While I’ve never been much of a movie buff or cinema-goer, it is nice to take an evening off once in a while to enjoy a newly-released movie in a theatre.
Most theatres in Germany dub non-German movies into German (say, rather than keeping the original language and then using German subtitles). This dubbing practice drives S up the wall as he much prefers Original Version (called ‘OV’) films to dubbed films since so much gets lots in translation. (A few days ago I saw my first German-dubbed film, Jurassic World, at a large theatre in Würzburg. Even with the dubbing, you do get some hybrid English-German sentences like ‘Chill mal!’, ‘Wilkommen in Jurassic World’, and ‘Ladies and gentlemen, bitte….’).
Imagine S’s delight when we discovered a small Original Version movie theatre in Stuttgart-Vaihingen last year called Corso Cinema International. The theatre has been showing films in their original version (sometimes with English or German subtitles) since 1984 and prides itself on being a ‘dubbing free zone’ for over 25 years.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to see Pitch Perfect 2 since we enjoyed the first film, Pitch Perfect, when it was released in 2012. (This post does include some very minor film spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to be spoiled, avert your eyes!)
Since the theatre is quite small and only has two screens, we wanted to make sure to get there early to claim some seats (especially since we were going on a Tuesday which is their discounted day). We also reserved tickets online a few hours beforehand to be doubly sure we’d be able to see the film.
Cut to us arriving a good 30 minutes before showtime with not a single person to be seen inside the theatre. We walked right up to the counter to claim our reserved tickets and even had to wait for the theatre room to open up. I don’t know if it was because it was a Tuesday or really sunny that day, but I guess nobody else wanted to see Pitch Perfect 2!
We killed some time by scouring the snack bar. Because the theatre is situated in Vaihingen, a part of Stuttgart with a lot of American expats (and also because they screen mainly American-English movies), they carry a lot of American snacks and drinks like Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. We ordered some popcorn and I was pleasantly surprised to have the choice between sweet or salty. (Most German popcorn is sweet, like kettle corn, rather than salty and buttery like North American movie theatre popcorn).
Once we were allowed into the theatre, a few more people started to trickle in. In total, I’d stay there were about 10 of us in the theatre (and the movie had only been newly released)!
If you’re not familiar with Pitch Perfect or Pitch Perfect 2, the story follows an all-female American university a cappella group, the Barden Bellas, singing in various competitions. Here’s a little trailer of Pitch Perfect 2:
The film features a German a cappella group called Das Sound Maschine. Given that most people in the audience were either native English speakers living in Germany or English-speaking Germans, we were all snickering pretty hard at the goofy scenes with the German a cappella singers and their exaggerated thick German accents and intentional grammar mistakes.
After the movie, we treated ourselves to a small container of Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns ice cream since we’d never seen this flavour in Germany before. It was amazing! The staff even lent us two metal spoons to enjoy our ice cream outside (which we returned once we were finished).
Corso Cinema tips:
- There are usually about 8 or 9 films on rotation at the Corso Cinema at any given time, including both 2D and 3D films.
- The theatre can get packed, so it’s best to reserve tickets in advance (for free online) if you want to secure a spot.
- Unlike other German movie theatres where you can reserve your specific seat in advance, the Corso Cinema seats are first come, first served (even if you make a general reservation for your tickets in advance).
- Tuesday is the discount day and you can save a few Euros by going to see a movie on a Tuesday afternoon or evening.
- The weekly movie schedule is posted online here.
How to get there: Corso Cinema International is located in Stuttgart-Vaihingen on Hauptstraße 6 and is open every day of the week. If using public transportation to get to the theatre, you can take the U-Bahn on line U1 to the Vaihingen Schillerplatz stop. Another nearby stop is Jurastraße which you can reach with the U-Bahn lines U3, U8 or U12.
For more information about Corso Cinema International, you can visit their website.
Have you been to the Corso Cinema? Is there an Original Version cinema where you live?