So I’m hardly in the position to be talking about dates, for the usual and obvious reasons, expat girl problems, yadda yadda, there’s so few dateable boys in Taiwan, I might as well have moved to a nunnery, blah blah. We’re not here to talk about my problems. We’re here to talk about yours. You like this girl. You like her fake blue contacts and her plastic-y eyelashes—okay, whoa, sorry, I knew we agreed that we wouldn’t get into my issues.
So you like this girl, and you want to take her out. You ask. Miraculously, she says yes. Awesome! You think. And then–oh shit. What to do? I mean, how could you wrong with a movie and drinks afterwards? Classic. And that’s when you remember that you really don’t want to face the insane hordes of crowds at the Xinyi Vieshow (where everyone goes) and the queue for a shitty frappe at Star-fucks (wow, my issues are completely hijacking this post)**.
**Totally, totally arbitrary use of pronouns; I’m all for equality and tolerance here. Boys asking boys out, good. Girls asking girls out, good…. Girls asking boys out–whoa, wait, what. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. What would 奶奶 say at the next family reunion if she found out?)
So right when you’re angsting over possibly losing your future soul-mate & life-partner over a poor date choice, you read this blog and find out about the new Eslite Art House theater in the brand spankin’ new Eslite Spectrum in Songshan Cultural & Creative Park. BINGO!
Here’s Eslite’s introduction of their first theater:
Eslite Movie Theatre is a 415-seat movie house with acoustics, lighting, and interior design all done under the watchful eye of world famous Japanese architect Toyo Ito. The theatre shows the latest domestic or foreign art house films. In the near future, the Theatre hopes to work with distributors and studios to show first-rate independent films, domestically produced films, documentaries, and anime films. Eslite Theatre is an important venue for the city’s cultural and creative activities and the place to watch film features not available in commercial movie theatres. It is also a place where movie fans can gather to discuss their favorite flicks. Here, movie lovers will find culture and the silver screen at its best.
I’d spotted the theater on an earlier trip to Eslite Spectrum (oh, who am I kidding, I went there 4 times last week!) and saw that they were showing the Hannah Arendt biopic, so my mom and I made plans to go…the very next day! We arrived at around noon and had lunch at the fresh-udon shop nearby before going to buy our tickets for the showing. The tickets are quite reasonably priced: since my mom has an Eslite card, we got 20% off. Tickets for students are $250NT; full-price tickets run $270NT (check out the full price list here)
Besides the Arendt movie (which I highly, highly recommend! Go watch it!) I know that they’re also currently showing Joseph Gordon Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon and even the Jobs movie, in addition to 5-6 other films from a range of different countries. Click here to get the schedule.
Judging from the lobby (located right by the new VVG Action)–the Art House isn’t getting much traffic–yet. However, I can’t imagine why: who wouldn’t love to come to a theatre that can serve you up a fresh latte and some organic dried fruit (my mother had “mushroom popcorn” and a San Pellegrino, fancy!) before you walk in? In an ingenious move that I only expect from Eslite, the movie theatre doesn’t offer the traditional fare of shitty hot dogs and congealing nachos–rather, it selects some of the best products from the artisanal food companies on its upper floors and offers them for sale to movie-goers. It’s fancy-schmancy and prices are steep + totally elitist, of course, but hey, you’re at an art house theatre! If you’re trying not to buy into this pretentiousness, it’s too late already.
The theatre was brand spankin’ new and amazingly comfortable. However, we were two of about 10 people total in the theatre! Granted, it was an afternoon showing on a week-day; this is the first time I’ve had the luxury of watching an afternoon showing on a weekday (but it won’t be the last! ha!) so I’m not sure how this turn-out compares to similar time-slots in other theatres; or how crowded the Eslite Art House gets on weekends.
The great thing about Eslite Art House’s location is that it’s tucked into the corner of Eslite Spectrum’s basement-level food court; so there are literally dozens of options if you want to go for some coffee afterwards.
I’ll do another post on Eslite Spectrum later on, but my mom and I settled on having a latte + the most amazing matcha yogurt smoothie (!) at the Eslite branch of Da’an cafe AKUMA CACA (they have the cutest geometric cups, look below!) As I mentioned before; there’s also the new VVG Action right next door to the theatre, so you can always pop in and have one of their delicious fruit sodas or some of their other really, really expensive desserts (y’know, if you want to continue on the pretentiousness theme).
You can find more details and good information (though mostly in Chinese) on their website here, although I’ve included a screenshot of they directions to the Songyan store below.