A night out at the movies

Anyone who’s been in Kathmandu longer than a few days knows the worth of being able to turn the volume down on the city and escape the constant sensory experience. While there is so much to do and see in town it’s a relief to do something that requires little to no energy. A couple of weeks ago my brother was preparing to leave the city after coming on holiday for Christmas and New Year’s. Naturally the 2 weeks he spent here had been stuffed with activities from paragliding in Pokhara to circumambulating various temples and stupas. His flight was booked to leave Tribhuvan airport at 11 in the evening and we lazily considered our options of what to do on his final night here.

It was New Year’s Day and the energy levels were low as a result of the evening’s antics. When someone mentioned going to the cinema it sounded like such an alien concept during a family holiday in a new city. However, as the thought soaked in not one of us could argue that it felt 100% like the right thing to do.

We sausaged into a taxi and bobbed our way along to the QFX in Kamal Pokhari. The tickets were 220 rupees (you’d struggle to watch a film for that cheap anywhere in the world) so there was ample left over for unhealthy snacks. The culture shock sucker punched me at the snack counter when I was confronted with a back-lit menu presenting burgers, Black Forrest cakes and chicken sandwiches. This fare was a stark contrast to the candy offerings in most cinemas I have been to in Europe and elsewhere. Luckily my conventional side was appeased when I saw popcorn ricocheting around its glasshouse. We ordered an armoury of cakes, sandwiches and soft drinks, stockpiled them on our brimming trays and frog marched upstairs to wait for the previous showing to finish.

When we were ushered in a local advert played out a scene featuring a man being slapped by a woman for looking at her lasciviously. I thought we were off to a good start. The cinema hall was a throwback to a few decades ago. Splashed in dimly lit red faux velvet and seats with enough leg-room to satisfy a giraffe. After a series of trailers for local and Indian productions the feature began. Watching The Hobbit in Kathmandu is the perfect way to transport yourself to a different world, let alone state of mind.

I was reminded how spectacular the nature is in Nepal though; when snow capped mountains appeared on the screen they couldn’t compete with the majesty of the Himalayas no matter how much post production went into perfecting them. Halfway through the film everything will cut out. Don’t panic, it’s not a power cut it’s an interval. A chance for smokers to do their destructive thing and non-smokers to visit the restrooms.

After enduring the second half of the journey through Middle Earth and leaving behind a lucky dip of wrapping paper and bread crumbs we were ejected out of fantasy land and into the car park. We hailed down a taxi, said our farewells to my brother and went on our own journey to find some much needed dinner! I highly recommend a visit to the cinema if you wan to switch off for a few hours and take a break from the rush of the city.

Photos: QFX

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