By Kaylee Brewster
I’m talking about something as simple as going to the movie theater. Believe it or not, going to the movies in Glasgow is not the same as heading off to the theater in Lewiston, Idaho.
First of all, there is the name change. There is no “movie theater” here. The “theater” (or “theatre”) is where you go see Shakespeare. The “cinema” is where you go to see movies.
I don’t know how many cinemas there are in Glasgow but I always head to the Cineworld on Renfrew Street (which happens to be the tallest movie theater in the world). Instead of driving there like I would at home, I take the subway and then walk.
You buy your ticket at either the box office or a self-service ticket machine. The screen number (there are 18) and your seat number are printed on your ticket.
The best part is taking the escalators all the way up — you get one of the best views of the city.
The worst part is locating your seat. I like to know who I might be sitting next to before I sit down in a movie. But here, if you get a seat too close to a 4-year-old during a screening of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” too bad, you’re stuck there. It also means that if one person sits in the wrong seat it messes up the entire row, which is why I always have to quadruple check that I’m in the right seat.
Before you go into the room where your movie is playing, you can choose to buy some snacks, which includes the usual M&Ms, sour patch kids, popcorn (sweet or salty), ice blasts, nachos and hot dogs. They also have Baskin Robbins, so you can get your ice cream fix, along with a large Winco-style bulk candy section. Among the treats are some UK favorites, such as Jelly Babies (fruity gummies) and Buttons (melt in your mouth chocolate). The movie theater also has a Starbucks inside and a VIP Cinema Bar and Lounge.
Once inside your selected screening room, you wait for the film to start. Now, people in the U.S. who complain about trailers taking too long, you have no right to complain any more. Ads and trailers before films in the U.K. run for 25 minutes. I know because I’ve timed it on numerous occasions. If your movie starts at 1:30, the actual movie doesn’t start until 1:55. So you have to add an extra 25 minutes to every film you go to. Sometimes it’s good because it allows you more time to get to the theater, in case there are delays to your arrival, but most of the time, it’s tedious.
But in the end, the main thing is the film. The movies are the same no matter where you go and it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a theater in Idaho or Scotland.
Brewster is a graduate of Lewiston High School and Lewis-Clark State College who is earning her master’s degree in film and television studies at the University of Glasgow. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.