $6 total.  You can also get coffees, cappuccinos, and even Slush Puppies.
Movies are rated here more like television is in the United States, usually with a numeric rating and extra letters to let parents know what kind of offensive material might be present in the film.  The recent Disney movie, Brave, was rated 10M-V, meaning children under 10 are allowed in, with a parent, and that the movie contains some violence.

The South African movie industry is growing at a good clip here; some major motion pictures from the US have been filmed here recently (Blood Diamond, Safe House and District 9), and Tsotsi, a South African film, won the Oscar for best foreign language movie in 2006.