Movie day in Berlin

Trip Start Jul 15, 2007
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Trip End Jul 16, 2008


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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

(Jim)

After our defeat by Berlin's weather, we went back to the hotel and regrouped.  Jim took the kids swimming while Amy worked out, then Amy took the kids to see Evan Almighty while Jim caught up on work online.

We are working on a theory that cultural differences are best understood through the movie theatre experience.  Here's what you get with your German flick:

1) A choice of front-of-house or back-of-house (the latter for one Euro more).

2) Assigned seats, even for a 3 p.m. matinee with four other people in the theatre.

3) A movie theatre the size of the Hindenburg's hangar, with reclining red plush seats, almost all empty.

4) Advertisements for deodorant featuring hip-wriggling ladies eager to get busy with a good-smelling guy; for Lucky Strike cigarettes; for that tasty German beverage innovation, Coke und Bier; and a semi-explicit public service bit about condoms.  Amy covered Jack's and Katharine's eyes during the condom ad, and Jack covered Alec's , but who covered Amy's?  All this before a PG-rated family movie.

5) After the previews, a ten minute break while a concession-stand employee went up and down the aisles, hawking Ben & Jerry's ice cream to the ten people in attendance. 

I had a mind-twisting moment of temporal-spatial disorientation as we walked out of the theatre.  Because of the vertical tiers of red seats, some part of my subconscious thought we were in the Regal Edgemont Theatre near our home back in Pennsylvania.  I semi-expected to walk out of the movie and find myself in the parking lot behind Genuardi's, right off West Chester Pike.

Instead we emerged to find ourselves in a massive indoor space near the Potsdamer Platz subway station in central Berlin, where we rode the long escalator into the cold Berlin rain.
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