Monday, July 13, 2009


For those of us movie-aholics or for anyone who simply has a hankering for some buttered popcorn and a chance to see Johnny Depp on the screen, don't despair that you won't be able to get your fix while in Paris. Thankfully, many theaters host American and other English speaking films in our
native tongue with French subtitles. Hallelujah!

The trick is to look for English speaking films that say V.O. or version originale (original version) on the listing. Pay attention to the V.O. times too, because some theaters will show the film in English for a week or two and then put up the dubbed version. Others, play the dubbed version during the day, so that French children can understand what is going on. However, be rest assured that somewhere at some point in the day, you will be able to see the movie of your choice in English.

If you are a student, show your student I.D. card and get a discount. If you are going to be in Paris for awhile, you might also consider buying a bulk rate ticket, where you can see a certain amount of films during a certain period of time. These tickets are prevalent because the French L-O-V-E their movies. With the plethora of theaters in town, it's no wonder.  In fact, you will be hard-pressed to find a theater that is not almost entirely full at most times of the day—even during business hours. I have often wondered if the French get time off during the day, simply to indulge in this activity.

Wednesdays are the days that movies come out in France. You can find theater listings online with Pariscope at Spectacles. If your high school French doesn't help you in reading the schedule, simply go to Google and type the word Pariscope. The first listing will be what you want. Before you press the link, however, click on the translate button. Your page will miraculously show up in English. I personally prefer Cityvox. Many of the listings and reviews have been translated into English, as well. Or simply walk around and check out the postings on one of the many theaters in town.

And don't forget to pack your wallets with extra cash so you can indulge in some Haagan Dazs ice cream, Swiss chocolate or the good old standby, popcorn and a coke. Keep in mind, that if you forget to buy your food in the lobby, don't panic. Someone will come to your concessionary needs in the theater itself.

Please note: if you have decided to stay in and want to rent a movie from a Video Futur (France's version of Blockbuster) or some other rental house, avoid any disappointments by not bringing home a movie you can't understand. While most movies are in V.O. there are those out there that are not. Look for the word "anglais" on the back of the DVD box to make certain that it hasn't been dubbed.

Or just stick with going out. With over 100 movie houses in Paris, you are sure to find the film you are looking for.  

Happy watching and bonne journée!