Yesterday we bought two tickets for a late evening cinema viewing at the (un)glamorously named ‘Coca-Cola Plaza’. After a long, yet satisfying day of sightseeing, a film seemed like a good option and we both wanted to see ‘Bombshell’.
As tourists, we had wandered through the delightful cobbled streets of Tallinn’s old town, seen the wonderfully preserved buildings and learnt about the history of this charming city, but for the evening, we decided to do as a local may do and go to the cinema.
Earlier in the day, we had carried out the necessary internet research to find out cinema locations and screening times in Tallinn and we had also gone for a stroll to locate the cinema so that we knew where to go that evening. Whilst there, we decided to double check that the film was definitely not dubbed, so I politely asked an employee in the foyer,
“Excuse me but do you speak English?”
“No,” he curtly replied.
I smiled at him and I felt an awkward pause as I realised that our short-lived conversation was already over. I had ignorantly made the assumption that he would speak English because every other local person I have talked to so far has spoken at least two languages. (Please note: I am shamefully aware of my lack of Estonian.)
After a few moments, he clearly felt the awkwardness too and pointed over to a colleague at the ticket booth. I approached her and, having established her language expertise, I tentatively asked,
“Is this film in English?”
She looked up at me with a raised eyebrow and a look of disdain:
“Of course,” she replied.
(She said nothing else.)
Was it that she saw me as a complete fool for not realising that in Estonia many films were shown in English?
Was it that she didn’t think the film ‘Bombshell’ was even worthy of translation?
Or was it that she thought I was a buffoon for thinking that a film might even be dubbed into Estonian?
Whatever she thought, I’m not sure; I think the meaning of her look was lost in translation.
All in all, our research led to a successful result: not only did we watch the film in English, but it proved to be a rather luxurious cinema experience (especially appreciated after our respective 25,000+ steps from sightseeing).
Much to the delight of my co-traveller (aka husband), the choice of food was rather more extensive than our local cinema’s offerings in the UK. On display in glass-fronted shelving were caramel or salty (‘soolane’ – I had to look that one up) flavoured popcorn, bacon or barbeque ‘curls’ and of course, the obligatory cinema nachos. There was a separate area housing a range of powdered toppings too. (Not sure how many additives were in these powders but they weren’t taken advantage of so it didn’t matter.)
For me, the plush seats were my favourite – top notch comfort into which you could sink. We also each had a personal swivel table on which to put our consumables, but the icing on the cake was … wait for it…a button to press to recline the chair – yes, a button! I don’t know if my cinema viewing is limited but I felt like a child with a new toy and I was adamant that I was going to watch the whole film in the recline position whether it was comfortable or not. Why? Because I could. If I had a button, then I was certainly going to use it!
It was absolute bliss…and the film was pretty good too!