The movie theatre experience

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The movie theatre experience in Japan is a mixed bag.

Ticket prices are outrageously high. We spent 1800 yen per ticket (That's about $17) to go see 13 Days last night.

Popcorn, my favorite movie treat, is disappointing. It's not freshly made and it tastes like its wrapping. But the concession stand sells ice cream and beer as a compensation. Most people bring their own snacks including burgers and fries.

Despite the high prices and bad popcorn, people flock to the movies. So if you are seeing a popular film, you'd better plan to get there early to stand in line. Seats fill up quickly. If you want a prime seat in the middle section of the theatre, you must pay a "reserved seat" premium, which brings the ticket price to 3000 yen per ticket.

The seats themselves are very comfortable, overstuffed chairs with drink holders. They are, along with the excellent sound systems, one of the better features of the theatres.

If you're late for the movie, it's OK. Movies are preceeded by ads and trailers. Last night's film had 20 minutes of trailers before the feature began. Except for the seating problem, there's no penalty for tardiness.

We don't see too many films here. We save movie-going for our overseas trips.

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I am a 17 year old and will be traveling to Japan in early July of 2003. I will be staying with a host family for about two weeks. I need some great ideas for gifts.

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  • Mark: I am a 17 year old and will be traveling read more