Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a very British view of life in a small village in Alicante province, my experience of Spain, of Spaniards and sometimes of the other Britons who live nearby. The tabs beneath the header photo link to other blogs written whilst I was living in other parts of Spain, to my articles written for the now defunct TIM magazine and to my most recent photo albums.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fiesta del cine

I like going to the flicks. I know it's dead old fashioned. I know I should be streaming Netflix from the mobile phone to the telly screen or watching a film on my tablet or something but I quite approve of a four metre head shot and the thirty metre wide panning shot. The faces on my computer screen might get to be 15 centimetres high which isn't quite so impressive. It's good to get off the couch once in a while too.

I think there is a tradition of cinema going amongst Spaniards - it is often grandly referred to as the Seventh Art, but like most places cinema attendances here have been dwindling for years. 

The main reason that Spaniards always give for not going to the pictures is the price. It didn't help when the conservative government moved theatre tickets, and other arty products, on to a higher VAT tariff.

In Madrid, if you go to the wrong cinema at the wrong time, you might pay as much as 9.30€ for a ticket but, even in the capital, it's easy to find a show for 6€. With the Brexit decreased value of the pound making that seem more expensive we're talking less than £8.50 for a couple of hours of entertainment. Back here in Alicante we sometimes go to the outrageously expensive ABC in Elche where, I think, it's 8.10€ but, more usually, we go to a cinema in Petrer where we pay 5.50€. If we go on Wednesday, Spectator's Day, it's even cheaper.

I suppose if you have a bus load of kids it can add up but, then again, if you have a bus load of kids going anywhere, except the park, costs a fortune. The overpriced popcorn and fizzy drinks don't help either. But, per se, I don't see how anyone can class the cinema as being overpriced.

I'm obviously wrong though. Today was the last day of this year's first Fiesta del Cine campaign. During the promotion the cinema entry price drops to just 2.90€ for the three quiet days of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I think this is the fourth such event since 2014. On Monday, the first day of the campaign, over 600,000 people turned out to watch a film. That's nearly five times as many people in the cinemas as against the equivalent Monday, the year before, when there was no promotion.

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