August 27, 2007

3 jours 3 euros

One thing about Paris that really suits us is the fact that it’s such a film-friendly town. There are so many theatres, playing so many different movies (current and classic), that it’s pretty easy to find something we want to watch. Of course, we’re somewhat limited at this point to English-language movies (at least until our French gets better), but it hasn’t been too hard to find these either.

The one drawback to movie-going in Paris is that ticket prices can be pretty steep. During peak hours tickets can cost over 10 euros, which is even more painful for those of us converting from US dollars. We have learned to get around this obstacle by going to morning shows (easy for us self-employed folks to do), which cost only 5 euros. We’ve also considered getting monthly passes from UGC (one of the major French movie house chains) that would reduce this cost even further.

Since we are always looking for film bargains, we have been tempted by the numerous free outdoor film showings that are on offer in Paris during the summer, but the thought of trying to find a comfortable spot in the midst of a crowd has kept us away. That’s why we were delighted to find out about a program co-sponsored by the city government of Paris and the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français called “3 jours 3 euros” (three days, three euros). For three days every August (this year it was the 19th, 20th, and 21st), film-goers can see any film, at any time, in any theatre, for the ticket price of 3 euros.

We had seen ads for this festival ahead of time, but didn’t quite understand how it worked until we lucked into it on the first day of its run. We had made plans to see the movie 2 Days in Paris last Sunday morning without knowing about the special offer, but were pleased to find our tickets only cost 3 euros. We decided that we should see a movie on each of the three days, and accomplished our goal: Hot Fuzz on Monday night, and The Good Shepherd on Tuesday.

For the most part things went smoothly; however, as could be expected, crowds were much larger and shows sold out sooner (we had planned to see The Good Shepherd on Monday, but had to change our plans after the show sold out). Another wrinkle was that it wasn’t possible to reserve seats ahead of time online and still get the 3 euro price. Still, we were really happy with “3 jours 3 euros.” We were able to see three movies for less than the usual price of one ticket, and that was certainly refreshing in these humid days of August.

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