I worked on planning our trip to Austria and Germany for close to a year. I found award flights, picked out hotels, and even started to research some about the different Christmas Markets, which was the real reason for our trip.
I was so focused on the details that I let one minor, make that one major thing slip through the radar.
The worldwide premiere of Star Wars IX – The Rise of Skywalker would be happening right in the middle of our vacation. The last story in the Star Wars saga and I was going to miss it, or was I?
To give some perspective, I’ve grown up watching Star Wars. I saw the first movie in the theaters many times (but I don’t have an exact count). I can vividly remember standing in a theater lobby with throngs of people, waiting for the current movie to finish so they could unload and fill it again with another full house. I had the action figures and the playsets, even the Millennium Falcon (which I eventually sold on eBay because it wasn’t doing any good sitting in a box in the storage room). Are you going to tell the kid who dressed up as a Jawa for Halloween that he’s not going to get to see the Star Wars movie until he gets back to the U.S.? I didn’t think so.
Was I crazy?
Could I even manage to see the movie in Germany? I had to do more research. While doing this, Sharon noticed me surfing German-language websites and asked what I was doing. When I told her I was looking to see if I could go see Star Wars when we were there, she said I was crazy. Why would I use up precious vacation time to see a movie that I could just as well see when we got home?
I tried to explain that I wanted to see it right away to avoid any spoilers. We were on a trip, so I couldn’t just avoid Facebook, Twitter and the news as I could do if I was at home. Waiting for a whole week would be a risk I didn’t want to take.
I also felt that what better way to see the movie. I’d remember the experience of going to see the final Star Wars movie in Germany. To top things off, the film was opening two days earlier in Germany, so I’d get to see it before almost everyone else I knew. NO CHANCE OF SPOILERS!!!!
Sharon and I came to an agreement that I could see the movie, no matter how stupid of an idea it was, as long as it wouldn’t interfere with any of our other plans. DONE!
Buying an advance movie ticket in Germany
While most of the websites for activities in Germany that would be interesting to tourists have English language pages available, the same is not true for movie theaters. Apparently, only locals want to see movies, or at least they are the only ones looking for tickets a month in advance.
I did find from some Google searches that some movie theaters in Germany do show blockbuster movies in their Original Version (OV). This meant the movie would be in English, with no subtitles.
I found a movie theater in Munich that was showing The Rise of Skywalker (OV) on opening night.
I depended on the translator in the Google Chrome browser to navigate the website. Initially, the last showing was at 7:30 PM, but eventually, a 10:45 PM show was added. Plenty of time to be done with the markets and get Sharon back to the hotel before heading to the movie. I’d be in a smaller theater without the Dolby sound, but at least I would be able to understand what was being said.
I got to pick my seat (note: the rows in German theaters start with A in the back of the house and go up the closer you get to the screen. I thought I’d be 4 rows from the back but was four rows from the screen. Thank goodness it wasn’t that bad.) I was able to pay via PayPal and received an email with a barcode for admission.
Going to the movies!
The map showed the theater was a short walk, 12 minutes, straight down the main road from our hotel. I walked to the theater and I felt the walk home after the movie should be safe as there were plenty of people around and several bars and restaurants along the way.
I got to my movie theater, Mathäser Filmpalast
The theater was a mega-plex covering three stories of the building. As I entered the lobby, the locals were really getting into the mood of the evening. There was Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, several Jedi Knights, Resistance fighters, and plenty of lightsabers of all varieties.
I figured out how to order concessions, which isn’t much different from here. I just got a smaller sized soda (No bathroom breaks for me during this movie). I really wanted to try the popcorn, which came in both sweet and salty varieties, but I resisted the temptation. Eating popcorn would just make me want to drink more soda.
Most of the other guests were either ordering the collectible merchandise or getting rounds of beers.
I headed to my seat about 20 minutes early and most of the theater was empty. I figured that not many people in Germany wanted to see a movie in English. Boy, was I wrong. It just turned out that since things happen on time in Germany, there’s no need to get places early if you have a reservation. If the movie starts at 10:45, get to your seat at 10:40. Before that, just hang out in the lobby. By the time the movie started, the theater was over 3/4 full.
I’m not going to talk ABOUT the movie. Just what I noticed watching it.
- No one that I could see using a phone in the theater for the entire show
- There was hardly any response during the movie. No applause. No laughing. There was one moment where I heard some commotion, but it was appropriate to the scene.
- The theater lights didn’t come back on until at least 1/2 way through the final credits, which everyone sat and watched.
- My theater was marked as having D-BOX (interactive seats), but it turned out that there were only a few, selected seats in the theater. The rest of the seats were regular.
- All of the pre-movie commercials were in German but as soon as the coming soon trailers started, they were all in English
I also felt a degree of fascination that here I was, sitting in another country that speaks a different language, in a movie theater full of people wanting to see Star Wars in the original English. This would never happen the other way around.
So did I make the right choice? You better believe it. Since it was a late showing, I didn’t end up missing out on any other parts of our vacation. I ended up staying up to 2AM, which totally messed up my internal clock for the rest of the trip. It was still totally worth it. I’ll remember this experience for my entire life. How many people can say that they saw the last movie in the Star Wars saga with a bunch of Germans in a Munich movie theater? That’s a much better story than telling about how you went to the multiplex around the corner.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary