Yesterday evening I wound up at something called MTV (Movie TV), in the company of Emma - not the music television station, but a cinema split up into a maze of tiny to tinier private viewing booths where you can preselect a movie from whatever the cinema has on display in the foyer (new-ish movies to older stuff in DVD racks) and watch it on a ten-foot screen. The tickets cost about the equivalent of seventy or eighty pence each. Not only that, you can watch two or three movies in a row, and the place is open twenty-four hours a day. The booths can take anywhere from two to maybe eight people.
We watched Syriana, which I'd meant to see for a while. As cinematic experiences go, it's not the greatest. The door into the booth is right next to the screen, and has a small window in it that lets in the light from the corridor, with the result that the picture gets washed out by the light, making it hard at times to figure out what's going on in scenes that are primarily dark. The sound is rubbish too, which didn't help when it came to following an extremely complex drama featuring an enormous range of characters and dealing with the nature of modern covert politics.
But for all that, it's dirt cheap, and if I was eighteen I'd probably live in the place. And judging by a large number of the people using the place, I'd say its prime attraction is to sixteen to twenty year olds who want a cheap night out where their parents can't see them for several hours at a time. There was a slightly seedy quality to the place which sort of added to the experience. If I was writing a crime novel set in modern Taipei, I'd say it would be a great place for people to meet and talk about drug deals, or sell guns to each other. File under: curious.