Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cine Grand Tsar Lounge

Chestita Baba Marta!  I hope all of you have martenitzas and are ready for the coming of spring.  Some of you have experienced one cold, bitter winter full of six feet snow drifts, -30 degree temperatures, and are completely ready to tell winter to 'suck it' and move forward to spring flowers.  D.C peeps had their usual 'let's close because we cannot plow roads' and have 3-8 fake snow days, while Sofia peeps have had a somewhat normal winter instead of the 'let's piss off all skiers and be 55-60 all winter long'.

During the winter season before Baba Marta announces it's time for spring, it is a time to chill, be fat and fabulous, and do winter activities.  In the U.S., I would be watching tons of hockey, but my team really sucks, and the Olympics last year were my only chance to watch decent hockey on T.V.  Instead of hockey, we watch movies at the cinema.

In fact, George and I have gotten so bad that we treat ourselves to the Cine Grand TSAR Lounge to watch movies, and only go some other theater if we have to.    We will watch anything in the TSAR Lounge, except for 50 Shade of Grey (I am determined to watch 50 Shades once in front of straight people and laugh at all the bad crap some gay guy already wrote about and did a much better job writing about, yet didn't get paid for like E.L. James)

What?!?!? my American and Bulgarian friends might ask?  How can you afford all that money on movies and go on average once per week, especially the TSAR Lounge?  The answer is simply elementary as Sherlock Holmes would say.  Here is why the TSAR Lounge is such a deal, and so worth going to:

CINE Grand TSAR Lounge:  The only place to go see a movie.

Reasons 1-3 for Cine Grand TSAR Lounge:  

1.Only 32 Seats in the theater. 

2. Tickets cost between 14-16 BGN( 7-8 Euros, or about 8-9 USD). 

That's right people.  Tickets for this theater are expensive for Bulgaria, but cheap for the U.S. and Western Europe.  In Seattle, I went to one of these theaters, and paid $25 USD to see Bridesmaid in a fancy lounge seat.  It was a blast to sit in the seat, but with a snack my movie bill was around 40 USD.  When my cousin and I took my nephews to the movies a few years back, we paid $65 USD for tickets and snacks, and this was for a 2pm showing of the Smurfs with two kids tickets being bought.  

At TSAR Lounge, you pay 14-16 BGN for a movie.  For  ... a ... reclining ... seat.  

3.  We are a 15 minute walk from the City Center (Shitty Center) Mall

Cine Grand is centrally located in the middle of the Lozenets neighborhood between old, established, classy Lozenets, and the over-the-top, mafia, I need to prove myself, new money, and home to many 21-25 year old business women driving Porshes and Audis in new Lozents by the U.S Embassy and Kempenski Hotel.  

Yes, we are a 15 minute walk from this theater.  No driving needed.  No dealing with idiot Bulgarian drivers with 15 year elderly, small, deathtrap Opel/Volkswagen cars being Formula 1 drivers racing to the next place to prove they have a penis.  No dealing with Audi, Mercedes drivers who think their shit doesn't smell so they can literally get away with anything, including killing a baba crossing in a crosswalk(you laugh, but it happens).   The grocery store and CINE Grand theater have given this mall some life for grocery shopping and movies, and people come to this mall just to go to the theater, plus it helps it is at a metro stop.   

A few of our lovely lady friends visiting the TSAR Lounge

Reasons 4-6 to Visit Cine Grand Tsar Lounge:

4.  They give you a free bottle of water

5.  They give you a free glass of orange juice or champagne

6.  They put free 3-D glasses at your seat to watch a 3D movie

That's right people, for the price of your movie ticket, you get all three things for FREE.  Let me repeat that, FREE!   So instead of paying an extra 3-4 BGN for glasses and water, we get it for free.  Most times, we get there to enjoy the free glass of champagne before the movie starts.  Being raised by my grandmother, I'm all about free stuff.  Free is good.  :)

Baba Marta even likes it:  this is us with martenizas on from last year enjoying the seat reclining.  Now, I always take my shoes off, and pretend like I'm at home watching a movie.  

Reasons 7-9 to visit the TSAR Lounge at CINE Grand:

7.  You can order food and drinks and they deliver it to your seat.

Correct, you have a waiter who will brink you snacks, drinks, and alternative drinks to your seat for a reasonable price.  My favorite is bring a glass of white wine for 6 BGN, while others enjoy their popcorn being served in a bowl, not the cardboard container.  

8.  Seats recline

As you can see from the pictures, the seats are awesome, and you can recline as much as you want.  Most times, I am greatly tempted to show up in my pajamas and bring a blanket.  While I have never done this for the looks I might get from other theater attendees, I may just start doing it once I turn 40 and say F it, I can do what I want people.  

9.  Free laughs at Indian English

CINE Grand is an Indian company running cinemas in Bulgaria, and some of the English used is hysterical.  The movie ticket says on it: "We thanks for business.".  While if you ever go with me to TSAR Lounge, I will tell George quite loudly to put his camera away and stop pirating the movie on his phone when they are showing the advertisement silently saying pirating films is criminal.  Saying this is like Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football.  It never gets old, always gets a good laugh, and supports the U.S. Embassy policy of combating piracy.  

In fact, you can recline all the way back if you'd like.  
So the next time you want to see a movie in Sofia, you should definitely go to the TSAR Lounge.  Totally worth the price, and we're happy to go with anyone, anytime to the TSAR Lounge.  Treat yourself, but don't mind me if I bring my Sabres onesy blanket.