A couple of days ago I randomly asked Sam to check on what was playing at our local movie theatre here in Lappeenrnata. Every other time we have checked since we arrived in Lappeenrata the movie selection has been either Finnish, or something neither of us wanted to see. I expected this to happen again. However, when Sam checked he informed me that the new Hunger Games movie was playing in the little town Imatra (just twenty miles away). What an exciting surprise! I just thought, wow I am so out of touch with the 'movie world' back home that I didn't even know it was released. Usually we have to wait a couple of weeks before we get to see any of the new movies, if they even come to the smaller town theaters. Last year I was able to catch the premier of 'Meet the Millers' in Minnesota, and then three weeks later catch the premier again in Stockholm, they had a little bit different name of the movie you can read about it in an older post.
Going to the movies is a different experience here than back home, and if you do not follow the proper protocol you might not get a seat next to your sweetie or you might not even get a seat at all. This is because you book your tickets ahead of time and pick your seats. It is often something done days in advance. In Oskarshamn the theatre was so small and we would have to go to the theatre early in the day and pre-purchase our tickets and pick our seats off of a little chart and they would pencil in an X in all the seats that were pre-chosen. Last year in Stockholm all of the theaters had the same system but it was online, there you could even pay more for a seat with a little more foot-space and a great view. I personally thought paying $25-35 per ticket (depending on the movie) was already too much so I just always reserved seats in standard seating. Thankfully in Oskarshamn and Lappeenrata the tickets are only about $13-15.
Anyways, we tried pre-booking our tickets for the Mockingjay and there was no way to do it online, so Sam called the theatre and they reserved two tickets over the phone. She said we better get there early tonight to get seats. Once we arrived (30 minutes before the show) the whole (tiny) place was crowded. People were lined up outside of the theater doors with their popcorn and candy in hand. The theatre was so old and had clearly not seen a renovation - EVER, that it added to our amusement of the sardine feeling we felt as soon as we walked inside. At the register we were informed it was cash only and we also bought a nice big cold popcorn. I have asked many people here if they ever get warm popcorn and they can never give me a straight answer. They say it might be hot if it is fresh out of the machine (no really?) but for some reason they always have it pre-scooped and just sitting out for who knows how long. Whether it be at a sporting game or a movie I am about twenty for twenty on my popcorn being absolutely cold (well room temperature) when I get it. We still get the popcorn every time and are just used to it by now.
Now it was time for us to get in line/join the clumpy formation of people waiting to get into the theater. Once it was time, the doors opened and a man was collecting our 'tickets' at the door to the theatre. He was dropping them left and right and I couldn't help but laugh. Right before it was our tun to go in he was scurrying around the floor trying to pick them all up. We went in an were surprised of the size of the theatre and got two great center seats right in front of Ms.Giggles 1 & 2.
Every movie we have been to in Sweden (tiny theatre or HUGE) has had a theatre worker come in and in Swedish say something along the lines of, "We hope you enjoy the show, please no phones or talking." As soon as they say that they usually open the curtains (yes, drapes covering the screen) and the show starts. It is very dramatic and I laugh every time. They didn't do this at the Mockingjay here in Finland.
The movie was so well done. Which is what I expected of it. The story line is not as interesting to me as it used to be in the previous two movies/books, just because the first and second books were so much better than the third. I guess they were both building up to a revolution, so it is just what has to come next. Thankfully there were no children succesfully killing each other in this movie. I won't say any more on that, but we did really enjoy the movie and almost our WHOLE tub of popcorn.
After the movie I learned two things.
1. That The Mockingjay - Part 1 had not come out in the states yet! I was so shocked.
2. That I am pretty sure they re-use the cardboard popcorn tubs... as soon as the lights went on and people started shuffling out they were all dumping the remains of their popcorn tubs into a trash and stacking the tubs neatly, and according to size. Ewwwe. Guess I will not be getting a cold popcorn next time.