Modern Day Pilgrims

Friday, June 17, 2011

VIP's for a Night

Chris and I have gone to the movie theater three times in Bahrain now.  With a baby and a projector/movie screen at home, it just hasn't been practical.  But we wanted a date night and there are a few movies out right now that we've been wanting to see.   I'm pretty sure I shared our first movie theater experience on this blog, but this last one topped it all.  Last night, Chris and I went to the huge, newest mall here called City Centre (yes, I spelled Centre right) with the plans to see Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D.  In Bahrain, at the time you buy your movie tickets, they have you choose your seats as if you were going to see a play or opera, so you can't just walk into a theater and choose your seats like in the U.S.  From the touch screen they showed us, Pirates was pretty well filled up and the only seats available were the first three rows.  That was right up Chris's alley since he likes sitting up close, but I'd rather not crane my neck for 2 hours to watch a movie...especially one in 3D, so we ended up seeing The Green Lantern that started around the same time.

The description next to the movie title stated it was showing in the VIP room.  Chris and I had no idea what that meant, but the computer screen with our seat options showed much fewer seats for The Green Lantern than for Pirates.  When he told us the price ($27 per person!), we gasped and weren't sure if that was the normal price for seeing a movie (things are exceedingly expensive here) and thought that this had better be amazing. (May I also point out that when he told us how much we owed, I was really glad we opted to eat dinner at home rather than at a restaurant!)  I also wondered if we were paying more than a normal movie ticket price because it was a VIP room and that maybe we'd be watching the movie with fewer people in a smaller room.

Well I was wrong, at least on the smaller room part.  We walked up to the VIP area, and the first thing I noticed was that it was completely roped off so that non VIP's couldn't access it, and the VIP area had it's own concession stand and bathroom.  Who am I?  A famous Hollywood actress?  That's sort of how I felt!  We gave the guy our tickets and walked into the theater and were blown away.  Talk about the decadence of the Middle East.  Perhaps there are theaters in the states that have the same thing but I have never heard of or seen them.  The room was every bit as large as a normal theater but was filled with those crazy expensive but amazing movie chairs that recline, have their own cup holder, and are delightfully squishy and comfy.  The chairs all had a good foot between them on the sides and at least two feet on the front and back, so everyone had plenty of room.  This wasn't so great for a cuddly date night but it was still luxurious!  We just couldn't believe it.  We both reclined, felt like millionaires, and ate our popcorn in total movie bliss knowing that we would never, ever do that again.

Oh, the vanity of Arabs.