On a whim last week, I googled “movie theater in Arusha,” having heard there might be a place to see semi-new movies. First of all, I was surprised that my search even turned up a website, but I was completely amazed to see Skyfall listed on the showtimes for this weekend. And when I say ‘amazed,’ I mean there was such high-pitched squealing that the dogs started barking. I thought Tanzania was at least 3-4 months behind in the film realm, and to see otherwise was a gift STRAIGHT from Heaven. I’m being completely serious. This girl loves her movies.
Naturally, about nine of us Westerners planned a roadtrip to Arusha on Saturday to see the film. As I thought about it, I honestly wouldn’t have cared if we were seeing Piranha 3DD (the other, more dreadful option at the theater), I was so curious what our experience would be like.
We got to the theater a little early before the movie for a quick lunch. The courtyard of the cinemas has about 6 different restaurants and as soon as we picked a table, a waiter from each restaurant pushed menus in our face, trying to make sure theirs was on top of the stack. Then they hovered around as we read, pointing their finger at menu items and telling us what we wanted to eat, in their opinions. It was a little crazy, but I’m getting used to a little craziness when it comes to this country.
We ate and got our tickets – 8000 Tanzanian Shillings each – about $5.50. That’s expensive for locals, seeing as some people pay 30,000 TSH a month for rent. But for us, that’s a bargain, and we were happy to pay it.
Before we got to the theater, we were joking about how the theater could just be a big screen tv and wooden chairs. Or a tv with a couple couches – we really didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately for us, we found a much better place than we anticipated. The theater itself was small of course, but still the room had 5 rows of 10 regular theater-type seats. The screen wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t tiny either, and the room had good sound to it. As the movie started, I whispered to Vicki, “Is this still Africa?!?” It felt so different from anyplace else here.
|My proof that we saw the movie! Opening credits.|