Tainan Cineplexes

Vieshow Cinemas

The centrally located Vieshow Cinemas is probably Tainan's most well-known cineplex.

Tainan Cineplexes

In addition to several small, old, second run theaters like the Chin Men (Quánměi) Theater, Tainan City has three large, modern cineplexes that offer first run movies. Like many cineplexes around the world, they play a standard range of Hollywood new releases. Generally, the distribution companies make sure there is always at least one film of each genre playing at any given time regardless of its quality: one action film, one romantic comedy, one family film, etc. Films without excessive explosions, cute cartoon characters, Johnny Depp, or sequential numbers (Anything Part III) generally only come to Tainan if they’ve been given a best picture nod, and maybe not even then. There are, however, films from Taiwan, China, and other Asian countries rounding out the bill with the odd European film thrown in from time to time. These films don’t always have English subtitles, though, so check before you buy your ticket.

Shin Kong Mitsukoshi

Shin Kong Mitsukoshi

Going to the cinema in Tainan isn’t very different from most Western countries. The cinemas are clean and modern, with digital sound, IMAX and 3D capabilities. The cultural similarities outweigh the differences, but there are a few things of note. Like most of Asia, seating in movie theaters is assigned. They usually sell tickets from the middle outwards, with front rows and corners sold last. The cashiers will often inform you if there’s only poor seating available. They also don’t let people into the theater until about five minutes before the movie starts, so people have to wait in the lobby. At the end of the movie, they turn on the light when the credits start rolling, and they may not even finish running the credits. The snack food selection is fairly standard, if not limited. One difference would be that instead of being asked if you want your popcorn with or without butter you will be asked if you want it sweet or salty. You can also bring in outside food as long as the odor isn’t offensive to others. Like theaters elsewhere, you can’t chew betel nut, smoke, or use a cell phone, though some people take that last rule quite lightly.

The three cineplexes in Tainan are all different in terms of branding, but are fairly similar and usually have an identical bill for at least half (if not all) the movies they’re playing. Location and start time may play more of a factor than anything else while choosing a theater. Two of the theaters are in the West Central District and the third is in the East District towards Yongkang. You can check their websites for show times, but none of the websites is in English.

The Ambassador Theater

The Ambassador Theater

The Vieshow Cinemas (Wēixiù Yǐngchéng 威秀影城) is the most central of the cineplexes. It’s on the 8th floor of the FE21 Mega (Far Eastern) Department Store on the corner of Gongyuan Road and Minzu Road in the heart of the city. Built in 2002, it has nine theaters with a total capacity of 2200 people.

Admission: Adult/Concession or Matinee: NT$250/230; for 3D movies NT$310/290

Phone: (06) 6005566

Location: No. 60 Gongyuan Road (公園路), 8th floor, West Central District, Tainan City

The Shin Kong Theater (XīnGuāng Yǐngchéng 新光影城) is inside the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store on Ximen Road. Built in 2007, it has 8 theaters and a capacity of 2700 people. It’s a little more expensive than the other theaters.

Admission: Adult/Concession or Matinee: NT$270/240; for 3D movies on weekdays NT$310/290; for 3D movies on weekends NT$330/310

Phone: (06) 3031260

Location: No.658 Ximen Road (Simen Rd. 西門路), Section 1, 7th-9th floor, West Central District, Tainan City

The Ambassador Movie Theater (Guóbīn Yǐngchéng 國賓影城) on the east side of the city is divided into two different sections: an older one with seven smaller screens, and a newer one with five larger screens. There are two different box offices about half a block away from each other, so figure out which one is playing the movie you want at the time you want before getting in line.

Admission: Adult/Concession or Matinee: NT$250/230; for 3D movies NT$310/290

Phone: (06) 2347166

Location: No. 66 and No. 88 Zhonghua East Road (Junghua E. Rd. 中華東路), Section 1, East District, Tainan City

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