After a year in Western Ireland, what a relief it was to finally go to a decent theater, populated with people interested in watching a film rather than tweens interested in discovering who can giggle the loudest.
County Mayo has its good sides, but the movie-going experience isn’t one of them. Hordes of kids storming into the theater 20 minutes late, poor sound and picture, high prices and, worst of all, the curious habit of the Irish to spring from their seats as soon as the credits begin to roll.
We went to see No Country For Old Men this week at UGC Ciné Cité — a gargantuan cinema with 16 screens on the outskirts of the city center. Great film and great theater. Wednesday is movie day, we were happy to discover, which meant a charge of just €5.30 per person. And, we got coupons which allow us to see another film within a month for €3.50. Sweet!
Although there was no queue at all when we went on Wednesday, this isn’t always the case. Our first 3 attempts to go the theater were foiled by unexpectedly long lines. (Fourth time a charm — we’re slow learners). The Spanish, it seems, are huge movie-goers, which is just another reason to love them. So if you plan on going to the movies on a weekend in Valencia, go at least 40 minutes early.
UGC Ciné Cité is one of just a few Valencian theaters in which you can see original version films (with Spanish subtitles). Also popular are Babel, which is fully original version, and its sister cinema, Albatros, which features a more eclectic selection.
Update: Albatros is now permanently closed!
And if you’re a movie fan, please check out Criticker, which is the movie recommendation website that Juergen and I have been running since 2004.