At the Movie Theatre…Behold, the “Couple Seat”

Posted in Personal Anecdotes at 11:29 am by Benjamin Ross

After three years in China, one experience I had yet to have was seeing a movie in the theatre. Part of the reason was that movies are still out of the price range for most Chinese. Thus, going to see a movie doesn’t serve the same social functions (i.e. default date, something to do on a rainy day) as it does in the US. Instead, Chinese people watch most of their movies from pirated DVDs or download them from the Internet.

So for a little change of pace, Melody and I decided to have a night out at the movies. The theatre was located downtown and there were only 3 movies showing, a Chinese action flick, a Korean scary movie, and “The Devil Wears Pradda.” The latter two were both voiced over into Chinese. We opted for the Korean movie.

The movie, called “Han River Monster” turned out cheesy, but entertaining. It was like a Korean version of “Snakes on a Plane,” except instead of a snake there was a giant man-eating aquatic monster with a prehensile tail.

chinese movie theatre theater cinema
the row of “couple seats,” logically placed in the very back of the theatre

The movie experience itself was remarkably similar to that in the United States, but with people smoking in the theatre. One aspect I did find particularly interesting was the availability of the “couple seat,” a special double-size seat designed for two people to sit together and snuggle. The price of the seat was 60 RMB, 10 RMB more than the price of two regular tickets. Of course, Mel and I had to try it out.

The couple seats are located in the back row of the theatre, and each seat has a barrier separating it from the adjacent seat, so that the people sitting next to you cannot see what you and your partner are doing. This presumably opens up a whole new world for junior high students looking to get away from the watchful eyes of Chinese parents. I tried several times to coax Melody into making out during the movie, but with no success. I was however able to get an arm around here during several of the scary scenes. I guess I’m just not as smooth as the guy sitting next to us who I think made it to second base.


  1. 阿fo China said,

    April 23, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    i like your words.
    i’m also living in fuzhou,but just for half year
    it’s enjoyable to read your feelings,and i want to know more about fuzhou,America,culture differencesand the like here.
    thank you for your interesting portray

  2. James China said,

    April 24, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    I’m not sure what’s more disgusting, the fact that you can smoke in theaters, or you comparing The Host to Snakes on a Plane.

  3. Allie United States said,

    April 26, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Somehow this strange girl (me) who is from New York now living in Kansas read this blog! I found your words funny but the idea of snuggling seats is nice, but why have do that, people in the US have been making out and snuggling without the seats like that LOL.
    By the way, why would you watch the guy in the other seat get to 2nd base? LOL == why is ur gf a prude? LOL just kidding!


  4. Jeremy China said,

    May 5, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    hi,ben,i noticed that u used the spellin ‘theatre’ in stead of ‘theater’,which really confused me. dont americans use the spellin ‘theater’?

  5. Benjamin Ross China said,

    May 5, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Yeah Jeremy you’re right the proper…oops.. I mean American spelling should be “theater.” Seems like my American arse has been in China too bloody long.

  6. Jeremy China said,

    May 8, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    lol,thats fun. sounds like a brit, huh, arse for ass, bloody for damned.

  7. Anonymous China said,

    May 31, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Do they smoke in all cinemas??

Leave a Comment

/* line below was changed, used to be wp-comments-post.php */