About the scent of buttered popcorn and red velvet armchairs

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When I was a child, I used to go with my parents to the movies. In the small town, where I grew up, the movie theater was rather minimalistic, with only one cinema hall and a very small counter for drinks and beverages. The owner of the movie theater was a likeable young fellow, who ran everything in the cinema. He sold tickets, sold beer and popcorn, he set up the movie projector and sound and he sold ice cream in the advertisement break before the movie started. In addition, he organized an outdoor cinema in the summer time, which was always sold out and where the whole audience played bingo to win prizes. I loved to go to the movies, since it was something special for me. Even though the movie theater was nothing exceptional, there was no broad variety of movies and most of the movies were displayed at least three weeks after their release date, I loved the excitement before, the dark cinema hall and the scent of popcorn. I liked to sit in those scruffy, large velvet armchairs, which were probably soaked with a mixture of lemonade, beer and old popcorn. I still remember, how I had to learn to tie my shoes to see Disney’s Lion King in the cinema and how I shared the thrill with Simba and his friends.


Movie theaters, especially the old ones, pour on the charms of a time where no streaming and no torrents existed. I’ve been to many different movie theaters in my life and the nostalgia affects me every time. When I moved from my home town in Middle Germany to the North, I started to visit movie theaters in Berlin more often. There are still a lot of old movie theaters in Berlin, which focus on independent movies today. Most of the time they lack in newer technology, so you won’t be able to watch a new action movie in 3D probably. However, there’s no need to compensate, since the larger part of the audience happens to be there because of the romantic atmosphere and the good service. Movie theaters like the oldest German cinema Moviemento in Berlin Kreuzberg, which was established in 1907, emphasize international collaborations with independent film directors all over the globe and thereby support the multifacetedness of the movie scene. The arthouse scene is vibrant in Berlin and movie theaters of the 1920’s and 1980’s, such as the Babylon and Sputnik Kino, promote movies about various cultural, political and avant-garde topics.

Zentralbild Mihatsch So-Ho 6.6.1958 Die Kraniche ziehen. Der in Cannes mit der Goldenen Palme ausgezeichtnete sowjetische Film erlebte am 6.6.1958 im Berliner Filmtheater Babylon seine deutsche Erstaufführung. UBz: Vor Beginn der Premiere vor dem Babylon.

With the start of my studies in Northern Germany, I began to see the other side of the coin. I applied for a service job in the local movie theater, selling popcorn, selling tickets and cleaning the mess up of hundreds of visitors daily. The worst part of it was scrubbing the popcorn machine, which was completely covered in a sugar and fat blend. The movie theater belonged to a chain of German cinemas and most of the movies projected were produced for the masses. However, my colleagues and the local managers were kind and in the breaks between the movies we enjoyed our free time together. In addition, I had the option to watch some movies for free, together with a friend. Regardless of these opportunities, I went back to Berlin or Hamburg occasionally to watch independent movies.


Movie theaters are perfect for romantic dates, due to their nostalgic atmosphere. However, it is not the best location for a first date, since you will not be able to talk much. If there is a bond between both, watching movies in movie theaters is certainly more romantic, than watching Netflix together. The right choice of cinema and movies play an essential role for the outcome of the date. Cinemas should not be too overcrowded, for this reason I believe you should watch the premiere of the new Star Wars movie with your best friends instead of your date. Horror movies and crime are, if you like it or not, more recommendable for dates than romantic movies or comedies. Nerve-racking moments will enhance the chances of holding hands and snuggling.

Julia Weyrauch

Julia Weyrauch

Exchange View at Insider
I’m an exchange student from Germany, who will keep you informed about the experiences of the international exchange students in Finland. I’m also a little ray of pitch black darkness.
Julia Weyrauch

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