Taiwan Fun Magazine, November 2005

Second-Run Movie Theatres

-- By Shanzi Chen Translated by Cara Steenstra

You love movies and believe that they ought to be watched on a big screen. Yet, you cannot afford the price of most movie tickets. If this describes you, then second-run movie theatres are the place to go. In the past, most second-run theatres tended to be crowded and messy. However, with more and more competition in place, some of these theatres have undergone renovations in the last year or two. This includes the installation of surround-sound systems, more tidy and comfortable environments and upgraded seating. These improvements are putting second-run theatres on par with most normal theatres, eespecially those with smaller screens, even as second-run ticket prices are only a third of first-run movies.

Most second-run movie theatre tickets entitle you to watch two, three or more films, and prices range between NT$80 and NT$140. Some theatres even offer discounts for students, who pay NT$40 to NT$50 provided they provide a valid student ID. This means that, on average, one will only spend around NT$40 per movie, making this even cheaper than renting a DVD. In addition, some theatres offer all-day admission with one ticket purchase--audience members get a stamp on the back of their hand and come and go as they please. This is available at theatres such as Nan Shan and Da Shi Ji.

If a second-run theatre is situated near a school area, it may sometimes offer independent art movies as well as foreign films, which pleases many movie buffs. This is the case at theatres such as Da Shi Ji, MuZa Guang Ming, JingMei JiaoXing.
Although it is hard to discount the appeal of first-run movie theatres, it's also impossible to deny that second-run theatres do offer really great deals for people who are on a tight budget, but still enjoy spending hours in a dark room watching films on the big screen.