Going to the Movies


There are minor differences in going to a French movie theater versus an American one. Although minor, they are different enough for me to share. So far we have seen two movies, Oblivion in Nice and Iron Man 3 in Paris. What we noticed right away are the following:

    1. French movie screens are much smaller. We had to sit closer when we normally like to sit in the back seats at an American theater.
    2. French popcorn comes in two flavors: salty and sweet. They don’t use GMO corn, and despite their love for butter, butter is not used.
    3. Previews are watched with the lights on.
    4. When the movie is over the lights are turned on instantly. It was quite abrupt.
    5. If you’re watching the last show, which is usually around ten at night the latest, and if the theater has a back door, you are to exit there and not out front. This happened to us in Nice.
    6. There are no trash bins in the hall for your trash when coming out of the theater. You have to take it out to the main area or most people leave their trash.
    7. The seats may not necessarily be stadium seating. In UGC Odeon in Paris, seats were slightly bell-curved and we were looking up at the screen even though we were seated in the middle-back seats.
    8. The spaces between row of seats are minimal. Even for a short person I had a hard time crossing my legs. This was never a problem in the states even with tight seating.
    9. There are no cup holders.
    10. Movie tickets are more expensive. The numerical face value is similar in price, but not the same price at all. 10.90 euros in Nice and 10.10 euros in Paris, which currently converts to 14.23 USD and 13.19 USD.


I have to say it was kind of exciting for us to try out the French movie theaters for the first time. And being avid movie-goers, we were definitely looking for differences. Now that we’re passed that, we’re just grateful that the movies we want to watch are available in English with French subtitles.



4 thoughts on “Going to the Movies

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write this! As a French teacher, I’m always looking for cultural differences to share with my students. I’ve noticed these differences (especially the popcorn) but never took the time to write them down.

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