FIUME VENETO, Italy — Outside the U.S. military bases, there aren’t a lot of places in Italy where it’s an advantage to speak English.

But two nights a week, the CineStar theater complex is just such a place.

Located about 20 minutes away from Aviano Air Base, the movie theater attracts a largely young crowd looking to see the latest movies from around the world. In Italian. But every week, the theater offers four showings of a movie (twice each Tuesday and Thursday) in its original language. And charges 2 euros less than a normal ticket to see it.

That movie might not always be in English. But a survey of the recent offerings the complex was showing shows that it likely will be. Eight of the 11 movies offered last week were originally recorded in English. The other three were Italian.

The next two on tap are “Borat” and “Charlotte’s Web.”

Why does it cost less to watch a movie in its original language? There’s no fees for the dubbing process in which Italian voice actors take on the roles of their English-speaking counterparts. Or, in the case of Borat, whatever other language he’s supposedly communicating in.

Still, at a discounted 5.50 euros a ticket, the prices are still higher than one would pay at a theater run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. And the movies are often about the same ones played on base.

So why go elsewhere?

The Italian movie experience is a bit different for one. The theater seats in the CineStar theater are placed on a roughly a 45-degree slope. So you don’t have to worry about that tall person or “big hair” getting in your view. Actually, the original language showings generally are very crowded regardless.

Don’t be surprised when the movie shuts off for a few minutes. The film isn’t broken. That’s just a chance to go to the bathroom or grab a quick snack.

There are snack bars similar to an American theater. There’s also an arcade downstairs. And a sit-down restaurant that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and a variety of other fare. So it’s a decent place to bring a date and make a night of it.

Look for advice on the language of love elsewhere, though.

See previous After Hours reviews here.


Ticket prices: Most movies cost 7.50 euros (discounts for kids under 12, students, senior citizens). Original language movies cost 5.50 euros. The arcade downstairs won’t take American coins. So bring your euro change.

Food: A restaurant that’s part of the complex serves hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza and a variety of drinks. There are also movie snacks available.

Entertainment: Movies in English twice a week (8:30ish and 10:30ish Tuesdays and Thursdays). Movies in Italian every night.

Clientele: Italians. Often a younger crowd.

Dress: Casual.

Location: via Maestri del Lavoro 51. It’s off the SS-13 just past the large traffic circle that leads to the Cimpello exit off the A28.

Web Click on “Rassegna Film in Lingua Originale” in the box at right to see what movie is in English on a given week.

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for 40 years.

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