Tonight I went to see the Muppet movie. Being an icon of my childhood, how could I resist. It was just as wonderful as I had hoped and had a stupid grin on my face for most of the movie.

It is the second movie I have seen in the theater since I have been here but was far superior in both movie quality and experience quality. Because it was held in one of the fancier screens at the theater, I had the option of a normal seat (most of the auditorium) or a recliner. I opted for recliner – really was there another choice. There were only about 3 rows of recliners at the back. I got to watch the movie from the comfort of lying down with my feet up – I could even have gotten a blanket if I had thought about it. It took me a bit to figure out how to work it (silly electronic chair) but was amazingly comfortable the whole movie.

Other differences:

They play the national anthem before every movie. They request – and everyone does – that you stand while they show a film of people singing it and many people sing along.

Food service. Not only were there a variety of different food options, at least in the fancy section there were waiters. You could have your food delivered if it was being made, or you could place an order from your seat.

Intermission. All movies have them. About half way through the movie they just stop it. Often the stop isn’t even well timed – in the middle of the scene or something. There is a 10-15 min break. They play commercials, people get up to use the bathroom or get food. The waiters come through to take orders. And then they finish the movie.

I haven’t experienced it too much, but movie watching culture is different here too. There was no announcement to turn off your cellphones. Multiple people were texting throughout the movie – the light of which i found distracting. And apparently talking is pretty common though I’ve been lucky.

It is funny how something that is as simple as sitting in front of a screen can be different.