Ah, the movie theatre - where everything but the actual movie is of utmost importance...
Despite film become more and more accessible through interwebz downloads and streaming, despite DVDs and blurays and tablets, going out to the cinema is an old tradition for friends, families, lovers and lonely cinephiles. However things are not so traditional in Egypt where going to certain cinemas usually has it's little quirks, unlike anywhere else in the world...
1 - You need to tip the usher who shows you to your seat number despite there being no seat numbers.
2 - We don't have a large enough attention span to go through a whole film as the director intended and we're also heavy smokers so there is an interval half way through. It usually comes at a cliff hanger.
3. Egypt's Ministry of Culture is under the impression that Egypt isn't the largest searcher of the word 'sex' on Google. As such, films are heavy censorship, so sexually explicit scenes and kisses are pretty much cut out leaving story lines up to interpretation. Swear words are also censored inconsistently, you might hear crap censored but fuck is just fine.
4 - Clapping occurs at the end of any movie for no apparent reason much like when your plane lands.
5 - Back seat hanky panky between sexually frustrated Egyptians is all too common in certain Egyptian cinemas. Where else are they going to do it?
6 - The score to every movie is the constant ringtone of everyone watching. No one wants to turn their phone off, and they usually answer too.
7 - For the more elite, where else in the world can you demand sushi and pizza whilst viewing the movie on recliners like in the VIP City Stars cinema?
8 - Parents bring their infants to go see action thrillers showing at 1:30AM.
9 - The only place where you have to actually pay for 3D glasses. You will promise yourself you will keep them and bring them to the next 3D film you go and watch but you never do, they eventually pile up in some drawer.
10 - Going to IMAX in Cairo becomes more of a social outing, you will see almost everyone you know which makes it embarrassing if you're on a date or even worse, by yourself.
11 - Despite the confectionery outlets boasting posters of hot dogs, nachos and cheese, slush puppies and a plethora of westernised goodies you will usually only find overcooked popcorn and KataKito chocolata.
Main image courtesy of Zawya.