I've been trying to see Iron Man 3 at the cinema in Baiyin.
It hasn't been easy...
Attempt Number 1
The poster outside the cinema, though mostly outside, includes the names of English films in English and the date they will begin showing them. A couple of days after Iron Man 3 was due to be shown I went to see it only to be told (by phoning a friend and having him translate) that it wasn't actually opening for two more weeks.
Attempt Number 2
About two weeks later I returned, intending to see the morning showing on a Saturday. I was told (this time via a combination of mime and pointing) that there was no matinee performance this week and that it would be on at two thirty.
Attempt Number 3
Because it was a nice day I went and sat in the park for a couple of hours and returned at two twenty. I was now told (via a helpful passing school student) that there would be a showing that night at 7:30.
Attempt Number 4
I didn't feel like going all the way back over to the cinema at 8:00 pm so it was a week later when I tried again. Big things had happened in that week including my finding a Chinese girlfriend who could now talk directly to the staff. We went to see the 8:00 pm showing on Tuesday only to be told that it had started at 7:30. We could go in if we wanted but who wants to miss the first 25% of a movie. So we went to the bar.
Attempt Number 5
The next day we showed up at 7:15 only to be told that yesterday's information was wrong. There was no 7:30 showing, nor indeed an 8:00 showing. There never had been. We were misinformed. There was a showing at 10:15.
We went back to her apartment and watched The Life of Pi on DVD instead.
Attempt Number 6
We went yesterday to the 10:15 showing. At the ticket desk we were told that we were the only two customers and they wouldn't show it unless at least three turned up. Luckily a couple more turned up and, at 10:20, they actually started the movie.
And what did I think of it after all that?
Pretty good actually. It has a couple of flaws and we don't get to see nearly enough of all the cool alternative Iron Man suits that feature rather prominently in the trailer and the advertising but it was pretty good. Definitely worth seeing.
Worth trying six times to see? Maybe.
Next up will probably be when I attempt to see The Man of Steel.