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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cinemas in Ximending

Just want to tell you about all the cinemas in Ximending where I live.  There are loads.  I have 6 cinemas near by my home.  What this means is, if there is a movie you want to watch, and it does not match your time then you can just walk around in a 5 to 10 minute radius and find one that suits your needs.  


Ambassador(Big Cinema behind my apartment)


First of all I want to tell you about the cinema with the huge screen around the back of our apartment.  I don't remember its name because I have only been there once to see R.E.D.  This cinemas main screen is huge. It really is the biggest cinema screen I think I have seen.  Even bigger than the IMAX in the Metrocentre.  The sound inside is awesome too.  It really is the best cinema I have been to here for the sound and picture quality.  A lot of people here seem to like the Viewshow Cinemas but I think they are just average compared to this bad boy! 


The other ones however are really small I have been told so if you go to this one, you really have to make sure the movie you want to watch is on the main screen otherwise I would not go there at all.  




Ambasador Cinema


Showtime Cinema (on Emei street, Xiemen)


Then there is Showtime Cinemas just directly down the the road from us, this one is not so good either.  We only go to this one when they have a movie that fits our times or when it is not available to watch anywhere else.  The sound of the cinema is fine, but the soundproof walls are terrible, when there are big explosions or loud scenes from other movies you could them in your movie theater, and you would hear the loud parts of other movies over the movie you were trying to watch.  


The last time I went there was to watch Shaolin it was totally chaotic waiting to get inside to watch the movie, the way they made people line up for all different movies pretty much in the same line was terrible.  It just ended up that people were pushing in front of other people, and you really didn't know who was queing for what movie.  It really is not a good experience there, and it is one of my very last choices for choosing between cinemas here in Ximen.






In 89 Cinema (cinema street, Xiemen)


This is my favourite cinema here in Taipei.  It is just small and cosy, and the only time I will not choose to go to this cinema is if the Nan Shan Cinema has the movie on their big screen.  Otherwise it is 89 all the way.  The reason for this is there seats are really comfortable.  Not only that but I think there the right height so you can manage to see over peoples heads too, I don't remember any time I have been there when I have had someone sitting in the way in front of me.  


The sound and picture quality inside their cinema is awesome too.  Much better than you would expect for something that looks like such a small cinema compared to the others.  I have been here loads of times with Jen and the quality all round is excellent.  


For some reason this cinema is closed right now, and I don't know the reason because I can't read the Chinese, but I really hope they have not closed down because I love it inside, it has the feel of an independent cinema, and feels really arty inside, but it shows all the mainstream movies.






Viewshow Cinema (cinema street, xiemen)


Viewshow Cinema is probably my 3rd choice cinema to go to here in Xiemen.  They have a lot of choice when it comes to which movie you would like to watch, and they cinemas have good quality pictures and sound.  They also have an IMAX inside but I have not been to it yet because there has been no movie that I have wanted to watch in IMAX since I moved to Taiwan.


Their seats are comfortable and there is enough space between you and everyone else in the cinema.  It just feels a bit soulless inside and compared to In 89 doesn't feel like your somewhere retro and cool.  I would say they are very similar 89 and viewshow, but I like the feeling of sitting inside a cinema that feels like its independent and not that commercial even if I know it really is.


There is not really much I can say about Viewshow Cinemas here in Ximen other than, they do what they say on the tin, and they do it well.


(no pictures for this yet either)


First Cinema on Cinema Street(I don't remember the name (Cinema Street, Xiemen)


This cinema is terrible, I really don't like it at all, I remember I have been there a few times with Jen.  I don't why I don't like this one, it just doesn't feel good inside, the cinema screens are really small.  Even compared to the others near by.


However I have not been to this cinema much.  The reason I have not been much is because I didn't like it in the first place so there is really no point to go back to somewhere you don't like. 


(no pictures yet)


Cinema 7 Cinema (near Xiemen MRT station)


I have not used this cinema very much basically because I like the others more than this one.  I have been to this one, only one or two times and for a start you have to cram into a lift like a pack of sardines to get to your movie.  


It is really small inside, and I don't like the layout and everything of the cinema.  Like I say though I have only been about 2 times so can't really make that great a judgement on it.  Just remember the few times I have been there the experience of watching movies there has not been great kind of like the ambassador.


Cinema 7


Nan Shan Cinema (not in Xiemen, it's close to Taipei 101 but deserves a special mention for being awesome.)


The second round cinema is a truly awesome thing here in Taipei.  When the movies stop being played at the normal cinemas, then they go to the cinemas called 'second round cinema'.  


The truly awesome thing about the second round cinema is this; they are cheaper, you can watch every movie in the cinema, you can go out for your lunch and come back, you can bring your lunch back with you and eat it in the cinema if you like, the movies are not so old you don't want to watch them most of them have been on in one of the other cinemas just weeks before.


The cost to go to the second round cinema is 140 NT dollars which is the eqiuvelent of £2.80 roughly, and they have 6 movies, with 2 movies normally changing every Friday.  I go there a lot, I totally love it.


The cinema its self is a really old cinema, which obviously was not being used anymore.  So you feel like you could be sitting in the 50's or the 60's watching movies.  There is not much room for your legs but thats does not matter for the cost you pay to get in there.


They have a different batch of movies, some of them are big Hollywood blockbusters others are small independent movies.  So it is best to check what movies they have on before you trek down there but it truly is worth it.  For the price of the ticket and all the movies you can watch.  I have spent many Sundays just sat there watching movie after movie and it really is tiring work.


I highly recommend anyone to go to this Cinema, and if you do go to the same one I do next to Taipei 101 I would highly recommend to also get there sweet popcorn because it is the best I have had in any cinema here in Taiwan.






Second Round Cinema
Independent Movie Cinemas


There are a lot of independent cinemas around, but I have not been to any of these yet, maybe I should check them out sometime.  I know there are at least 3 that I have seen.  One down the alley where the famous Turkish kebab man sells his kebabs, one in the department store where the 80 pence Japanese shop is, and one above a bakery, they always advertise smaller independent movies, that sometimes I look and might be interested in.


The problem is a lot of them are foreign movies, so it would be ok at Newcastle's Tyneside Cinema because they would have English Subtitles.  Out here in Taipei however, they only have Chinese subtitles which really means I cannot watch them then.  I am sure some of the movies are awesome though. 


So all, in all there is no way I can miss a movie here if I want to watch one at the cinema.  Even if I don't get to see it first time round, there is always the chance I can catch it in one of the many second cinemas dotted about in Taipei, and for someone like me who loves going to the cinema that is great.


It really is amazing how many cinemas are in such close proximity to each other.  Another thing that amazes me is they are always busy.  Taiwanese people just love going to to the cinema.  On top of that it must work out as a quite expensive day out for some of them because it is quite expensive to go to the cinema in comparison to peoples average wages here.


Anyway it is good for me, means I will never miss out on any good movies that come out.  If I do miss them I have no excuse.