Wednesday, May 24, 2006

You gotta love Germany...

...if you are a smoker.

Last night I went to go see the Da Vinci Code. Blah...whatevers. Perhaps the movie was good. But my viewing experience wasn't and thus pretty much ruined it.

Movie start time was 8:15pm. So my friends and I decided to meet at 8:15...we didn't care if we would miss the commercials.

8:18pm: We enter the theater. It is completely full. We have to split up to find seats.

8:20pm: the commercials start.

8:55pm (I am not sh*tting you): the movie starts.

10:20pm: In the middle of a chase scene: Intermission. Um, no...I am not kidding. And you know what the Intermission is officially called in the cinema: “Raucherpause” - smoking break. Yes. So all smokers were able to leave the room to go smoke, while us non-smokers waited on them. On the ticket it said the Raucherpause was going to be 10 minutes...it wasn't.

10:40pm: Movie picks up where it stopped off: mid-car chase.

11:40pm: Movie over.

Those just weren't optimal viewing conditions. Wait for 40 minutes, building up anticipation. Slowly actually gather interest for the plot. Movie stops. Try to regain lost enthusiasm. Unsuccessful. Decide that it was a crappy movie, when perhaps under better circumstances I would have decided it was only half-crappy.

I don't mind waiting for people I know to smoke, but complete strangers? No ways. Man how enabling of German cinemas. I can't figure out if the economic power of smokers in Germany is so large that cinemas think they have to cater to them over non-smokers, or if this is just some throw-back to the 50s when movies had intermissions. But man, dragging out a 2:30 hour film into a 3:30 hour ordeal? Not necessary.

(Note: not all German films have intermissions. In fact intermissions are rare. It seems to be only films that are longer than 2 hours.)

Update: I just wanted to add here: on the ticket stub it actually says "smoking break". It doesn't say "intermission." I just object to that kind of wordage. I am getting my panties in a knot about that. And like many have pointed out, I probably would have been less annoyed, if I had been drinking some beer, because then I could have used the "Rauchpause" or "Raucherpause" to pee.

12 Comments:

Blogger Stacy Kaye said...

Wow that's so interesting! I North America it seems to be exactly the opposite...smoking is becoming almost obsolete in public venues. This is a fact for which I have to admit I am thankful...I can't stand cigarette smoke! It burns my throat! Sorry you had such a bad experience wtih the movie. I have to say though...I didn't think it was that great. The movies are never as good as the books.

12:31 AM  
Blogger AlliCadem said...

Cali, you should know better than that! They serve beer and wine -- you should have been drinking the entire time! The "smoke" break is a bathroom break! And the movie probably would have been better, too - if nothing else, you wouldn't have cared that there was a break in the action!

3:49 AM  
Blogger Day by Day said...

They are banning smoking all around Tennessee... do you think any chance for Germany... can't believe they have an intermission. :)

4:37 AM  
Blogger Household6 said...

Yep I'm with Alli -They serve BEER! Hmmmm beeerr.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Jon and Billie said...

I third the beer! Why can't the states adopt this tradition? Oh wait, then we'd have obnoxious teenagers accidentally spilling beer down our shirts....not cool. :)

9:37 AM  
Blogger HookersGirl said...

Hey, Iam sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience but Iam totally with you. I hate it too. Especially like you said " waiting for smokers" No offense, but Iam so tired of it. I think, they should the same thing in Germany like in Ireland for example. No smoking in public! I mean, c'mon, I remember a few years ago they even still had 'smoking cinemas" and those smokers didn't care if it was even a kids movie and the cinema was packed with children. The whole cinema was smokey and when you went home you thought you went to a pub.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Yep, I'm on the border of Germany and Belgium and they have breaks here as well. I hadn't thought that it was for smokers but to boost concession sales. It's so smokey in the lobby that you can't stand to breath the air.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Bluesman said...

Actually, the break is for women and men with a weak bladder. :-)
There is a difference to the 50s when you were allowed to smoke in movie theatres which did change in the 80s when it was banned.
It is pretty new to have intermissions in movies that are longer than two hours. It used to be enforced in movies with real overlength, like "Dancing With Wolves" or "Das Boot - Directors Cut".

3:17 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I read the book and consider the storyline only so-so in book form. This does not make me want to see the movie. Especially when all the critics are panning it like mad. (I would have thought the subject matter alone would have earned the movie a nearly free pass - since that's not the case - I figure it must be really bad!)

I can't imagine why they don't choose their break times better. It's not like they must stop the movie in a certain mandated place... right? Anyhow, I might go for wine at a movie - I'm not a beer drinker at all (much to my husband's dismay *grin*).

5:43 PM  
Blogger Cop the Truth said...

I remember going into a McDonald's in Giessen for the first time seeing that they served beer! Just what a young American needs...

5:30 AM  
Blogger coinside said...

So, albeit Dutch, there might be some truth to that, "Smoke and a pancake" thing?

I am assuming the German translation of "On the 7th day God rested" involves a smoke break.

10:45 AM  
Blogger MQ said...

Ugh, I would not do well there. I really hate smoke and I'm so glad that it's getting banned in public places in the U.S. (though I think it's totally wrong a legal level.) Now beer breaks I could support!!

7:07 AM  

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